Of Iceland and Horses

Travelers always mention Icelandic sheep, and with good reason. They are ubiquitous on farms and when they get out of their fences, a frequent occurrence, they amble across major roads, or scurry away from passing cars on secondary gravel roads. True to form, I’ve taken more than my share of Icelandic sheep photos. But there is more to the livestock story here in Iceland, and that involves the hardy Icelandic horse.

These beautiful horses with their flowing manes are nearly as common as sheep. They are a stocky, strong horse, bred and raised in the unforgiving environment of the north. They are also unusually friendly. A quick stop at any fence line will net you a friend or two for sure.

The photo possibilities are endless. I like to use my 14-24 Nikkor to get humorous effects like the two images above. Other times I’ll pass a group that look so darned majestic against their natural backdrop that I can’t resist stopping for the umpteenth time for yet another snap (thank God for patient wives!).

And then, once in a great while, you come upon a scene you just cannot possibly resist. I initially stopped when I saw this lovely waterfall in a tiny community on the east coast, along Highway 1. Then I saw five horses in an enclosure to the side and walked a hundred yards back to frame them in the picture. In a moment two of the most gorgeous specimens broke away front he other three and began playing around.

With my trusty Nikon D800 and my 70-200 with an attached 1.4 tele-extender, I snapped away, delighted with their show. Here is one of the images.

If you’ve been following my Icelandic travels, you know that while I’m on the road I don’t get to do much, if any, post-processing. So, they are here in their unadulterated form. As always, feel free to comment or critique.

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