Iceland- Icelandic Horses & Culture Video


In Iceland, I had the honor and privildge of riding with Diddi, one of Iceland’s top riders. Diddi is the nickname for Sigurbjörn Bárðarson. Diddi means the Golden Rider and I can see why Diddi is called this. Not only is he a great rider (I also saw him compete at the Reykjavik competition), but he is a great horseman and lover of the Icelandic horse.

I rode Faxi, Diddi’s well- trained, 12 year old Chestnut colored Icelandic. Didd is a world champion several times over and a trainer, so I was a little wary of riding with him, because he is so good. He gave me a great horse, who was teaching me as we rode through an otherworldy spot just outside of downtown Reykjavik where Diddi trains his horses- Raudholar or the Red Hills.

This is an area of pseudocraters. They form when hot lava hits water, causing a steam explosion. The colors were so unique, as was the terrain, which seemed to sift away beneath our horse’s hooves.

I interviewed Diddi about the Icelandic horse. Something that I found very interesting was this… Diddi was riding his favorite and best horse, who you would think he would use to compete all of the time. He may in Iceland, but he wouldn’t outside. Once an Icelandic horse is taken out of the country, the horse may never return. This has helped keep the breed pure and free of disease. This means that every time Diddi competes in say Germany or somewhere else, he must sell the horse that he competes with after the competition. He can’t bring it back to Iceland.

Darley Newman is the host of the Emmy Award-winning Public Television series Equitrekking®, which takes viewers on horseback riding vacations around the world. Equitrekking is broadcast on PBS stations and on international networks in over 85 countries.

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