This was a late start… this day we had to cross the beach during low tide which mean time was a tricky thing to manage. With the morning to spare, we relaxed at the hotel and caught up on our facebook and emails.
When time came around, we went through the now routine tasks of receiving our horses, tacking up, and waiting until everyone was set. I was given another small chestnut named Thula, or Verse, who had a big beautiful blaze down to a pink nose. She was very affectionate and Lynn told me that it was the horse she had ridden at the beach the day previous (as she was her favourite)
We were further delayed after we got our horses when another group of riders herding passed us on their way to the beach, which led to most of us napping on or with our horses. I took a lot of video of things blowing in the strong wind that had picked up that day… manes… flowers… stirrups… you get the drift.
We made our way to the beach and all groaned a bit when we saw the other group of herders waiting around. It would be a leapfrog scenario which could pose issues in controlling the herd and keeping them from mixing. We did stop for a rest while they made their way ahead again, hoping to give them enough of a lead to ensure we wouldn’t face that struggle.
Of course, again it was perfect photo op as the furry white flowers were blowing. Did I mention everything in Iceland seems to be furry and soft?
We hit the sand at a determined pace. Our delays of the second herd was making time tight, as we desperately needed to get across before the tide started to come in. Thula was a wonderful little mare, but she was small and I think the only horse being ridden the day before and was starting to tire.
We began to fall back, but she trotted on with conviction. The wind so strong it was blowing her sideways with each stride, we traveled more like a sailboat tacking across in a zig-zag pattern.
After what felt like an eternity, we reached the end of the sand, and rode along a path worn into the gras along the shore. She was so short and my legs were so long that I was becoming very creative about riding with my legs in strange positions to dodge tufts of grass on either side of the inlaid trail. Thula seemed to perk up a bit once we were off the beach, less shoe sucking sand and a slightly calmed wind ensured this.
Eventually we reached a farm where we would rest the horses, then continued on a bit farther to another place where we would swap. I was so thankful to Thula who took great care of me despite being tired and being treated like a sail by the elements. Disappointed I would have to leave this fine mare, but happy she would get a much deserved rest.
And again… we snoozed while the horses refuelled!