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Iceland - Round Up
 

Iceland - Round Up

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 ROUND UP Moving sheep and horses into the highlands for grazing during the summer is more than an annual event it is an Icelandic tradition and way of life. In September, the farmers ride into the mountains and collect their animals before the winter sets in.

The round up is an unforgettable sight. You will see thousands of sheep and/or hundreds of horses herded down the mountain slopes into the round-up pens. You are invited to take part in this very traditional Icelandic event and to join the farmers on their trusted Icelandic horses, the one means of transport capable of meeting the rigours of the round up. You need to be at least a strong intermediate rider, capable of leading your spare horse as you ride.

Accommodation at the farm is in bedrooms with two to four people per room and in Reykjavik in a hotel. After a day in the mountains you can relax in a warm outdoor tub at the farm before dinner.

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Icelandic Riding Specialist  Chris Day

Chris says:

To be riding out in such an amazing country helping with a job of work, is an incredible feeling. The whole atmosphere of the Round Up is like a big party!

My top tip:

Be prepared for cold weather and perhaps long hours of standing on top of a mountain waiting for the herd!

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

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