- Multi-day tours are operated all over Iceland from local farmers.
- Ride through Icelandic highlands
- Explore Icelandic nature
- Tours for all levels of experience
We are a horseback riding tour operator who has been offering horseback riding tours in Iceland for over 30 years. Our main goal is to offer our guests exceptional service, excellent horses and a safe ride in the Icelandic nature. The great number of returning visito...
We are a horseback riding tour operator who has been offering horseback riding tours in Iceland for over 30 years. Our main goal is to offer our guests exceptional service, excellent horses and a safe ride in the Icelandic nature. The great number of returning visitors tell us that we are heading in the right direction! We also place great emphasis on sustainable tourism by offering adventurous riding tours in the unspoiled nature of our country.Read more
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Questions & Answers
Here we have collected and answered the most frequently asked questions.
Why should I book my tour with Ishestar
Today Íshestar is the industry leader in Iceland when it comes to animal treatment and welfare and we actively work with MAST (Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority) improving our procedures and caretaking methods with the health and life quality of our horses in mind.
Íshestar was founded in 1982 and has over 35 years of experience in leading riding groups through Iceland. Our main goal is to offer our guests exceptional service, excellent horses and a safe ride in the Icelandic nature.
Diversity of tours
We offer tours for beginners to experienced riders. If you like to learn more about the Icelandic horse we do offer meet the horse where we go over the history of the Icelandic horse and our guests have a chance of petting, grooming and taking pictures of the horses.
What is the group size?
Group size usually ranges from 10-20 riders.
What kind of shoes should I bring?
The main thing is to wear something you think comfortable while riding. We recommend high riding boots with a heal but it is OK if you only have low or don´t have any at all. Make sure you bring more than one pair of comfortable shoes to change if you get wet for example hiking shoes, rubber boots or riding boots.
Why go riding in Iceland?
The Icelandic Horse
The breed is best known for its four-beat smooth gait, the “tölt”, which is very comfortable for the rider, especially on a longer tour. Riding an Icelandic horse in its native habitat land is an authentic riding experience.
Herding along free running horses is the traditional way of travelling in Iceland, since horses are changed at least once a day on longer tours. You get to ride a variety of horses.
Iceland is the least densely populated country in Europe, with a pure, unpolluted and truly magical landscape.
In Iceland (and on our riding tours) you can find hot spring oasis featuring hot pools and geothermal hot springs that are perfect for relaxing after a long riding day.
What kind of Tack do you use?
The tack used for Icelandic horses is slightly different then the tack ordinarily used for other breeds.
The saddle is built close to a dressage saddle and has a relatively flat seat. Saddles come with plain or quilted seats. On longer rides a crupper helps keeping the saddle in place. Riding style used on Icelandic horses is close to English riding style, but stirrups are worn long.
Bits used are mostly simple snaffles. Bridles have a detachable noseband and clip on reins.
How do I find the right tour for me?
You do not have to be an expert rider to participate in our tours, but some tours are by nature more difficult than others.
All our tours are categorized to help you choose the right tour according to your previous riding experience. Some tours are for riders with little riding experience, others are more difficult and therefore the rating should help to find a suitable tour for everyone. If in doubt call us or send us an e-mail.
Category: Beginners / Easy
Little or no riding experience needed.
Category: Intermediate riders / Challenging
Comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length trots (tölt) and short canters.
Category: Advanced / Extreme
Comfortable and in control at all paces, firm seat, comfortable in the saddle for up to 7 hrs. per day. Who rides regularly and is capable of handling horses in an open country.
If you know how to ride a horse using English riding style you should have no problems riding an Icelandic horse. Western-style riders should not experience any difficulties adjusting to the Icelandic way of riding either. Íshestar guides will take some time at the beginning of each tour to explain the correct way to saddle the horse, mount it and how to ride the different gaits. They will carefully explain how and when to ride “tölt”, the special gait of the Icelandic horse.
What do I need to bring with me?
You should be ready for all kinds of weather as the weather can change very quickly.We recommend that the following items are included when preparing for our longer tours:
Warm jacket or overcoat.
Warm (woolen or fleece) sweater.
Warm socks and gloves, at lest two pairs, scarf and a cap or hat.
Warm underwear, long if possible (protects also from chafing).
For the ladies – sports bra.
A pair of slippers to wear in the accommodation. (Icelanders take off their shoes when entering a house).
Swim suits, towels, soap etc.
A small camera to take with you on the ride.
Band aids and second skin plasters for chafing.
Insect repellent, gnat net head cover.
Chocolate or glucose sweets for strenuous riding days.
Sun lotion for face and lips (with high sun factor).
Additionally for sleeping bag accommodation: Sleeping bag, Small pillow to sleep on, Ear plugs, Some people snore.
Saddle bags, Rain wear and Safety helmet.
Can I wear my own riding clothes?
Riding gear (riding trousers, jackets, etc.) needs to be washed (40°C) or dry cleaned. Items which can not be washed or dry cleaned (riding boots, riding hats) need to cleaned and disinfected at least five days prior to arriving in Iceland. The Icelandic Veterinary Authority recommends the broad-spectrum disinfectant Virkon S for disinfection. Used riding gloves, whips, saddles, bridles, chaps and other used leather gear may not be brought into the country.
Please understand that these precautions are necessary because there are no contagious animal diseases in Iceland. Horses are not vaccinated and are therefore susceptible to infectious agents from abroad. Please help us to protect Iceland’s fragile nature! For further information please take a look at: www.mast.is
What is the maximum weight for a rider
Maximum weight for a rider is 110kg/242lb for both Day-tours and Multi-Day tours.