Little is as engrained in the history of Iceland as the Icelandic horse. In a country full of contrast, where conditions are ever changing and the landscape demands versatility, the Icelandic horse plays a crucial role in the survival of the nation throughout the ages.
The early settlers, destined for Iceland, knew it would be a difficult journey across the Atlantic and therefore only brought the best and strongest horses, most likely to survive and serve on a volcanic island. For centuries, the Icelandic horse was the only means of transportation capable of treading the difficult terrain, rain or shine. Although the role of the Icelandic horse has shifted a great deal from its original use, the love for horses in the country remains intact and today, enthusiasts and professionals alike compete, breed and ride for leisure and sport. Begga Rist is a passionate horse owner and rider, who practises a unique approach and philosophy at her horse rental and travel agency, Íslenski Hesturinn - The Icelandic Horse.
She elaborates on the mantra that she has followed through life and believes in the Icelandic horse; its sincere positive energy, instant honesty and true love. According to Begga, the spirit of Icelandic horses is as varied as of the humans and there is a horse out there for everyone. “It is incredible to see the individuality and uniqueness of each horse. Some horses are very serious and always on duty while other horses have humour and are pranksters. It is exactly the same as what we see in people,” she explains. Begga regards her horses as her colleagues and friends and has made it her personal goal to spread the love for the Icelandic horse. Her motto is to love what you do and do what you love. Now, that's a motto we should all try to master.