Monday, July 24, 2006

Meanwhile - the Tourists

Meanwhile, a busload of Japanese tourists are getting ready to saddle-up.

With a chaotic obligatory, pre-mount photo shoot in progress here. (Click to enlarge photo to count the cameras.)

Help - I need a good stylist! The manes on these beauties are part of their charm. Not to mention

their lips. Posted by Picasa

Back at the Barn

Back at the barn, saddles off, the horses are all very sweaty from their fast pace.

One by one, each of the horses takes a roll in the gravel to scratch their sweaty backs.
All of them except my girl, who, even though she was the smallest and ran the most, has barely broken a sweat. This is one fit horse. Posted by Picasa

Greener than green

The moss and grass here is greener than I have ever seen.

Something about the shorter growing period and increased chlorophyll I think.

Other Icelandic Horses lounging as we passed. Laying totally over on their side, they looked sick, but were OK. Its just their unique way to relax. Posted by Picasa

Horse ride

The saddles they use in Iceland are minimal, and very comfortable. We have ridden rental horses in many places: Costa Rica, Hawaii, New York. Never have we had such an enjoyable experience as here.

It is all due to the horses. They are athletes, charging over any terrain, rocky, sandy, mossy, river, they just charge through it. They run up the hills. Their gaits are so smooth.

Again, my view going home. Sleeping Beauty trying to pass the horse in front of her. Posted by Picasa


We rode to this beautiful waterall. The rushing water has, over the years, carved out some stunning landscape.


Not every farmer in Iceland has this view on his land - but many have similar ones. Posted by Picasa

Horseback in Iceland

This gives you an idea of some of the terrain of Iceland. We started out in a flatter area, and headed toward the mountains.
Water is everywhere here, running from glaciers to the ocean surrounding us.
Sleeping Beauty was a misnomer. My horse was constantly trying to take the lead, so this was often my view. Posted by Picasa

Riding the Icelandic Horse

We decided we must experience the 5-gaited Icelandic horse, after hearing their story. They were brought over to Iceland from Norway by the Vikings, and noothers were allower to join the originals for the next 800 years. The result is a unique, extremely pure breed. Also disease free.

Once a horse is taken off Iceland, it is not allowed to return. They are an amazingly hardy, athletic breed, a bit smaller than mosy horses, but not a pony.
This was my mount - Sleeping Beauty - but she was anything but.

Gearing up for the trail ride. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Wild horses in the road

Not really wild, every horse in Iceland is owned by someone. They were grazing on open range, and occasionally on open road. They were very wild looking, but would come up to a person if the person was offering something to eat, kind of like the bears at Yellowstone.

The mares all had foals with them. The youngsters are left out on the range and not trained until they reach the age of 4. Icelandic horses commonly live to their late 20`s, early 30`s, which is very old for a horse. Must be the fresh air and clean living. Posted by Picasa

Close-ups of Gulfoss

Now THIS is a waterfall.

 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Gulfoss Waterfall

Another major stop on the Golden Circle tourist tour, Gulfoss. We went down the path in the first picture to get some of the following close-up photos.

We got soaked from the spray in the process. I guess that`s why there were not many others down there. It was the detourist route.

 Posted by Picasa


The white between the dark blue mountains is a glacier.
 Posted by Picasa