EXPERIENCE OF THE YEAR: LAUFSKÁLARÉTT IN HJALTADAL

Everybody has been excited for this day to come. On the fourth day of the Icelandic Horse Expo we were going to the traditional Laufskálarétt where the horses are gathered in the mountains and brought to the corrals in Hjaltadal.

The day started early for those who had chosen to take part in the event on horseback. The bus drove us to Þúfur where the horses were waiting for us. Together with around 50 riders we rode towards the mountains.

While the riders were tölting through the beautiful Icelandic nature, the rest of the Icelandic Horse Expo were at the museum Glaumbær. Here they got to know how the Icelandic people lived in in the 18th- & 19th-centuries. The buildings at Glaumbær are comprised of thin shells of wood separated from one another and insulated by thick walls of turf, and roofed with a thick layer of the same material. 

Both groups met at Laufskálarétt. Thousands of horses and riders came down the hill from the valley – first the big herd of horses and then big groups of riders from all over the world.

It’s an old tradition that the people from Skagafjörður gather their horses from the valleys this time of year. People from all over Iceland and tourists are sharing this very special moment together.

Filled with impressions and excitement we had one more stop to do before going to the dinner and party at Hotel Varmahlíð. Next stop: Saurbær.

Heiðrún, Pétur, Tóti and Hjördís welcomed us on horseback showing their beautiful horses on a big field. Afterwards we got a wonderful Icelandic soup to get farm after Laufskálarétt and the family told us about their farm and breeding. Heiðrún and Pétur took over the farm 2,5 years ago from her and Tóti’s parents. The farm has been in the family for over 100 years. Back then the horses were used for bringing milk to Sauðárkrókur and now the farm is run like a top modern training stable.