Photo Highlights: A Summer of Riding in Iceland

the calm before the storm - an empty sheep coral waits for the round up to arrive in Oxafjordur, Iceland

the calm before the storm – an empty sheep coral waits for the round up to arrive in Oxafjordur, Iceland

After 7 week-long tours and 2 sheep round up weekends, my summer of riding in Iceland has come to an end. It’s a bittersweet moment, since my butt and back are surely happy to not spend another hour in the saddle, but as soon as the last ride is over, I already start to miss the horses.

the lose herd is one of Iceland's signature horse tour characteristics

the lose herd is one of Iceland’s signature horse tour characteristics

Here are a few photos from a summer of riding Kjölur, Mývatn, The Golden Circle, Þveráhlíð and Melrakkasletta.

a rider poses over Jökulsá á fjöllum glacier river

a rider poses over Jökulsá á fjöllum glacier river

If you´re looking to book a riding tour in Iceland next summer, check out Ishestar´s long list of short and long tours on offer (some are even available all year round!).

Heading into Mývatnssveit

Heading into Mývatnssveit

Other operators that I´d also highly recommend are Exploring Iceland, Riding Iceland, and Hestasport in Skagafjordur, North Iceland.

my second Kjölur group

my second Kjölur group under Langjökull glacier

Northern Exposure around Mývatn

There is a lake in Iceland affectionately called Mývatn, which literally translates to ´lake of the midges,´or a.k.a annoying-fly-lake. But, if its rainy and windy, the midges have a hard time flying, and we actually looked forward to cold and wet weather. It was storming like crazy all around the rest of Iceland, especially the south coast where the national horse competition Landsmót had been cancelled for 2 and a half days out of 6… But somehow, we managed to get the best weather in Iceland, with mostly sun and clear skies, and of course a few midges.

good weather over the desert highland

good weather over the desert highland

We were riding with Halldór and his horses from Bjarnastaðir, and most of the staff were related to him except me. It was his first time operating the tour and my first time guiding the tour, so we had a blast going back and forth trying to decide who had to decide what and when and where and how. We couldn´t have asked for a better group of guests, they were all great riders and super patient, so even though they were riding a herd of horses still kicking with spring fever, and we weren´t getting home until late every evening but waking up early every morning, they never stopped smiling and laughing.

Jarðböðin, the Mývatn nature baths

Jarðböðin, the Mývatn nature baths

The trip wasn´t just a riding trip, but also a sight-seeing trip of the area around Mývatn. We soaked in the luxurious Mývatn Nature baths, the blue lagoon of the north, and also some local swimming pools. We checked out the funny lava formations at Dimmuborgir and the caves at Grjotagja, the waterfalls Dettifoss and Hafragilsfoss, the red cliffs at Hljodaklettar and the horse-shoe shaped Asbyrgi canyon.

Halldór infront of Hljóðklettar

Halldór infront of Hljóðklettar

We learned lots about birdlife and wanted to go whale watching, but our luck with good weather finally ran out on the last day as our whale-watching tour from Husavik got cancelled due to stormy seas. We opted to go to the Whale Museum instead, so atleast we got to see some pictures and bones of whales, but then our flight also got cancelled and we have to take an impromptu roadtrip to Akureyri to catch another flight out that afternoon.

the horses liked playing in the puddles

the horses liked playing in the puddles

In the end we all made it back to Reykjavik in one piece, except for one poor guest who had her collar bone in two pieces. We tried to expand our group by picking up the two captains, but they didnt fall for it so me and a couple girls capped the night off with a drink together before saying goodbye.