Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Every man has a dream in his life. My dream, since I ever started with horses, has been to go riding to the mountains. And maybe never come back.
Iceland is full of beautiful mountains, but you need quite some money to rent horses and service for trips – the whole horse-rental business proves to be a lot of work and effort that needs to be paid. Or you borrow horses. Easy for natives, impossible for foreigners. So I spent the last years with watching my young horses grow and reach an age that makes them good and trusty riding-companions.

Last week an offer rained on me like a huge bag of chocolate – join us for a trip! And my mountain dream approached ...
It was 3 days with some very nice women in the beautiful area of Rangársysla. The tour would lead us to the banks of the river Thórsá, through borderless meadows, small rivers and lakes, later through an elfish lava-landscape with a growing forest in between, along a high mountain, the massive vulcano Hekla in front of us, and all the time an endless horizon wherever you would turn your head to. Nothing to bother your sight, nothing to disturb, nothing to bind or to grab, just openness, width and space. I am not sure why this is so important to me, but I never get lost in vastness. I might rather get lost in closeness.
It was a part of Iceland I should know well, as I am working on the other side of the river. But you will never ever get there, except in horseback. No chance to hike, to bike or to drive a car.
Horseback riding is the only way to experience a country from another ankle, deeply connected to the earth by being part of another creature.

Spending 3 days with horses not only calms you down. It makes you completely quiet. 
Puts you into a state of peace you never experienced before.
Erases anything from your mind that could trouble the balance of the two of you. Riding is a prayer of balance.
Cleans your mind from words in any language.
Cleans you from past and future, leaves nothing but presence – the presence of the next 100 meters.
Cleans your love and showers it with determination. 
The horse will only respond to a positive body and an open heart - they know much more about love than most of us do.

It was nothing with a particular horse. They were all nice and just with us. It must have been their aura in a whole, woven around us like an invisible veil. The enormous power of the horses penetrates your body, makes you find their rhythm, and forget your own. Riding on long distances is kind of giving up yourself, and giving yourself to the cooperate project of managing distance – like they do.
No desires, no selfishness, no questions. But intuitive devotion, complete commitment.

I never went on horseback for such a long time. Had to stop riding my mare some weeks ago and was physically completely unprepared. However – no muscle-pain, no tiredness, no stiffness, despite of trotting for many hours. If only my mind could be as easy as my body ….
On the fourth day five of us rounded up the horses and brought them home. I found myself in the front of the herd, on a fast and extremely determined mare, bound for home. She ruled the beat, she defined the speed, and she knew her job in the endless black sands of the Thjórsá banks, when the loose horses tried to run away and she speeded up all of a sudden, in order to stay in the front.
It has been an incredible feeling of being completely alone in my front position, devoted to wind, vastness and to the speed of this fast and relentless tölting horse. I left my fears of losing control behind the resolute beat of her steps.

My own two guys must have felt the deep gratefulness I brought to their meadow today, when they stayed with me for almost one hour while I took a long break in the grass. And maybe they could feel the pictures in my mind, and the rhythm that's still in my body ....