Let us go back to blogging shall we? Because I have lots of neat things to tell, today I will tell about horse riding! So because I know you guys really like your horsies, just saddle up and let’s start the ride!
Last Spring my Fiancée came to visit for two weeks. She had been in Iceland before but not that long so she was determined to make the most of her stay that time. My Fiancée also happens to be a horse person and she is particularly fond of the tiny, fluffy and friendly Icelandic horses. Because of that and because I’m a good guy, I ended up arranging an afternoon ride with the crew of Laxness Horse Farm.
Situated just out of Mosfellsbær (N-East of Reykjavík), the farm is quite the famous place! Family-run for more than 45 years, it has been visited by a slew of famous personalities like Viggo Mortensen and Ben Stiller (remember that The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was filmed here in Iceland). Together with the fact that they proposed some decent-length tours, it was the reason that pushed us booking there.
Because we don’t have a car and did not really felt like walking for 3 hours we decided to take the bus to Mosfellssbær. It took only about 15 minutes and once there, we just had to check at the local tourist information to be told we would be picked right there in a little more than an hour. That was neat and it gave us some time to check the surroundings. We decided to go visit the little village of Álafosskvos, just a couple hundred yards away. The walk was rewarding, the place is really green with nice parks and a craftsmen center that impressed even the blasé guide that I am!
After that we went back to the tourist information and got picked up. The ride to the farm took less than ten minutes and we started chatting with the other tourists, a group of positively enthused Canadian girls.
Once there it started drizzling and I, together with I think everyone on board crossed fingers that the weather would hold. In the meanwhile, we were each assigned horses depending on our riding experience. Having ridden such horses before (thanks to the fiancée !) I bragged aloud about my towering skills and was consequently given once of the group’s most relentless animal, a creature named Dreki (Dragon in Icelandic)!
Then we rode.
The rain was actually manageable and everyone in the group was in good spirits. Despite the fact that my horse did not really listen to anything I told him to do, we kept going in the right direction the whole time. We crossed a couple fords, strolled past long and wet fields all the way until we reached a tiny waterfall, not very far from the outskirts of Mosfellsbær.
We had a little stop then to let the horses rest and shake our legs. The landscape back there was simply amazing: The dark earth of the hills overlooking the crystal clear stream and the green lush of the patchy ground we stopped by created a very homely atmosphere, despite the fact that it was basically at the border of the mountains.
After maybe 20 minutes rest it was time to ride back, again following the beautiful stream that lead back to the farm. On the way, once of our guides (who were always very careful to be sure everyone stayed up) left her saddle on the side of the path: Her horse had some problem and she did not want to vex him so she simply continued bareback! For me, who had problem just keeping my horse in tow, this seemed quite impressive!
In any cases, the way back ended up being even nicer than the original ride as the sky started clearing up. We attempted to get in a slightly more ordered single file so to keep the horse at peace, but my garron did NOT want to be peaceful and kept breaking the line as often as he possibly could. Despite that Dreki was a nice horse. Nice in the sense that he did not throw me in the mud, but I could feel that he did not consider me worthy enough to ride him. Let’s hope he gets cast for next season of Game of Thrones. I heard Jon Snow might need a new horse soon. Regardless of his rather tempestuous temperament, he took me back to the farm in one piece and did only add some salt to an otherwise very peaceful ride.
Overall, we spent a nice couple hours on horseback, crossing rivers and riding on old farm paths. I would totally recommend the ride to just about anyone interested either in Horses or in Iceland. I felt that discovering the beautiful Icelandic landscape is actually much nicer atop a noble destrier than loaded on a bus. Just be sure to be tough enough if you end up on the top of a dragon!