Upon the mention of horseback riding, people often hold the preconceived notions of boredom, fright, or simply of it being a personally unattractive prospect. Things change completely, when one suggests the same idea in Iceland.
Thanks to Laxnes Horse Farm – a small family operation – I had the opportunity to go horseback riding through the mountains of Iceland, specifically in the area surrounding Mosfellsbær. The experience combined the gracious hospitality of a rural Icelandic family, close contact with a species of horse known only to this part of the world, and the impactful natural beauty of Iceland.
Upon arrival, you receive the warm welcome of the proprietary family of Laxnes Horse Farm. Once inside the farmhouse, the family offers to equip you with a special suit, designed to keep you dry and covered while on the horse, with the added benefit of keeping your own clothes clean. This is the recommended option, and above all, it is free of charge.
Next, the enjoyable process of choosing a horse takes place, where based on your experience, they assign you to a horse. They then individually brief each participant on the proper riding technique, thus facilitating control of the marvelous animal on the trail.
Once everyone is seated on his or her mount, we begin the route, and set off for the surrounding mountains at a steady rhythm. This is the first phase where you begin to connect and feel comfortable with your horse, all the while enjoying the spectacular passing landscape.
In the second phase of the route, the experience takes on a more personalized tone. You can chose between continuing on foot while guiding the horse by the reigns at an unhurried pace, or on the contrary, up the ante by continuing on horseback at first a trot, then at full gallop. Like the brave soul I am, I chose the latter, so I could experience the full force and velocity that the Icelandic horse had to offer. Pure adrenaline and unforgettable experience.
The last stop of the tour is when we returned to the farm, where the staff welcomed us with a warm coffee, delicious bread, sweet buns, and homemade cakes.
The experience was truly exhilarating, unique, and one that allows you to fully appreciate the pure natural wonder of the Icelandic countryside.