With frosty weather and a rugged coastline, Maine is truly one of the best spots in North America for one very special breed of horse — the Icelandic. Sure-footed with an ability to cross rough terrain, these small and sturdy horses are a joy to ride. And just your luck, during your next stay here at Hartstone Inn, ride them you absolutely can at our Maine horse stables.
Hartstone Inn owners Michael Salmon & Mary Jo Brink just happen to have a farm with these beauties located a mere 15 minutes south of the inn. Your journey begins at the Pepper Hill Farm Maine horse stables at noon where your guide will demonstrate the five natural gaits of the Icelandic — Walk, Trot, Tölt, Pace, and Canter/Gallop. Check out this video to see these gaits in action. Most other breeds of horses only have three (maybe four) gaits.
A Riding Adventure at our Maine Horse Stables
You will then spend time getting to know your horse in either our Maine horse stables’ indoor or outdoor arena. Once comfortable, you will ride the trails through the woods and fields with the guide. As an added bonus, with our Icelandic Trail Riding Adventure Package, we’ll send you to our Maine horse stables with a picnic lunch for two complete with an Italian Grinder, homemade dill-potato salad, fresh seasonal fruit and for dessert, a Maine whoopie pie!
Notably more curious, intelligent, and more independent than other horse breeds, Icelandic horses are thought to have arrived in Iceland between 860 and 935 AD aboard the Viking ships. The theory is that certain horses were chosen for the journey from Norway because of their short stature and hearty constitution — the perfect combination to not to take up too much space on a ship, and more likely to survive the sea journey. Today, these compact and courageous horses are simply wonderful to be around!