How to ride with a herd

The Unique Experience of Horse Trekking in Iceland with Ishestar

Iceland, with its stark landscapes and mystical terrains is every rider’s dream. But what truly makes the Icelandic riding experience unique is the old tradition of trekking with free-running herd through the rugged landscapes of Iceland.

While guests are not required to help manage the herd, those who are interested and considered suitable by our guides are always welcome to discuss the possibility of participating. This offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself more deeply in this distinctive Icelandic tradition.


Here are 9 essential rules that every rider needs to follow:


1. Trust Your Guide: Your guide knows the herd and the terrain better than anyone else. Trust their decisions, heed their advice, and don’t hesitate to ask questions if unsure.


2. Maintain a Safe Distance: If you are riding behind the herd you have to make sure to keep a safe distance from the last horse in the herd to avoid too much pressure of the herd to the riders in the front.


3. Stay In Line: While the idea of galloping alongside or inside the herd sounds exhilarating, it’s safer and more organised to either stay in front or in back of the herd.


4. Stay Alert: With so many horses, there’s a lot happening around you. Stay alert, especially to changes in terrain or sudden shifts in the herd’s direction. Your attentiveness will ensure both your safety and that of the herd.


5. Respect the Herd Mentality: Horses are naturally herd animals, relying on each other for safety and comfort. When in a group, they draw on collective instincts, so as a rider, it’s crucial to remain calm and confident, ensuring the horse trusts your guidance.


6. Limit Loud Noises: Avoid shouting or making sudden loud noises which might spook the horses. Instead, use calm, measured tones when communicating.


7. Exchanging Horses: One of the joys of trekking in Iceland is switching horses, allowing riders to experience the unique personalities of multiple Icelandic horses. Always dismount and mount in designated areas and under the guide’s supervision.


8. Love the Environment: Iceland’s beauty is fragile. Stick to marked trails to prevent harming the natural flora and ensure gates are closed behind you to protect both the herd and the environment.


9. Enjoy the Experience: Finally, while rules are essential, don’t forget to breathe in the cold Icelandic air, listen to the symphony of hooves, and let the magic of the experience wash over you.


Riding with a herd in Iceland is more than just a horse trek; it’s a dance with nature, an exercise in trust, and an experience that remains etched in memory long after the ride is over. So, saddle up, and let Iceland’s horizons take your breath away.




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