My First Trek

Wondering what it’s like to go on a horse trek in Iceland?  This is a video I shot during my first trek, the one that really got me hooked on horseback riding.

It was in 2000. I had been taking lessons for all of four months and I was about to go on a 5 day riding trek.  But first we were going to spend a few days at the Landsmot.

I really don’t think the Landsmot is good preparation for trekking if you are an inexperienced rider.  There I was, watching the best riders zipping around the track on the best, most explosive, horses in Iceland.  All my ideas of what actually would hold me on a horse fell, as I knew I soon would, by the wayside.

Each night the herd of 60 horses was turned out in a pasture and then herded into a paddock where the ones who were to be ridden would be selected.  Sometimes it was a little game, as you will see.

The length of each day’s ride is often measured in horses —  a one, two, or three horse day.  The spares would ride with us in a loose, but very orderly, herd.

We would stop for a snack, a change of horses, and some kidding around. Here, we took advantage of a round-up pen that the local farmers use to herd and separate their sheep and horses from the highlands in the fall.

The roads — and not all of them in the country — have horse tracks just off to the side.

The trek was organized by Holly Nelson and Brad Vogel who rode with us.  They had recently formed Horses North, a company that arranges tours and travel in and to Iceland.


I shot this video in 2000, on my my first horse trek anywhere.   Many practices were unfamiliar to me but I respected and accepted them as being authentic “Icelandic”. You will have seen examples in the videos shot that day — the farmer’s seat with a straight leg not contacting the horse, etc.  Looking at the videos of that trip now the most jarring behavior was people riding without helmets.  I certainly do not respect or accept this dangerous practice and feel compelled to post videos with the comment that I have just made.  Riding without helmets was much more common then than it is today.

So, where is this place, anyway?

2 thoughts on “My First Trek

  1. Stan…really enjoy these videos. THANKS! Raven

  2. Thank you for posting these–it looks fantastic. What an experience.

    I would have enjoyed the videos a lot more without the music. It’s much more interesting listening to the natural sounds–the horses, the riders, the wind, etc., and those parts without music were good.

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