ON THE WAY IN THE SOUTH OF ICELAND
Black beach and hot springs. A ride around the farm Herriðarhóll
'Next year we're going to Iceland for riding, would you like to come along?' In the fall of 2017 that was the question a friend asked me for a dinner together. We - in this case - were she and her daughter and of course I felt like it. Shortly thereafter, we booked a flight and a 7-day riding tour for August 2018: 'Black beach and hot springs' a riding trip around the farm Herriðarhóll.
While the horses stay on grazing grounds overnight, the riders are picked up in the evening and driven back to the farm. In this way, you can enjoy the ride without luggage. The essentials always have space in a jacket pocket. All other things you might need during the day can be left in the supply vehicle. The Land Rover Defender, lovingly called 'Landi', bumps into the riding group twice a day during breaks to deliver drinks, sandwiches, coffee and fresh, delicious home-baked cake.
The official requirement for equestrian skill was that you can control a horse in walking, trotting (tölt) and short gallop routes. Who might doubt now, wether he can fulfill that - Stop hesitating. That was the official requirement
in the travel catalog. During the week, one participant (by the way, the only male) participated, who had only a few riding lessons before. In my opinion it is crucial, if one can imagine sitting in terrain 'relaxed and
fearless' on the horse. It may also make sense to take a riding lesson on an Icelander in advance to get a feel for the horses and their special gaits (tölt and pass).
In the video you get a little insight into the nature of the trails and the beautiful nature
The official travel description: "Riding on the black sand beach of the North Atlantic Ocean - past enchanting river landscapes and endless dune chains on the south coast of Iceland, this tour takes you to the beautiful lava sand beach of the North Atlantic.The program consists of a four-day leg ride and some shorter day or half day rides We also have a bus trip and various other excursions on the program. "
The weather in Iceland is unpredictable. Rain, wind and sun alternate, in whatever order. Rainwear you have bought at home, you can actually leave right there. Before the vacation, I had consulted with a well-known chain for equestrian needs and went home with a supposedly, 'Iceland suitable' riding raincoat. I could have saved myself both the money and the experience. Rain in Iceland is just another number. Fortunately, we were able to borrow the absolutely dense, canvas-crafted North 66 brand of oil on the farm and stayed dry for hours. What should definitely be in the suitcase is warm riding clothes. For the week in August I came out with 2 winter breeches, 3 warm sweaters, 1 wind and rainproof jacket, 3 long wool stockings, 1 hat and 2 pairs of gloves. For September you will need a thick winter jacket and best of all ski underwear. The shoes should be sturdy and waterproof. You could borrow a riding helmet on site. The weak point of my equipment currently are the gloves. So far I have not been able to find waterproof specimens. Do you know a brand? If so, I would be glad to receive a tip via eMail.
Due to its geographic isolation, Iceland has largely been spared severe infectious diseases in horses. This is also the reason why the horses could not build up resistance to these diseases. To protect the animals the import regulations for riding clothes are very strict. According them, riding clothes and all garments that have come into contact with horses and other animals must have been cleaned by washing or dry cleaning. The import of objects with leather (saddle, bridle, boots, etc.) or wax (eg waxen coats) is completely prohibited. For me, the washing machine had to process several loads. Two weeks before departure, I started to wash my clothes with prewash, soak and Sagrotan as a disinfectant (via the softener compartment). That took 4 hours each. After drying, the clothes came in a clean package and was stored. The recommendation was to store the equipment for at least 5 days before using it in the vicinity of horses in Iceland. In retrospect, I probably exaggerated the disinfection, but by no means did I even want to be guilty of the onset of a disease in the animals.
In the middle of the week, both the horses and us riders had earned a rest day. With the Landrover we went to beautiful places, off the typical tourist routes.
When you came back to the farm after an exhausting day's ride, it felt like coming home. The food was prepared and already smelled seductively from the kitchen. We were served a variety of fresh wild salmon, char, Ýsa (haddock) and
lamb. Often seasoned with the wild thyme of Iceland.
If there was enough time, we used the hot pot already before the meal, otherwise afterwards. There is nothing more relaxing than lying in the hot water, blowing the fresh Icelandic air around your nose and philosophizing together the experiences of the day. At the end of the day we ordered a breathtaking sunset over the river at the universe. What can I say - on most evenings, the order was delivered.
Herriðarhóll | Heiðarvegur | 851 Hella | Island