Because he is coming from a horse family, Kiddi – short for Kristinn – has been riding all his life, at least as long as he remembers. This family tradition continues: all of Kiddi‘s and Birna‘s six kids have been on horseback before they could walk. Three of their kids are still living on the farm, helping out with the horses, competing so that the next generation will be ready to take over one day.
Horses are not just a hobby for Kiddi and his family, they are their livestock – and their life: They breed, train and sell horses. Kiddi laughed when asked how many horses they had: ‘Something between 100 and 200 horses. They come and go.’ There is a constant fluctuation, depending on how many they are selling. Many of their horses are sold abroad, mostly to Germany, Denmark or Sweden. So their daily life revolves around the horses: breed – train – sell – repeat. Asked if he ever got tired of riding, he gets serious. ‘No, never. I just had a surgery on my shoulder, so I’m not allowed on the horseback for 6 weeks. This is probably the longest period that I ever spent not riding. And I hate it.’
He will not get bored though; because it’s Iceland, they are not only doing just one single thing. They also breed and train sheep dogs. For that purpose they also have twenty-something sheep on their farm, ‘…and for the meat on our riding tours’ adds Kiddi with a wink.
Kiddi training the sheep dogs
Even though riding is a big part of their daily routine, there is something that brings a spark to his eyes: ‘Riding with a herd of horses through the Icelandic highlands – there is nothing quite like it. This feeling of freedom and ferocity I can’t really explain. You have to experience it for yourself. Once you have been there you know what I mean.’ Therefore the highlight of his year clearly are the multi-day tours he organises every summer. And luckily for all of us he is willing to share this experience and his favourite places with us. Asked to name his most special place, he struggles. They are too many: The canyon Ófærugíl is clearly one of them. A narrow gorge where the horses have to pass one by one while crossing rivers. (Ófærugíl is part of the Special Tour)
And guess what? If you really like the horse you are riding on one of their tours, you might be able to take it home with you. Unless it is Fífill (Dandelion), Kiddi’s favourite horse. ‘He is almost 20 years now. I got him when he was 4 or 5 and I taught him many tricks. He is almost a circus horse by now.’
Take a look here if you want to join Kiddi’s family on their tours – the two teenaged kids are riding along, too, if they are not participating in riding competitions.
With a maximum of 12 riders per tour, this feels more like a family trip than anything else and Kiddi and his horses will make sure that everyone on this tour gets to experience moments they will never forget. These lasting memories will be something that you take home with you, even if you don’t take one of the horses!
You can see some of their horses on Instagram
For us they run the tours: