Flowing Mane, Thick Coat, Icelandic Horse

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On the third day of our South Iceland trip, we planned a laid-back countryside drive from Jökulsárlón to Höfn. Nothing particular was in mind except for a need to refuel our half emptied tank in preparation for our next day’s long drive to Reykjavik. And Höfn, a fishing town 50km away from where we stayed at, was the nearest town with the nearest petrol stations. We had no idea we would be invited to join Icelandic horses for lunch and learn about these friendly creatures.

Our day started after the sun peaked out of the horizon about an hour before the midday. It was a late start, but we much prefer to see the beautiful scenery while driving the Ring Road. After 20 minutes heading east, a stud of Icelandic horses appeared in our distant view. Looking adorable, they popped their heads out of the wooden fence all together.

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A stud of horses gathering by the fence

 

It was our second time seeing Icelandic horses waiting against their farm fence as if they were inviting us to a playdate. These charming, small-sized horses sported flowing mane, making them look extra stylish in the winter breeze. Covered in heavy coat, they enjoyed the Icelandic cold and changeable weather.  Since our only plan for the day was to refill the car, we quickly picked up our camera gears and acted upon this precious encounter.

As we were taking photos,  a truck came with a tractor carrying a barrel of hay. The horses were waiting for their twice-a-week lunch! Once the owner arrived at the farm, all horses immediately headed towards the hayrack and indulged into their fiber-refuel.

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All of them came to the gate when the owner arrived
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Queuing patiently for their lunch

Seeing us interested in his herd, the owner kindly gestured us to follow him into the farm. As he was introducing his horses to us, one of the horses came over, lowering his head to show affection towards his owner. Another horse followed to greet us. “Icelandic horses are very friendly and can be very clingy sometimes, especially this guy.” said the owner, gently brushing one of the horse’s hair with his hand. Undeniably, the deep bond between him and the horses was strong. To him, these horses were companions and friends.

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Come dine with me?
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Icelandic horse has the most stylish hairstyle of them all!
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Völva, 2 years old. The name means to hold wisdom and see the future.

The owner told us some facts about these horses. Some of the horses change fur colour with the season. Some have rare blue eye. Except for the race horses which stayed indoor to train, his horses mostly stayed outside on the field. He also kept different ages of horse together, so the experienced ones can teach the young. “It is good for the older horses to teach the young ones, to respect and learn manner.” He said.horses change fur colour with the season. Some have rare blue eye. Except for the race horses which stayed indoor to train, his horses mostly stayed outside on the field. He also kept different ages of horse together, so the experienced ones can teach the young. “It is good for the older horses to teach the young ones, to respect and learn manner.” He said.indoor to train, his horses mostly stayed outside on the field. He also kept different ages of horse together, so the experienced ones can teach the young. “It is good for the older horses to teach the young ones, to respect and learn manner.” He said.

IMG_0832-3This horse followed us halfway to the gate as if he’s saying goodbye.

We were very lucky to meet the friendly owner and attended the “lunch date” with these beautiful Icelandic horses. It was indeed a memorable experience learning about  these spiritual creatures which accompanied Icelanders for hundreds of years.

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