Landsmot — Looking for a Story

Every other year, the best horses and riders from all over Iceland come and compete against each other.  It’s called the Landsmot.  In 2006 the crowd came for some nice, fast tolt.  And they get plenty of it.

Everyone was filming and photographing.  I wanted to show something original, in my own style.  So I had to find my unique story….

So then this one rider goes on and wins some more.  And, don’t you know it, there are thousands cameras capturing this scene. 

Like every other competition, this one guy, Diddi, seems to tolt away as the winner. Everyone, including Diddi seems to expect it.  He can take as many victory laps as he wants.  It’s still a good show even if there are no surprises.

But for me, that’s not my story.  I’m not looking for news, just the unusual.  And Diddi winning is the same old, same old. Been there, done that kind of thing. Sorry Diddi.

This website is a journal about my experiences with becoming a horseman.  It is a series of digressions.  In fact, I sometimes refer to it as Digressions on the Horse. But things have a way of coming together. But somewhere in this crowd there just has to be an unusual story.  So, I scanned the crowd.

I saw a lot of people I know from different trips and activities in Iceland. That’s the wonderful thing about the horse community in Iceland — it’s small enough so you can feel connected to the whole.  I think that perhaps that’s the most fun for me about Landsmot, seeing the people and the horses with which I have some kind of relationship.  Take, for example, the family below, Ingunn (in the cap) and her mother, Unnur, and her father, Ingolfur.  Obviously, I know them.  How else would Ingunn have gotten a hat?

And if you’ve been spending any time at, you’ll remember her, too!

Remember her? Riding her stallion, Hagangur?

The whole family — present and future — turned out to see this! One of Hagangur’s offspring get evaluated.

Talking about connections, there is Mette Manseth.

She’s here riding, knows Ingunn, is a great camera subject…

But she has her own pit crew… The Factory Team…

Oh, of course! Thordur! Perfect…Good-looking, good-natured, good sense of humor as well as a great rider… He’s been to our farm and gone riding with us in Pine Plains.  And he is also the top evaluation rider.

But this is really his busy, busy day… I would not dream of interfering with him today.

There are lots of behind-the scenes heroes of the horse world, the farmers and breeders.  And there are a few in this crowd.

Just to make it clear, Helgi is Ingolfur’s father and therefore Ingunn’s grandfather. He is here to see a mare he bred get a 10 for tolt. Yes, 10 for tolt. Watch!

There is no way to add to or top this story. Ten for Tolt. Wow! There it is.

But speaking of top breeders, though, here is Skapti from Hafsteinsstadir getting ready to go on the track.  He has a connection to one of my favorite places in Iceland, the old farm, Kolkuos, shown in this video:

Skapti actually bred the famous stallion, Feykir, on his farm and my horse, Sómi, is from Feykir.  When When I visited Skapti at Hafsteinstadir, he very graciously tacked up one of Sómi’s younger brothers and took him for a spin down the road just so I could see him in action.  And high action it was!  It was a generous thing to do, take the horse out just to show me, and I know he would make a good film subject.  You will see in the video that his breeding is so special that they had a special presentation of his line at this Landsmót.

But I am going to Kolkuos the next week… I need a story NOW! I am desperate!


How about a sideline of kids at Landsmot? I’ll bet that’s never been done before!

Looks like the kids are too busy playing Vikings.

Okay, I could profile people wearing my HESTAKAUP.COM hats…

That would be really jumping the shark.  And would reveal my total desperation for a story.

And then, a total unconnected stranger, a guy I had never met before, gave me the story!

So, friends, for the the story I decided to tell, go here to Three Guys and a Horse from Dalvik.

Where is this Landsmót, anyway?

There is no one location for the event.  It has been alternating between a large plain in the north of  Iceland and the capital, Reykjavik, in the South.  As this was shot when it was in the north, in Vindheimermelar, I will show that on the map.   It is just outside the crossroads of Varmalhid, in Skagafjordur. It is just about my favorite region in Iceland.

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