Travel Articles

Iceland- Horse Drive

Today, we drove a herd of 50 horses to Gullfoss, a huge waterfall, in Iceland. I have to admit, since I had only just gotten to Iceland and ridden Icelandics once, I was a little nervous, as we took off at a fast tolt with 50 horses behind me and about ten other Icelandic riders yelping at the top of their lungs, as we took off from a trial and into the lava fields.

Einar Bollason, who owns Ishestar recommended the ride with farmers- a traditional horse drive. In Iceland, people use these horse drives to help train their horses. It’s also traditional to ride with more than one horse, so that you can change mounts and keep a good pace over longer distances.

Asa, a wild blond woman who is a LOT of fun to ride with, was in the lead with me, coaching me a bit as we rode. It was a wild ride. At one point we caused a traffic jam, as our horses basically took over the road. When I say THE road, I mean Hwy 1, Iceland’s main road. It’s not exactly busy, but it is the main highway, so it was funny to see the horses claiming ownership, as opposed to cars. (Asa leads the Kjolur Glaciers ride that you can book through Equitrekking Travel.)

My horse was so excited during part of the ride. We kept breaking from a tolt to a canter and back. It was such a rush.

At Gullfoss, there was a “horse parking lot,” a paddock just for the horses. We enjoyed the walking down to the Golden Waterfalls and seeing other tourists reactions as we pulled up with 50 horses and then grabbed a bite to eat. Only in Iceland.

Learn more about horseback riding vacations in Iceland.

Darley Newman is an equestrian travel expert and the host of the Public Television series Equitrekking®, which takes viewers on horseback riding vacations around the world. Visit and purchase Equitrekking DVDs, the Equitrekking Travel Adventures on Horseback book and more at