Riders on the storm

About three weeks ago, there was supposed to be a major competition for Icelandic horses on the ice of our local lake. All I had to do was to open the door, walk onto the lake and start snapping away…

The day of the competition was wreathed in white and spectral purple. A Class 2 snowstorm had decided to blow in and stop many of the top horses from being able to make it to the competition. Icy roads and horse transportation do not go well together.

A few dozen hardy souls turned up … and danced in the gale force winds on the iced over lake.

Icelandic horses are famous for their ambling gait – called the tölt. Ribbons were awarded to the winning horses as riders cowered from the storm in large padded overalls.

I like this photo as it contrasts the modern transport embodied in a quad bike with the ancient transport system that is a horse.

The wind was literally howling like hungry wolves as it blew horizontally into my face, cutting through the my six layers of clothing like red-hot needles through flesh. My fingers froze into place over the camera and I lost all feeling. Luckily, I wasn’t so badly off as the time I cried from the cold.

The alarming nuclear redness of my cold face was reflected in the faces all around me.

Still, that didn’t stop the riders from being as cheerful as their sturdy steeds in their merry winter coats, and who were doing happy little jigs and enjoying the bracing weather…

Meanwhile, I decided that the storm was best viewed from inside with a steaming cup of tea in my hands.

For more cheerful insights, please visit: My World!

50 responses

  1. Now those are riders of the storm — did remind me of the song! I love how furry they are! But it does look sooooo cold! Your photos surely did capture that!! Hope things warm up for you soon! Thanks as always for stopping by! No, the deck just looks over our back yard, but it faces west and we’re up high so the view of the sky/sunsets is always spectacular. My very favorite place! Hope you have a great week!



    March 15, 2010 at 20:46

  2. Beautiful shots of the competition. Good to know new aspects about Icelandic horses.


    March 15, 2010 at 20:47

  3. They seem so cold!


    March 15, 2010 at 20:49

  4. This, is an incredible post. I love it. You are one tough lady. Great photographs. I would have stayed inside that day.


    March 15, 2010 at 20:53

  5. The horses look well adapted to the cold but that looks a little to cold even for them.


    March 15, 2010 at 20:54

  6. How cute!!!


    March 15, 2010 at 21:03

  7. LadyFi: What a great event and the people look colder then the horses.


    March 15, 2010 at 21:07

  8. those horses are so cute! and fuzzy! and tiny! i love ’em!!


    March 15, 2010 at 21:24

  9. how pretty! I’m so jealous! I actually had a photo date with some horses two weeks ago but that’s when I got ill so I had to cancel. I’m literally sick and tired!


    March 15, 2010 at 21:30

  10. such beautiful looking horses!


    March 15, 2010 at 21:43

  11. they are FLUFFY !!

    Look at those little legs all puffed up with fur.

    I suppose they need all the insulation they can get, but that is a particularly adorable way to keep your four leggies warm.

    I want one !


    March 15, 2010 at 21:50

  12. Po

    Hardcore people!!! I could never do that, and by that I mean the watching, never mind the riding.


    March 15, 2010 at 21:59

  13. Very interesting. The first shot is great.


    March 15, 2010 at 23:18

  14. You are a very wise woman, Fi. I’ll have lemon with mine, please.


    March 15, 2010 at 23:35

  15. Love your post title … very very fitting!!! Those are some good looking horses.


    March 16, 2010 at 01:03

  16. Interesting article and wonderful photos. I am sending a link to a horse friend of mine.


    March 16, 2010 at 01:26

  17. Thrilling post!
    I can’t imagine doing something like that myself. Great shots too.


    March 16, 2010 at 03:02

  18. Great photos of those very furry horses..rugged and sturdy little buggers! It seems you have been quite stormy and snowy lately..and cold too.. it’s a good thing that your barefooted sister wasn’t visiting! 🙂


    March 16, 2010 at 04:06

  19. I love the center photo … as if these ancient riders are coming out of the mist, puzzled to find this mysterious modern object in their path….


    March 16, 2010 at 05:54

  20. You’re a hardy artist to brave those temperatures to take photos, but even just the top one alone would have been worth the effort. So beautiful.


    March 16, 2010 at 06:15

  21. I’ve ridden Icelandics. They’re a blast, and a laugh riot when they break out of the tolt and start to canter. It’s like riding a sewing machine with their short choppy gaits. Of course, I was always used to riding big warmbloods and Thoroughbreds. But Icelandics are really a nice breed and great fun.


    March 16, 2010 at 06:21

  22. Fascinating! We don’t have winter.
    Great world.


    March 16, 2010 at 08:10

  23. Really interesting post and great photos. Don’t you think the horses might not like the cold either?

    Wow, you’re still far from spring – I’m shivering just looking at this.


    March 16, 2010 at 08:36

  24. Amy

    At least you weren’t in your nightie…hehehehe…..great shots, icelandic horses are so neat to watch moving but I think the ride has to be awkward even though their fans say it’s a great ride- just looks uncomfortable…and don’t you know people with animals brave all kinds of weather elements in order to give their animals the activity they need and want…;-))


    March 16, 2010 at 09:12

  25. You live such an interesting life!! I so want to visit your part of the world!!

    C x


    March 16, 2010 at 09:26

  26. That really looks cold! But beautiful. I read that link you posted about the time you cried from the cold. Impressive! I wouldn´t be able to handle it. Not even a hotel of ice could get me there! 🙂
    But you braved the ice and weather to show us this tradition and we appreciate it!


    March 16, 2010 at 11:22

  27. Lovely. The horses look so frolicsome!


    March 16, 2010 at 12:39

  28. Thanks for toughing out to bring us the super images.


    March 16, 2010 at 15:06

  29. That was spooky! Before I read the text I looked at the top picture and instantly thought “Icelandic horse scene”. I am no horse expert but that was my first thought. The contrast photo is great!


    March 16, 2010 at 16:17

  30. Beautiful horses! Great post!
    Icelandic horses are very popular here. Just vent to a competition to take some photos, but I got there a bit too late. Better luck next time :o)


    March 16, 2010 at 17:27

  31. I am shivering reading this! What hardy horses and riders they are. As are you, for going out with your camera to bring us these wonderful shots. What is the name of the lake you live on?


    March 16, 2010 at 18:13

    • I live next to Vallentuna Lake. Vallentuna is a county 30 km north of Stockholm.


      March 16, 2010 at 18:14

  32. something I would like to try, despite the cold. 🙂


    March 16, 2010 at 19:42

  33. kelli

    the horses do not seem to mind the cold at all!!! Guess we people are the wimpy ones! COOL event!


    March 16, 2010 at 19:50

  34. I shall have to put Vallentuna on my bucket list. Of course you live next to the lake, not on it. We Canadians are quirky, we describe a lakeside home as being “on the lake”.


    March 16, 2010 at 20:15

  35. Brave people to go out in the storm, and brave you to take the photographs, it certainly looks cold. I love horses and these Icelandic horses are beautiful.


    March 16, 2010 at 22:28

  36. That looks so cold. Pretty horses.


    March 17, 2010 at 00:06

  37. Thank you for your bravery for venturing outdoors in the storm to that these greats shots. I love Icelandic horses, they are so sturdy and reliable. In fact, I think I love everything about Iceland including the Mid-Atlantic Rift, with the exception of all that heavy drinking…


    March 17, 2010 at 02:23

  38. WOW! FOr their (and your) hardiness and determination. What an event!


    March 17, 2010 at 03:55

  39. I only think : the poor horses, in such a lot of snow and icy wind ! But probably they are very well taken care of, 🙂


    March 17, 2010 at 08:15

  40. Those are gorgeous horses!


    March 17, 2010 at 09:57

  41. alright i am shivering just looking at it. wonderful pics…and would love to be riding but….brrrr…..


    March 17, 2010 at 10:51

  42. I don’t know what is wrong with me – the minute I saw your title I began singing that old Doors song – automatic pilot or what!

    I think it is so good that people do not let those extremely low temperatures stop them from doing outdoor events. I suppose one just gets used to the biting coldness – does one ever get used to it, Fi?


    March 17, 2010 at 11:40

    • You were supposed to start singing that song, so you’re perfectly normal! 😉


      March 17, 2010 at 14:15

  43. For me, this is an amazing post. I so like the photos and especially your description of the cold and the happy way the horses and the riders came out to share the joy. Thank you for enduring the cold and getting the wonderful photos to share.


    March 17, 2010 at 16:20

  44. Amazing scenery! I like the contrast you pointed of modern with ancient and also of dark and light.


    March 17, 2010 at 19:01

  45. Those horses are gorgeous! They need that hair to keep warm – now that looks cold!!


    March 19, 2010 at 12:22

  46. Pingback: Enchanted horses « Quirky Quest with Lady Fi

  47. I’m so glad you braved the cold to capture these photos to share … what a wonderful post!
    Hugs and blessings,


    March 22, 2010 at 01:32

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