Riding in Iceland – Day 3, Horse 2

After a nice long break, and cramming my rain pants into my saddle bags, our guides got to work fetching horses for us again.  I was handed a tiny chestnut gelding, and told his name was “Friend”.  Yes, our hosts had given up telling us their Icelandic names, and kindly translated them to English.  I guess 3 days of butchered language is enough!

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A size to rival Chipmunk, but given his name, I was more confident in his intentions for me.  I saddled him up, a little unsure once again where the saddle should exactly go on him, since it was about the same size as his back.  Starting with him, I began to judge where the saddle should go, not from the whithers as I am used to, but relative from the point of hip.  Back to front, makes sense when you are out of your element, just do things backwards!

My stirrups dangled just above Friend’s knees.  This should be interesting!

On a side note, I have had a lot of people ask if it feels weird to go from 16 something hand Bentley to the smaller horses… Mongolian, Icelandic… and the answer is no, it doesn’t really!  Its much weirder going BACK to the big horses.  The horses were so strong and sturdy, I never felt too big for them, and the view never seemed terribly strange.

Friend was a back of the herd horse, so we found our spot while the horses were released.  He was nice and forward with a very smooth gait.   Little legs make for easy riding!

Despite his small size, he had a zip in him, which made him good for picking off horses who decided they would rather wander off for a snack than follow the herd.

The rocks were getting tougher, the bugs were coming out, but we were all getting tougher too.

Lynne gave us a great piece of advice for riding with the nasty bugs… put your hand up in the air!  Apparently the bugs will go to the highest point.  It worked, for about 50% of the bugs, but it was enough to offer some relief.  We passed some hikers, our hands in the air, waving as though we were on parade.  Well played, just act cool!

It was a relatively short leg, but it flew by.  Being back of the pack, I was able to ride with different people, different horse, and different views.  It was fantastic to watch the herd ahead of us.

 

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