January is an exciting time in horsemanship in Iceland. Riding horses traditionally get a few months break, usually during autumn, and now arrive back at the stables where they are kept for the winter riding season. Horse owners look forward to spending their leisure time with the horses and take part in riding tours, competitions and events organized by horse clubs. Many of them start planning riding tours during next summer, which are often the highlight of the year. Horses need to be trained for competition or highland tours where 30-70 km are covered a day and each rider takes several horses which are running free during the trip.
Riders of all ages also use the winter time for training and take part in a riding course. Thanks to excellent education of riding instructors in Iceland at the University Hólar this becomes increasingly popular.
Our horses also enjoy their freedom in the herd for several months. Eldhestar owns about 350 horses and we keep 60-80 horses at the farm from September to May. One group of horses just left happily for vacation and another came back from their long autumn break on large pastures and we begin with the winter training.
The group of horses arriving in January is particularly interesting. It always includes many of the new ones that we have bought the year before and we look forward to getting to know them better. A few horses are from our own breeding, which both focuses on gentle, soft tölters for our guests and high class competition horses whose fathers are some of the countries best stallions. Besides, every staff member now gets a horse to train for the “Eldhestar Local” competition which will be held for the second time this spring. It is always nice to see how the horses and riders improve within a few weeks!
If you would like to experience winter training, develop your riding skills or prepare for next summer’s riding tour we recommend you have a look at our Winter Riding Courses and the Winter Special Riding Course!