Featured in the Equitrekking Vermont episode on PBS, USA Today and Create TV.
Enjoy comfortable Vermont country inn accommodations all with a generous helping of Vermont hospitality as you trek through the picturesque Mad River Valley of Vermont on strong Icelandic horses from the Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm. Summer is a beautiful time to visit Vermont, as is autumn when the air is crisp and the leaves burst with color.
This trek takes place in Central Vermont, making it accessible to many big Northeastern airports and major cities. The horses you’ll ride are from the Icelandic Horse Farm located near the historic village of Waitsfield in the heart of the Sugarbush resort area. The farm has been leading riders on treks since 1988. The Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm seeks to breed healthy Icelandic horses that are easy to maintain and with exceptional temperaments and gaits.
Each day, you’ll experience the special, strong Icelandic horses as you ride along country lanes, over streams, through scenic meadows and into forests in the mountainous Mad River Valley on these horse riding vacations. Lookout for birds and other wildlife along the trails and stop at a swimming hole and take a dip. In the fall, enjoy riding amid the colorful foliage of Vermont. Non-riders are welcome to explore the area while riders trek, dining with their companions during breakfast and dinner and spending days exploring the area on their own.
You’ll enjoy the hardy stamina of the Icelandic horses. They may be pony sized, but these horses pack some might! The Icelandic horses have special gaits or ways of moving, including the tölt, a four-beat running walk. The tölt is similar to gaits of the Tennessee Walking horse and other gaited breeds. It’s smooth, and has been said to give riders a feeling of floating or gliding. Icelanders describe it as "riding in an easy chair” and have been known to show off the smooth gait by riding while holding a full pint of beer and not spilling a drop! This is a great way to travel across the scenic Vermont countryside. Each of the tours is limited in size, usually ranging from 4 to 8 people and led by experienced horse people and guides with thorough knowledge of the area.
Horseback riding on Icelandic horses. There are plenty of area activities and attractions that non-riders may enjoy by day, eating breakfast and dinner with riders.
Nights are in Vermont country inns, each with their own character.
Each inn features excellent cuisine. Lunches are enjoyed on the trail picnic style in a scenic spot at a select restaurant.
Non-riders may consider the following nearby adventures. Riders may also want to visit these destinations or add a few days on to their Vermont vacation to visit:
Morgan Horse Farm
University of Vermont Morgan Horse Farm in Middlebury. Tour the farm and visit the Morgan horses, Vermont’s state animal. (35.9 mi – about 1 hour and 7 mins)
Vermont Summer Horse Festival
Annual Vermont Summer Festival at the The Harold Beebe Farm, a well equipped hunter/jumper facility just off scenic Route 7 North in East Dorset. The festival features top equestrian competitions for six weeks throughout July and August.This might be a good thing to add onto your stay in Vermont, perhaps for the weekend before or after your stay at the Mountain Top Inn. (2 hours)
Quaint, historic town. Shop boutiques and for specialty gifts. (1.5 hours)
Shop designer outlets and handmade crafts from local artisans. (approx. 2 hours and 15 min depending on the driving route)
Simon Pearce glassblowing
Manufacturing facility and retail store in Quechee, Vermont (approx 1.5 hours )
Classic New England College town with Robert Frost’s favorite bookstores, Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History, Vermont Folklife Center, local craft shops and restaurants (35.9 mi – about 1 hour and 7 mins)
Museum with paintings, folk art, quilts and textiles, and New England history in Shelburne. (approx. 1 hour)
Vermont’s capital City with Church Street Marketplace and its boutiques, restaurants, and performers. (approx. 1 hour )
At a Glance
Spend two to six days riding strong Icelandic horses in the Mad River Valley of Vermont and spending nights at a quaint, country inn.
1 hour south of Burlington, Vermont (Burlington International Airport)
3.5 hours from Logan International Airport (BOS), Boston, Massachusetts
May 1 to November 1 for riding vacations. Day rides are available every day, year-round, weather and trail conditions permitting. Vermont's fall foliage is always an attraction, but book early.
Groups range in size from 4- 8 people.
Rates start at $50 for a 1-hour ride to $190 for a full day with lunch.
Choose from Weekend and two day horse trekking vacations up to 5 days/5 nights (Sun.-Fri.), starting at $600 for 2 day riding vacations.
See the Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm website for complete rates and dates.