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Iceland - Kjolur
 

Iceland - Kjolur

Riding in Iceland is a unique experience - an opportunity to ride strong, willing horses over exciting and adventurous terrain. Riding an Icelandic horse is not only tremendous fun, it's also a great way to experience the natural beauty of Iceland; snow topped mountains, the largest glacier in Europe, volcanoes, thundering waterfalls and striking lunar landscapes.

The Icelandic horse is a pure-bred descendant of those brought to Iceland by the Vikings over a thousand years ago. Horses remain an important part of Icelandic culture; they are used on remote farms to round up livestock and are still the best means of getting around in many parts of the island. Although small, the Icelandic is a powerful horse and has no difficulty carrying someone weighing 100kgs.

What makes this horse special is its fourth gait, the tölt, which is comparable to a running walk. Most riders can master it fairly quickly; it's fast, comfortable and enables the horse to cover great distances.

THE KJÓLUR - 'Between the Glaciers' Move back in time and ride 225km along the historic Kjölur trail as the Icelanders did throughout the centuries while travelling to the summer parliament at Þingvellir. Famed for the natural beauty and varied landscape of the highlands, this tour runs south to north or vice versa on the ancient route across the heart of Iceland. Pia Thommes went on the Kjolur ride in summer 2012 and put together a photo book of her trip, which you can see here.

Ride through remote desert-like areas and cross wild glacial rivers. As you pass the extinct volcanoes and glacier lakes, scattered areas of grassland come as a surprise in this landscape shaped by glaciers, ice and snow. Bathe in natural hot springs in the heart of the country. On the trail you change horses once or twice a day and as you ride, the herd of up to fifty loose horses travels with you.

Sleeping bag accommodation on the trail is in simple mountain huts and refuges. These are comfortable but with limited facilities and hot water is not available on two nights. In Reykjavik you stay in a hostel with two to four people per room.

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Icelandic Riding Specialist  Chris Day

Chris says:

These rides are such fun! Nothing compares to riding with a herd of loose horses through amazing and diverse landscape. This remains my favourite ride to date.

My top tip:

When you're riding with the herd you simply can't stop, so be prepared for long hours of fast riding at a 'tölt'. Don't forget your earplugs for the mountain huts!

Call: 01299 272 237 | email: chris@inthesaddle.com |
 
 
 

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