We couldn’t have had a better final last day in Iceland, participating in a wonderful horse riding experience with the Icelandic Horse - a family run business owned by Begga and her husband Sveinn, we had such a positive experience on this tour!
9.30am was the meeting time, and the location of the stables is only a very short drive from Reykjavik city centre. We were able to make our own way to the meeting location as we had a vehicle, however the Icelandic Horse also offers pick-up and drop-off for you if you do not have your own transportation - how great is that!?
We were warmly welcomed by the owners Begga and Sveinn, who gave us information about what the morning would involve. Our riding tour began with Begga’s famous riding introduction. It’s the combination of both Begga’s extensive experience in horse riding, and her passionate character which makes her riding introduction so much fun, informative, and unique. After the entertaining talks and explanations from Begga, we felt extremely prepared and excited to meet our new furry friends for the morning.
We learnt that a special and unique trait about Icelandic horses are that they can have up to five gaits, whilst most commonly horses generally have only three. The gait that we would be learning today was called the Tölt - which is a very relaxed and smooth riding style, known to be very comfortable for both the horse and the rider.
There were both beginners and experienced riders in our group, and all got at horse that fit our experiences with riding and horses, but all of us were about to do the same ride, the tölt!
Initially we were introduced to our horses that we would be riding, and we were each given some time with them to scratch their heads, and build a bit of a bond with one another. Mish was paired with the beautiful girl Ósk (Wish), while Kirk was riding Brúnn (Brown) - both dark brown horses who were incredibly friendly and loving towards us. The additional employees helped our small group of 8 as we mounted our new friends, to ensure that we did this correctly and safely.
Applying all the information that Begga had given to us during our initial riding introduction, we were easily able to start communicating with our horses and begin our riding adventure! We were pleasantly surprised at how smooth and relaxing it was to be on the horse. We rode in gorgeous landscapes filled with lava, pseudo craters, and nothing but mountainous views! There were times where we were able to ride side-by-side, and others were we rode in single file, but always the group stayed close together as one, stopping every now and then for Begga to teach us more about the wildlife and landscapes that surrounded us.
Throughout the morning Begga and her crew took lots of photographs of us all, which we were told would be emailed to us after the tour - all of this is inclusive in the initial cost price which was wonderful as you don’t have to worry about trying to capture the moment yourself, and you are able to just sit back, and relax as one with your horse.
After around 1.5 - 2 hours of riding, in a variety of different landscapes as well as different paces, we made our way back to the stables. Once we entered the paddock and dismounted our horses, we all stood behind the gates and watched as the horses were given their time to play together, rolling around on the ground stretching, scratching one another, and interacting with their other horse friends once again. Such natural behaviour that we were lucky enough to see in person, and capture on camera and film up-close and personal.
The Icelandic Horse is the first and oldest company to have started a horse riding tour inside the city limits of Reykjavik, with so many years of experience and expansion, Begga and Sveinn now offer a large range of different tours for visitors to choose from - many of which are completely unique to the Icelandic Horse, such as “Horses & Beers” and “Horses & Healthy Food”, as well as other add-on activities which can be organised as a package such as Whale Watching and Spa visits. Begga and her crew are completely educated and certified professional tour guides, as well as having extensive background knowledge and love for the horses - the entire time we felt as though we were in great hands and very safe.
There is so much love shared on this tour for the Icelandic horses, and it’s beautiful to see how well cared for they are. We loved every moment of the morning, and it was great to learn so much about the Icelandic horses, including their background and behaviours. Here are some wonderful things that we learnt about the Icelandic horse that we did not know before.. but we don’t want to spoil all the fun facts for you so we will leave some for you to learn yourselves when you hopefully come to Iceland and go on your own tour with Icelandic Horses!
The Icelandic horse is one of the purest breeds of horse in the world, and there is not one horse in Iceland which carries a disease
To keep the horses safe and disease-free, once a horse leaves the country, they are not allowed to come back in - this even includes horses that participate in international competitions overseas - there is no exception!
Icelandic horses have a wonderful playful and honest personality, they often will help one another scratch their backs and roll around together on the ground to stretch
Not only do you learn a whole heap of new and wonderful information about these beautiful animals, but you really have the opportunity to interact with them, as well as the instructor and other participants as the group numbers are kept very small. No matter what time of the year you are here visiting Iceland you will have the opportunity to ride with Begga and the horses as the tours are run all year round, rain, hail, or sunshine! You even have morning, afternoon, or evening sessions to choose from.
Our morning with Icelandic Horses was a true highlight of our time here in Iceland - it was such a wonderful experience to ride with these majestic creatures and for anybody passing through the Reykjavik area with an extra few hours to spare, we couldn’t recommend this tour highly enough! Check out their website for more info at : https://islenskihesturinn.is