It was not sure you were going to make it. It was very windy, it was raining, they were going to cancel. Soon you found yourself at the farm, trying the deep orange rain resistant riding center clothes: no horsewoman could get lost while wearing them. Heida hums and helps you, despite you did not ask her for, to wear yours. She is much more fit than you, being at least twice your age. You steal a pair of gloves from a shapeless heap, you are very lucky and they are luxury ones. We will be more than twenty, for sure they are not going to cancel today. The horses have their breakfast, people as you if you can ride. With false modesty, you say you are “intermediate” and they give you Kleihthur, or at least this is what you think is his name in Icelandic. As soon as you start riding him, you feel his blood, later on you will discover he does not like the gallop.
You are waiting outside while everybody get on saddle, the wind is piercing your ear and the rain, mixed with snow, feels like a storm of frozen dust. You leave and you stay behind, leaving the place next to the guide to the beginners, but your horse can not stand that. You go forward and you can see what happens: stirrups lost, reins without hold, pictures taken while the horse is trotting. You admire Iceland, the country where you can go for a horse riding excursions on the first time you see such an animal, where horses casually run on ice, avoiding holes and stones as big as your backpack. This reminds you of Diablo, who can trip over his own feet at Monza Park.
You go and something you did not expect happens: horses start a race. They have a lot of fun, very close to each other with the beginners unable to keep them, trying to get over the first of the line, who discards right and left in order to keep them behind, like a small herd. It is soon the break, you get down and take some pictures of Kleihthur, but, when you turn, you discover that the rainbow is double in Iceland, and takes the whole sky.
They divide you in two groups, fast against slow ones. You are in the fast group, and eventually you can go. Kleihthur goes as fast as possible with trot and tolt, but hardly starts galloping. He listens to you, but sometimes he prefers thinking about it, watching what the group does. You trust him, as all the other Icelandic creatures like him that you met, five-gaited, able to take away the heaviest parts of your thoughts, scattering them in the wind.
You are soon back, the rain has stopped but it is still very windy. You take some more pictures of him, you can not avoid it. You help to take him inside, them go for lunch. You chat with some other young women, much more on holiday than you. There is vegetable soup in the menu, you eat it together with a lot of garlic bread, covered with butter: you always have to look the most hungry one. There are generous quantities of coffe, as always; you can drink liters of it, as you feel nicely sleepy, because of the sunlight, which does not come before 9 am.
The afternoon riders are soon there; also two gooddesses are there, accompanied by a very strange guy. This time they gave you a ‘faster’ creature, they say, compared with Kleihthur. Ruby seems to be his name, probably related to his colour, as we are not talking about a mare. In fact, he is very lively, and the race starts immediately, but you can keep him easily. This time you are in a smaller group, you can go much faster and you stop for a break over a small waterfall.
They divide you again, and you are with the fast ones; this time it is just the three of you, included the guide, you really run like crazy, you feel like flying while the wind tries to push you behind. You cross the river another time, and you feel like you listen to Heraclitus, “No man ever steps in the same river twice”. You don’t know what time is, you start thinking about plan for escaping with the creature before the group is back, but the orange uniform makes you easily detectable.
You reach the farm at a very fast gallop, and you start again with too much photos; you greet some other friends as well, they did not work today. Some of them know you are taking pictures and go away, some other ones are curious and get closer, hoping that a carrot will come out from the camera. You have fun watching them in the paddock, teasing each other all the time; you think this kind of life makes their character stronger, compared with our horses, used to live alone, inside for many hours, with their shady mood.
Thori accompanies you to the city, together with the last ones. He is almost in the same age as your father, and he somehow reminds you of him. He hums like his wife, and explains what there was around Reykjavik when he was a child, before that restaurant was open. For some reasons, he was often travelling to Italy, now he found a completely different country. You find yourself thinking about someone seeming happy, after a whole life of work, still going on, among horses, then you discover that he graduated. Just in your country they say there is no point to study, that if you study you will never find a job.
You are not able to explain how light you feel. You are sure that also thoughts are material, sometimes in a toxic way. You can not understand how your sweet hairy friends could rescue you from all the stuff you were taking with you. You wanted to be generous in the same way with them, making them feel good, but you don’t know how. You always find that equines can be amazingly generous.
You can find all the pictures of this day here.