For decades, the only horses on the Kolkuós farm were those that passed through on riding tours. The famous herd had been split up and dispersed throughout Iceland. I am no expert, but my understanding is that the original breeding line can never be reconstituted.
But there must be horses at Kolkuós! And, while not the original herd, at least horses from the line. In the summer of 2006, a small group of young horses was brought to Kolkuós from Hafsteinsstaðir. They would live at the farm and be joined by others in the area.
I missed the moment when Skapti brought the horses the day before. But here is the herd of youngsters. Remember, these horses have been raised Icelandic: they have not been coddled by humans every day, are not even halter-trained. But they are just naturally friendly and curious about people.
See for yourself:
Later that day there was to be a little party to celebrating the release of these young horses into the Kolkuós pastures. Local dignitaries were invited. While waiting for the event to start Sarah and I hung out a bit with Jón Aðalsteinn Baldvinsson, the Bishop of Hólar. In historical times the bishop of Hólar held the greatest political and economic power of northwest Iceland. Go here to read more about the colorful history of Hólar. I was curious to see what the modern Bishop of Hólar would be like.
Only in Iceland could the following conversation take place with a bishop!
Jón Baldvinsson was so nice that it inspired me to wonder about setting up a business of arranging weddings at Kolkuós for horse-crazed couples… Imagine the trumpets and the processional on tölting Kolkuós horses…
Well, back to reality! Valgeir had arranged for some horses to be brought to Kolkuós to escort the small herd that Skapti had delivered the previous day from Hafsteinsstaðir to the pastures of the farm. It would give us all — people and horses — a chance to socialize and eat (graze) before the formal release. Valgeir had arranged for Icelandic pastries and, of course, coffee, but the fresh Skagafjörður grass came on its own.
The rain not withstanding, it was a wonderful event. And if you are interested in Icelandic horses you need to be there. That’s what this video is for! Come join the party!