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4 Reasons to Add Horseback Riding to Your Iceland Trip

Horseback riding has a long history in Iceland, and participating is a unique way to enjoy the stunning countryside. If you’re planning your trip, consider the myriad of ways you can spend time with one of the oldest breeds in the world.


Meeting the Famed Horses

Icelandic horses are a unique breed, and while you may find them outside of Iceland these days, nothing compares to seeing the breed frolic in the wild pastures. First, however, there are many things you need to know about meeting the famed horses.

Icelandic horses are generally even-tempered, especially those used for horseback riding. Meeting one at a stable is generally a memorable experience, and these cuddly horses love having their picture taken as long as there’s no flash.

The controlled environment of a stable is a great way to meet Icelandic horses, go horseback riding while you’re in Iceland, and generally learn more about these fantastic animals. Plus, the stable will help you remain comfortable through the process.

Almost all of the Icelandic horses in Iceland are privately owned, and that means you cannot simply run-up to one on the side of the road without breaking a few laws. You need to check out one of the specialized stables to meet an Icelandic horse safely and legally.

The second thing to remain aware of is that while Icelandic horses may be on the short side, they are incredibly spirited. Approaching a horse outside a stable without the owner may result in bites or kicks, and even in a stable, you should carefully listen to the operators.( in our case it is Magnus A.K.A THE HORSE WHISPERER)

Adventuring Off the Beaten Path

Iceland may have modern conveniences, but there is something magical about traveling across the land on the back of a horse the same way people did for centuries. Horseback riding is also the best way to reach some of Iceland’s more unique landscapes and even hidden gems near Reykjavik.

Horseback riding in Iceland allows you to traverse places where roads do not reach or that would take a while to reach on foot. Some of the spectacular gems in the landscape are only reachable using the surefooted Icelandic horse, and the unspoiled beauty is worth the ride alone.

Leaving for horseback riding near Reykjavik is the start of an adventure. You’ll see things you never would have otherwise and will have unique memories of your trip. You may even make a new furry best friend along the way.

Horseback riding in Iceland also lets you connect to Iceland’s roots. When you travel on horseback in Iceland, you’re traveling the same way the Vikings that founded the country saw the landscape, whether leaving from Reykjavik or another point on the ring road.

Adventure is always around the corner in Iceland, and having four hooves to take you there is an amazing way to make the journey. Consider trotting off the beaten path with a surefooted Icelandic horse beneath you when you visit Iceland.

Unique Winter Experiences

Winter is a magical time in Iceland when the sun rises less frequently, and the snows blanket everything in serenity. You may come chasing the aurora borealis or looking for unique views of the lava flows. Winter is also a magic time for horseback riding in Iceland.

Icelandic horses evolved to live outside and did so for many centuries even while their owners pampered them. As a result, the breed grows a thick winter coat that makes them even more adorable as it keeps them warm.

It’s normal for Icelandic horses to be ridden through the winter, and their surefootedness is legendary. You can enjoy going horseback riding through the snow in Iceland as well, as many organizations remain open through the season, especially near Reykjavik.

Whether you would like to see peaceful, snow-covered forests or how lava and snow mix, there’s a ride on an Icelandic horse available. Spending time in the winter with these majestic animals is always a treat, and you’ll love how winter rides go.

Winter riding is also a unique opportunity. You can dress as the locals do in layers of sweaters, enjoy the snow brushing your boots, visit sights that aren’t reachable in the summer, and more. Winter horseback riding in Iceland is guaranteed to be the highlight of any trip.

Sheep Herding for Tourists

Every year, a tradition takes place in Iceland called Réttir. This event happens in the fall and involves rounding up the local sheep from their summer pastures. This event is also a unique opportunity for visitors to enjoy horseback riding in Iceland with the locals.

Réttir happens throughout September and October, so there are many opportunities for visitors to join. Réttir generally involves several days on horseback, searching for the sheep and bringing them back, followed by a party upon completion of the task.

If you’re an experienced horseperson, taking part in Réttir may be an amazing way to connect with Icelandic culture and Icelandic horses. This multi-day experience immerses you in Icelandic horse culture, and you’ll partner with your mount to complete the tasks, forming a lasting bond.

Réttir happens once per year, and there are a limited number of local groups that allow visitor participation. If you would like to participate, you may wish to investigate and book your spot soon so you know you can enjoy the festivities.

Even if you do not want to explore sheep herding during Réttir, visiting Iceland during this time is a unique experience on its own. Not only can you still enjoy normal horseback riding in Iceland, but you can also enjoy unique Icelandic dishes only available during the period, such as fresh organic lamb.

Do you want to take a horseback riding adventure near Reykjavik during your visit? Check out the options from Alhestar today!

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