Sour milk, muesli, bananas and brown sugar. Aka the Icelandic breakfast. Hop on the saddle and join me to a horseback hike in northern Iceland!
A few years ago I accomplished one of my dreams and traveled to Iceland. I also got two dreams with one stone as I did a 300 kilometer horseback hike on an Icelandic horse.
I took part in Ishestar’s international trip where we traveled to the fells of eastern Iceland amidst a herd of wild horses.
The trip hit me like a ton of bricks and as soon as I got back home, I started saving for a new one.
In the summer of 2016 we went back to this isle of mystery and wonder
There were nine of us Finns, eagerly waiting for the hike to the Fjördur Wilderness, a place that hasn’t been populated since 40’s. Accompanied only by our rides, birds, arctic foxes and the glorious nature, trolls, goblins and all. Not to mention exquisite food!
Guiding us was Satu Rämö, a Finn living in Iceland. She was, to put it mildly, a female MacGyver. So we knew this was going to be fun! The whole thing was organized by Polar Hestar.
We packed out saddle bags and took some additional horses along to carry our stuff and to switch around when need be.
The scenery was mindblowing the whole time. We took plenty of breaks so that the horses (and their riders) get to rest up and eat. The amazing part of that place was that there were no passers by, no traffic.
During the hike we were told many a tale, fact and fiction. And I’m sorry but goblins are totally real.
The terrain was barren and harsh and at times I wondered how the horses even managed. There were steep, rocky ascents and descents, narrow trails and river crossings. But since this wasn’t my first rodeo, I knew they’d have no trouble.
At the end of each day we’d create a graze for them out of sticks and rope so they could have a little free roaming.
We spent the nights in wilderness huts, not unlike the ones in Finland. Us girls were treated like queens with the nearly all-male staff handling food preparations.
A chance to sit back and relax while someone serves you food and even does the dishes? Yes please!
One of the most peculiar places to sit by a fire had to be the fjord. A sunset beyond the Atlantic while a fire made of driftwood crackles beside you.
The main thing you need to bring to an Icelandic horseback hike is the proper attitude. A wild spirit and skills in off-road riding don’t hurt either.
Horseback riding and hiking in general are special because you can practice them anywhere in the world.
My spouse and I have this arrangement where they do their thing and I book horseback hikes for myself so I get a chance to get acquainted with the local nature and people. So far I’ve been to Scotland and Saarenmaa on horseback.
Hiking can be accomplished in many ways but on horseback it leaves a more memorable mark. As I’m typing this, I’m placing another penny in the savings account. Dreams sometimes tend to come true.