Learning to Ride Icelandic Horses

To start my Iceland riding adventure, I first wanted a lesson in how exactly to get these furry Icelandic horses to t?lt. Our crew headed to a riding center right outside of Reykjavik to start our Iceland equestrian vacation through the lava fields, countryside and to traditional farms in Iceland. My instructor Einar had a fun time watching me break to a trot during our learning session. I rode a horse who name means Black Beauty in English, who was a good tolter, but whose trot was insanely jarring. It was all the more reason to stay in the tolt.

The tolt, a four beat gait, similar to the running walk, is a smooth gait. It has helped the Iclandic people get around their rough, terrain for centuries. Icelandic horses, in addition to the walk, trot and canter, may also t?lt and pace. I wasn’t getting to the pace right away, as it is very fast, but was happy to learn the t?lt for my riding adventures.

After a few spins in the ring, Einar took me out for a ride through lava fields and by a nearby lake, where there was an area of trees. This is unusual in Iceland.

I was doing pretty well in the t?lt out on the trails and really enjoying it. The Icelandic horses are strong and seemingly unafraid of the gusty wind and wild terrain in Iceland. Not bad qualities for riders who are looking to explore the wilds of Iceland.

Learn more about Equitrekking on PBS and the Iceland episodes and learn about exceptional equestrian vacations, including Iceland equestrian vacations, at EquitrekkingTravel.com.

Gabrielle Baker IHSA
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