Sunday, April 14, 2013

Icelandic Horses

I can't even.

The absolute highlight of our trip was spending time with the Icelandic horses.  Read about them here and try to not fall under their spell.  If you're still not enraptured, watch this video and tell me these horses are not magic.

I was a little apprehensive about getting back on a horse (even a petite one) after about 25 years.  I was even more apprehensive when they were doling out horses (based on our level of experience, which I totally downplayed in order to get a "beginner" horse) and I got a guy called Frodi, who described as a "character."  Despite being charmed that his people and mine had chosen rhyming names for us, I didn't like his pulling and balking once I mounted.  Uh-oh.  Was this fear?  Yes, it definitely was.  I was also told multiple times that he liked to be at the front of the pack and to let him.  Sure thing.  I am totally totally fine with being at the front, Frodi.

Well, you know what happened?  We found our rhythm.  I discovered how to respond to his pulling and I found how to communicate with him both verbally and through the reins.  And when it was time to tolt, there we were bounding for the front of the group.  Frodi didn't just want to be at the front of the group, he wanted to win the race.  I liked this guy.  What a personality!  At one point, another rider noticed that Frodi was frothing some green stuff at his bit.  I asked our guide and she said that it showed he was happy and had good communication with his rider.  (And also that it was green because he had recently eaten.   I know you were wondering.)  Look at me, horse whispering!!!

We took the horses over the crazy Icelandic terrain.  (These little guys--don't call them ponies, btw--are perfectly cut out for it.)  The guides stopped to take our photos, as well as to point out spots of interest along the way.  It was one of the best experiences of my adult life.  Besides the horses and the riding experience, the guide we went with... shoot, I could do a whole post about her and her beautiful spirit!  The experience stoked a whole new obsession.  I have GOT to get back on an Icelandic horse this summer!

Here's Frodi, sizing me up from the side.  

Byron and Grona.

Thirsty after the ride.

Roll call.

After our hike a couple of days later, we came across these beauties who came right over to the fence to say hello.

Those blue eyes!