We are very happy to say that we let our older horses retire with dignity and pleasure. We keep them with the younger horses and mares as they make super babysitters. They stay on a big field with enough to eat, drink and good shelter. We make sure to check up on 2-3 times a week to see if their health is okay. We love and appreciate our older horses and they have absolutely earned happy and joyful retirement years. Once they become fragile and it is not in their best interest anymore to stay on, we have them put down humanely by a vet. None of our Exploring Iceland tour horses will ever go to slaughter!
Right now, we have 4 happy pensioners in the field.
The oldest one is Kári, a dark-bay gentleman that many of our riders know well. He is born in 1999 which makes him 24 years old. His last riding tour was last summer. He has been a wonderful riding horse and everyone who rides him thinks he’s very comfortable to ride and we only wish we had more horses like him. He is one of Ari’s horses.
Paradís is also born in 1999 and is a blue dun mare owned by Ari. She is quite a character and Ari used to compete on her when she was younger. She has been on many tours with us, and I used to ride her when I was younger. She was my favorite horse to be on when we rode with a loose herd as she was very willing to run after the naughty ones! Last summer Ari tried to take Paradís to a stallion but unfortunately, we think she is too old to have a foal.
The one and only Hljómur is also a part of the old gang. He is one of those horses that you will never forget. He is red dun w/ dark mane & tail and born in 2000 which makes him 23 years old. He is such a big character, and he acts kind of like a very big dog. I used to ride him a lot when I was younger and even competed on him a few times. Hljómur has also been on many tours with us and was always considered the ‘’safe’’ horse even though he preferred to trot. Now when we come to visit in his field, he always says hello to us and checks our pockets to see if he can find some bread or horse candy. Steinunn bought him when he was young. Now she owns his brother Flóki as well. Hljómur is my mom´s all-time favorite.
Another horse in the group is Sleipnir, a dark-bay horse. He is born in 2001 which makes him 22 years old. He used to be owned by my brother but since he doesn’t ride anymore, he now belongs to my mom. He has been on quite some tours with us and is very strong and muscular, very fast forward and you could only ride him in the front of the herd.
We love all our horses, and all of them are totally unique! We want to treat them with dignity and respect because they have given us so many hours of pure joy in the past. We strongly believe that all horses should have a wonderful life - old or young.
When you ride with us on our Reykjavík Riding Secrets Tour, we will pay our old horses a visit!
Text and photos by: Margrét Lóa