Friday, 5 October 2012

Laufskálarétt - Annual Horse Roundup

Last weekend was Laufskálarétt ( the annual horse roundup) in Holár.  Where the horses that have been free roaming in the mountains over the summer are brought down to be sorted and then taken back to their own farms.  Although we are having plenty of rainy overcast days the sun decided to come out and the rain disappeared for that weekend.  

I had been to the sheep réttir before but not the horse one and it certainly was a stunning day for it, cold and brisk, bright sunshine with no wind or rain.

The crowd started gathering by 10am and they came from around the country and overseas to see this event.  
 The sky was clear and blue and the sun was glaringly bright...all day.

The horses have just started coming over the ridge and we all watch as they make their way down to the paddock where we are waiting.

 This is a zoomed in view

 and they are on their way down

playing follow the leader

 The first group of horses come galloping in

 and stop to say hello to the crowd.

However they have come into the wrong spot 

 and get turned around to head into the paddock next door.

 It is at this point that I realise I am not in the best viewing position and so I move to the paddock where the horses are being sent.

 I join the groups of people in the next paddock all sitting and watching as the horses gallop in and mingle around the crowd.

 This year there was not as many horses as some, due to the storm had earlier been brought down from the mountain

and at times it looked like more riders on horseback than the free roaming horses they were rounding up.  I think that it is such a fun event that many just love to ride out and be apart of it.  Especially the younger ones who maybe riding in their very first roundup.

The horses all looked hot and sweaty as they came in

 but truly a magnificent sight to see.

You can see by these pics that there were many cars and even buses bringing the crowd to the event. Plus the paddock next door was chock full of cars, which made for difficult navigation when leaving.

We decided to not stay for the actual sorting of the horses as we were not sure if that was happening on the day or the following one and in the least not for a few hours.

So we went in search of hot chocolate at Holár and Hofsós but unfortunately nothing was open. However the day was so glorious we drove around a little before heading home.

Bær Art Residency in Hofsós...a truly magnificent spot.

A farm near Hofsós

 Cape Þórðarhöfð from the otherside to where we climbed previously.

 We stopped the car so I could take a photo of this view of Sauðárkrókur in the distance

 and this horse wanted to say hello
 very friendly and just looking for a pat
So we started and ended the day with horses.


  1. Our environments are so very, very different...yet something about Iceland speaks to me.And the horses! Thank you.

  2. I just finished looking at these pics as your comment came in on my blog. Coincidence? We had 2 Icelandic horses at our farm last weekend. They had personalities like our Fjord horses. Very attentive to their human friends.