Back to one of my favorite places
Nearly 20 years ago, when we were living at the farm Staðarhús, there were two large lakes on the farm that had been dried up in the middle of last century. We had them restored to former condition. Since then there is wetland and two big, beautiful lakes there named Rauðatjörn and Meratjörn.
After the cold winter weather we have had last weeks, all lakes are frosen – including these - and they are secure to ride on, which has not been the case in recent years. The ice last winters has simply not been thick enough due to too little and short frost periods. This week-end we have this fantastic winter weather here in West Iceland and thick ice on the lakes ... and that means only one thing; Riding on ice!
Therefore we took some horses from the stable and brought them to Gufuá for the week-end, and rode them on ice today. Actually, I started this morning on another lake close to Hvanneyri named Valshamarsvatn – just to warm up for this afternoon. Then I took Perla and Hrund to Rauðatjörn and tested the ice there – both of them trying ice-riding for the first time.
It is amazing – I´m back to one of my favourite places that I know so well. Circumstances where all is perfect; the horses – the ice – the weather - the surroundings
Nothing can beat this glory!
One of the things that can not be avoided in life is change. And in these strange times that we now live in, “change” is surely THE BIG WORD. We find ourselves living through such changes in almost all spheres of existence that it is hard to imagen such times have happened before in human existence. This applies to everyone, included us. In our own life there have been a constant flow of changes in recent years, so much that we have struggled coming to terms with them and others even more. And ahead are more major changes coming and this is one of them:
We have decided to quit offering the InHarmony Retreat courses that we have been offering during the summer, but instead resort to writing, crafts and other kind of tourism related to the environment and nature. This may not come as a surprise, we have been moving more and more in that direction in recent years and it goes hand in hand with our reforestation plans and High nature value farming that we are working on becoming part of.
Now we have started preparing for the summer ahead. In our new project experience and education will be woven together in a fun 1-2 hours visits, for both Icelanders and foreign guests here at Gufuá. People will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the land and farming practices and those living there including our two and four legged life stock. Enjoy the company of horses, sheep, goats, chicken, dogs, cats and ofcourse ours.
As before, we will do our best to make every visit a quality time for the participants, an unforgettable visit for those who are traveling and want to meet the locals and get a unique experience.
The inevitable side effect of quitting our InHarmony courses is that now we suddenly have few quality horses at the farm, that we no longer have a role for in our activities. We have decided to offer them for sale. They are horses in best age; 8-12 years, well-trained riding horses that have served us and our guests very well the last years. Reliable, valuable horses – the kind that all horsepeople love and appreciate. We have always put emphasis on not overdoing our horses with unfair, too long or too much clinic work so they all have the flame and the interest the icelandic horse is known for. Probably we will put some ads on fb. in the next weeks with photos and detailed information on each of them. For those riders who have been here, know the horses and are looking to buy, it would be advisable to do so asap, we don´t know how long it is going to take before they are gone.
That said we wish you an enjoyable Sunday. Hopefully we will now with a new moon see a little bit more stable weathers here in Iceland. With the last weeks having been series of constanlty changing weathers, costing man and beast lives and making work and normal activities many times more difficult than they need to be is is time for little more stable weather. Take care <3
New website – For the love of life – For the love of horses
After the sunniest summer in W-Iceland in recent memory we now have a beautiful autumn when nature slows down and prepares for the winters sleep. Things are slowly calming down, most summer birds have left, their voices are no longer heard but instead the raven’s song is heard on regular basis as they fly over the farm in their never ending search for food. Due to the unusually warm climate, some farmers are still making hay, the grass is still growing and most meadows are still green – and NB! I´m talking about Iceland here, not Central Europe.
We, horse people and farmers who are fortunate enough to live in close contact with nature and build our schedule around her rhythms, strive to finish the things that need to be done before winter with frost and snow sets in. Food and winter supplies for both animals and humans need to be gathered, processed and kept in stock, houses have to be repaired so that they will be okay in the bad weathers ahead, animals need to be rounded up and kept in safe places, fences must be attended to and much more. There is much to be done. In the meantime, our horses take it easy in the pasture, preparing for winter in their own way and growing fat slowly but surely while the day gets shorter and shorter with every week that passes. Everything is good and for that we are grateful.
One of the projects that needs to be completed this fall is the new website Inharmony.is Seemingly we have succeeded in that – otherwise you would not be reading this text.
On the webpage you will find detailed information about the operation at Gufuá and what we have to offer such as saddles, retreats and crafts related to Icelandic horses and agriculture.
Our Facebook page will continue to run smoothly and we will be active there by adding news, pictures, advertisements and other content. We are also considering whether or not to go on Instagram and will see about that when things calm down a bit – maybe in the beginning of next year.
We are so fortunate to have many followers from around the world who are interested in knowing what we are doing, buying what we are selling and listening to what we have to say. They are curious about our ideas, experiences and what we want to share of our life on this small island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. For that we are infinitely grateful. These are people who are thirsty for information, knowledge, stories and pictures of the Icelandic horse, Icelandic nature and country life, Icelandic culture and Icelandic people - all of which are our passion and lifestyle. Both Benni and me are storytellers and we will of course tell stories on this website ;)
The Icelandic horse and all that goes with it knows no boundaries and the experiences that people have with it are a source of endless joy. For some it is enough to know of the horse´s presence or have them visible somewhere in the landscape, others get their joy from just listening to them chewing on their feed or watching them playing and enjoying life with other horses. Still others are more passionate about seeing how the breeding goals laid out in the previous year turn into a beautiful foal this spring and many work on building relationships with an unnamed young horse. Most horse people strive to create an understanding and cooperation between man and horse, make a friend, soul mate, teacher, travel companion, riding horse, gæðingur.
It does not matter how we view the Icelandic horse; without it life would be so much, much emptier. This homepage would not exist, I would certainly not be writing these contemplations and probably would have passed away long ago from pure boredom.
So let's just say thank you. And let's not forget to say thanks to the horse itself for all that it consciously and unconsciously gives to us, and we take - often for granted, just because we can.
And finally, thanks for reading. We hope you will find something of interest on the website and we look forward to greet a winter full of new and exciting projects ahead.
Sigga & Benni