In praise of the Icelandic pony

A couple of days ago, I wrote about traveling to Reykjavik, Iceland and the Golden Circle. Today I’m back with the promised follow-up on the inimitable Icelandic horse.

First things first: Is the Icelandic a pony_—_or a horse? That depends on your definition, I suppose. But based purely on size and conformation, let’s say “pony.” As evidence, I submit my 6’4″ (1.93-metre) husband on his mount.

Regardless of what you call these beasties, though, one thing is certain: They are remarkable. Their small size belies their toughness, and their temperament is sweet and docile.

They’re also extremely sure-footed. I took comfort in this fact as our trail ride from the Laxnes Horse Farm took us into the nearby mountains.

And as I soon discovered, being on horseback is one of the best ways to see Iceland. The easy pace lets you take in the stunning landscape …

… and the (slightly) higher perch provides a unique perspective. Here’s my self-portrait on horseback:

Of course, just being with the horses was a big part of the experience. It didn’t take us long to bond with our mounts …

… or to appreciate their fuzzy beauty.

When lunchtime came around, Steve and I were content to just sit on a rock and watch our ponies graze.

I enjoyed the horse’s-eye view as my mare led the herd back to the farm.

And although I was a little disappointed in not being able to get her to tölt, based on my friend knotrune‘s description, it’s probably just as well: “Very level [gait], they say you can carry a glass of water without spilling it … but sways side to side a lot.”

Still … maybe next time.

Want to know more about Icelandic ponies / horses? The Wikipedia page is superb—as are the folks at Laxnes Horse Farm. Happy trails!


    • … and thank *you* for reading! I’m always honored to hear from you because I admire you very much, both as a traveler and a writer. 🙂

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