Monday, 7 September 2015

Horsing Around Among the False Craters of Reykjavik

Icelandic horses are smallish in stature, very sturdy, and quite passive in their demeanour.
Their bloodline has remained unsullied from outside influence for over a thousand years.
So much so that it is illegal to import any horse into the country for fear of disease. 
Once a horse is exported, it can never come back.
Which means competing in horse events overseas for Icelanders is a tricky business..
Natalie looking quietly confident.
My casual one-handed attitude stems from watching too many Westerns rather than in knowing what I was doing.
I did think I was going to fall off a couple of times.
There wasn't much to hold on to.
Two Horsketeers after their ride...

Waiting for instructions on which end of the horse to get on.
We organised this through a stable called Islenski Hesturinn (the Icelandic Horse).
Very professional and great fun...
Thank goodness for the iPhone pano feature.
This gives a bit of an idea about the terrain we rode though.
It's not that rough or hilly but the geography, the false craters, is stunning
The curious thing about Icelandic horses is that they have five different gaits - where every other horse has three.
The Tolt is famous as it is like a trot - but without the bouncing up and down as you do with a regular trot - making it faster and a lot easier to ride.
Some also have a thing called the Flying Pace - which is a faster gait but which can only be held for a short distance...
No Photoshop was used in the production of this image!
Although the riding instructor did arrange the horses so we could get a good shot.
Once the ride is over the horses are unsaddled and they go a bit mad rolling in the dirt just like a dog on the park...

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