ABOUT HRADSTADIR – ICELAND
Located an easy 20 minute drive from bustling Reykjavik, lies the horse riding center and animal farm of Hradstadir. Nestled in the beautiful valley of Mosfellsdalur, they offer private small group riding tours daily.
Not just horse riding, but there’s also a petting zoo that’s perfect for the kids. Housed inside barns are goats, sheep, bunnies, and even the occasional cat.
The cozy guest house on the property contains three bedrooms two bathrooms and a kitchen. On chilly winter nights, you’re able to see the Aurora Borealis right out of the upper floor windows.
About the Horses
Riding on an Icelandic horse is an amazing experience. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced rider, you will ride as the vikings did 1,000 years ago. Their horses are direct descendants from the original horses that were brought to Iceland. They are strong and sturdy, and the five gaits make them a breed apart.
All horses have three natural gaits: The walk, the trot, the gallop. In addition, the Icelandic horse has two special gaits: the tölt and the flying pace.
The Tölt is a gait unique fluid to the Icelandic Horse, during which at least one foot always touches the ground. The tölt is an extraordinarily smooth four-beat gait, which allows the rider an almost bounce-free ride, even at 32 kmh (20 mph). It is said a rider can drink a pint while riding, without spilling a drop.
The Flying Pace is a fast, high speed gait during which both legs on one side of the horse simultaneously touch the ground. The gait is used for short distances, and can equal the speed of a full gallop. Riding at a flying pace is considered the crown of horsemanship.
Experience the Icelandic horse in some of the most dramatic scenery in all of Iceland at Hradstadir.
As requested, we arrived 30 minutes before our scheduled horse riding tour. After parking the car, we walked over to the barn and watched the owner, Nina, preparing the horses for our ride.
Nina led us to the barn and provided some wet weather gear, telling us that we’d be riding through a stream and our feet might get wet!
We climbed atop our well-mannered horses and set off down the country lane. After crossing the road, we meandered along a path and into an area of dramatic mountain views and open vistas. The landscape must be some of the most beautiful in all of Iceland!
After taking some obligatory photos, we turned around and our Icelandic horses moved through their unique gaits. So smooth, so surefooted, so quick, so unique. If you know how to ride Western or English, get ready for a new eye-opening horse riding experience.
After crossing meadow, streams and hurtling along another scenic path, we returned to the stables. The kids were given some treats to feed the horses, and then they were shown into the barn to pet the animals. Sheep, goats, rabbits, and even a mouse from the Sahara were there.
Our wonderful Hradstadir experience was one that the children continue to talk about. So much so, that we’ve even gone back, and stayed the night in the cozy barn-side guesthouse. A visit to Hradstadir is highly recommended.
Are reservations required?
Yes, whether you need lodging or plan on horse riding, please contact Hradstadir to reserve your date and time.
When is the best time to go?
Any time of year is wonderful to experiece icelandic horse riding. Hradstadir’s location allows you to experience sweeping landscapes and remote streams no matter what time of year.
What clothing should I wear?
Hradstadir offers coveralls that will protect you from the elements. Wear something warm, and bring waterproof shoes. Bringing a change of clothes is a good idea.
WHERE IS IT?
Hraðastaðir Animal Farm and Horse Riding
|Hraðastaðavegur 6, Mosfellsdalur, Iceland|
Hraðastaðavegur 6, Mosfellsdalur, Iceland
50 min from Keflavík Airport
25 min from Reykjavík
63 km from Keflavík Airport
23 km from Reykjavík