Horseback riding in winter is a completely different experience to riding during the warm summer months. Generally, in Iceland, we keep our horses out in the field from mid-summer until late December. The main reason for this is that Iceland becomes a complete winter wonderland full of snow and ice and the Icelandic people (and horses) enjoy riding through the snow-covered trails of winter. Our beautiful country is at its peak in the winter in terms of beauty, our fields and trees are covered with snow and riding in these conditions is really something one should experience at least once in their life. The idea that horseback riding during winter is not safe or somehow not good for the horses is simply not true. The fact is that with these changed conditions (the trails can get wet and slippery) we need to take extra precautions.
Our horses wear special winter shoes that help them keep their grip, prevent them for slipping and prevent snowballs from forming under their hoofs. The horses themselves also prepare for the cold weather in Iceland as early as September when they shed their short summer coats and longer hairs grow in its place to keep them warm throughout the winter. But it is not only the horses that have to be protected from the cold, as it can get relatively cold in Iceland it is also really important for us to dress accordingly. At Íshestar we provide warm overalls, rain gear and rubber boots free of charge, as well as warm gloves, can be bought in our store at a reasonable price.
We also do recommend that our guest come wearing a warm sweater or even a jacket that can go under our overalls, as we want to avoid being cold. At Íshestar, we have tours going out every single day of winter, we are even open on Christmas Day and the main reason for that is that we do not want to deny anyone that wants to have this breathtaking experience the chance to do so.