Guests on our Iceland Ride might just be lucky enough to ride Moldi, a sweet gelding who is a favourite among all the staff and guides! We chatted with Gergö and Gracina to find out exactly what makes Moldi such a special horse.
Horse’s name: Moldi – at least now that he’s with us. His real name is Snær, but when we get new horses, sometimes we don’t get their passport until later and by then they have already been given a ‘new’ name by the staff.
‘Moldi’ is an Icelandic name that means buckskin (his colour). ‘Snær’ means snow, probably also related to his colour (maybe he was a very light buckskin as a foal and they thought he would turn grey).
Breed: Icelandic horse, of course!
Height: 138 cm (13.2 hands high).
Mare or gelding: Gelding.
When and how did you find Moldi?
He kind of found us in 2009 when he was eight years old. We sometimes get offered a few horses and he was part of a package. At first we didn’t know what a diamond we got with him, because the seller was named Geiri Glæpur, which translates to Geiri the Gouger! We were really lucky with this package (we should not say that too loudly or we might have to pay extra, if he ever hears about it!) because Moldi came into our herd of horses, and of course we can think of no better addition.
How does Moldi fit in with your herd?
He is an easy going fellow and gets along with everyone in the herd. Actually we have never seen him fighting with anyone. He is more like the clown, and always tries to get other horses to play with him.
What do riding guests most love about Moldi?
His personality is amazing. If you want him to be calm or he knows there is a beginner riding him, he is an angel. If you want a speedy tölt or even a nice fast gallop, he is definitely up for it. Always safe and not scared of anything. An all-rounder!
As guides, what do you most love about this horse?
You can rely on him in every situation. Need to cross a new river? No problem. Drive a herd of 70 horses? No problem. Take five hand-horses?* No problem. And if he were human, we would say he does all this with a smile on his face!
*Taking a hand horse means you lead a second horse alongside your riding horse so you can swap to a more rested horse during the ride. You would not usually ride with more than one hand horse, but if the trip is really long, then you would have two, one on either side of your horse, or attached to each other using a girth. Taking hand horses is the traditional Icelandic way of travelling longer distances and it is also a common way to move several horses between pastures/farms. In this case, Icelanders ride with 4-5 hand horses at a time. It looks totally insane and requires a reliable horse, like Moldi!
What are some of Moldi’s idiosyncrasies?
He is a cookie monster! He will search for treats all the time when you stand next to him, and ask for them as soon as you set foot in the meadow. Sometimes it feels like a vacuum cleaner on your jacket! But he is always polite about it – he would not bite, he is only searching, and of course is the happiest horse ever if he finds something.
Or to meet one of our Icelandic guides, Katrin, click here.