Icelandic Ponies, Reykjavík Region
Best I describe my experience and then leave you the details.
Fancying a nice, gentle Icelandic horse ride across a romantic lava field with snow possibly gently fluttering down around us, I booked the "special" which consists of 2 hours riding.
Upon arrival we were not specifically greeted or welcomed and it was all a little awkward ... as though we were not anticipated.
Others arrived - our riding group totalled around 24 people.
We were asked if we had ridden before. I explained that yes, we had but we were not experienced riders and my children had been led previously. Horses were saddled up and we were told to mount and follow. Now it might just be me but these horses did not seem to ride like any other horse I have ever ridden. A gentle clip clop to cross the road and suddenly>>>we were off!!!
I bounced around doing everything I could to remain in the saddle and looked around to find my youngest half hanging off, clinging on for dear life, tears streaking down his face.
After that moment the 2 riders that were escourting us changed the saddle on my son's horse and helped me to coax him back on. We were almost an hour away from the farm and he was not really having any of it. Eventually, with a leader reign, he agreed and re-mounted. This meant that there was now 1 rider dedicated to my youngest son and 1 rider to try to look after the rest of us... and off they charged! There were 4 of us left trotting contentedly ... all the riders ilkes ahead, my son and his rider miles behind... and suddenly the romantic trot through the lava fields began to form.
Suddenly, the snow and hail started to whip up and a blizzard started to brew!
The, even more sudenly WHOOOOHOOOO and suddenly a rider came from nowhere and told our horses in no uncertain terms to GO! GO! GO! He shouted to us not to be nervous and off we went at a frightful rate again!
We arrived back safely, my eldest son grinning because he had been back for ages and had had a "totally awesome" time racing along, my youngest plodded in a while later beaming with prde that he had doneit despite the minor set back.
We had all had a great time... and left to nurse our sore backsides!!!!
The rides are all year round and they have winter clothing that, they gave to our children and everybody else but for some reason not to us - we had long johns, trousers and waterproofs on and ok!
It cost € 130 for a family of 4.
Considered the world's purest breed, Icelandic Horses were brought by Viking ships to serve as the sole source of transportation over Iceland's rough terrain. Isolated by law, nature gifted these horses with no natural predators, but in turn challenged them with sparse forage and a harsh climate. Survivors of this natural selection process, the calm, sure-footed Icelandic Horses learned to stop and think rather than panic and flee.
In addition to walk, trot, and canter, Icelandic Horses also tölt, a four-beat running walk that produces fluid, rhythmic, forward movement. Many Icelandic Horses also pace, an exhilarating racing gait which can be performed at speeds up to 30 miles per hour. I did two rides with this company - Ishetar - so I highly recommend them for horseback riding.
If you are interested in riding horse, you should try the trip which include riding the Icelandic horse! As we just stayed in Iceland for four days, we didn't have enough time to do so. However, the guide of the Golden Triangle trip stopped by a farm and showed us the Icelandic horses. They came to us and let us touched them!!!
The Icelandic horse is more like a pony -- easy to hop onto and take for a ride on a 2-hour tour provided by Íshestar out of HanarfJördur. I enjoyed my ride, partly because the rest of the riders on the tour were six young women from Denmark who looked especially lovely while riding. Of course the mountains and the lava fields were fantastic, too. ;)
Leave Reykjavik behind and take a (guided) ride through the Icelandic countryside on sturdy little Icelandic ponies...