Equitrekking.com - Full Story
April 9, 2016
by Sarah Cuthbertson
From bling'd out bridles to shaggy steeds, Canadian endurance rider Sarah Cuthbertson rides in Iceland!
If you have been following for a while, you probably already know that this year’s adventure for me was to go to Iceland and ride. I was doing this with veterans from the Mongol Derby of 2014 – obviously a talented crop of riders. This was arranged by Anita, who rode the Derby and offered this as a reunion for our quirky and adventurous group of friends.
It did start somewhat similarily to the Mongol Derby actually. We were picked up in busses and just wouldn't shut up for the drive out of the city. However, this time we were past the getting to know you phase, and into the “what have you done for the last 12 months phase”. We did have a few pit stops along the way – one for some food (which I desperately needed for a pickmeup thanks to flying in on the redeye that morning) and the next for the tack shop. You can imagine how exciting things got when we entered in there!
We got to “basecamp” as I will call it for now, which was a beautiful spot at the base of mountains and just across the road, a beautiful lake. Again, like the Derby, we selected our saddles, bridles and packs, and waited eagerly for our horses to be brought in.
Then in came the horses – semi mongolian style: meaning a four-wheeler rounded them into a small pen for capture (if in Mongolia, this would have read Motorcycle). The horses, contained by nothing more than a string around them, nipped, kicked, squealed and ran around like they had something to prove. Several were hard to catch and we wondered if we were in for more wild shenanigans like in Mongolia (of course, we were prepared for this).
I will save you wondering, and say right off the bat… NO. Despite the horses’ antics in the herd, once they were caught, the horses became puppy dogs. Their attitudes toward the humans (once tack was on) was far superior to the Mongolian horses, and even every horse I know at home. They were the snuggliest, cutest, most badass teddybears I have ever had the privilege to ride...
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