The moment I found out that one of the things I could do during my weekend away was horse riding Luxembourg, I got so excited! I’ve always rode horses ever since I was little and during my travels I try to organise a horse riding trip whenever I can.
The last time I sat on a horse has been a while now, though, I think it must have been -apart from riding a couple of rounds at my boyfriend’s uncle’s farm- in New Zealand in 2008. Incredible! That’s too long ago, right?
But this riding trip in Luxembourg proved to be so much better than just riding a ‘normal’ horse. As soon as I found out that we would be riding on an Icelandic Horse, I was ecstatic. It’s been a lifelong dream to ride one of them. Keep on reading to find out why!
The Unique Icelandic Horse
If you look at the picture of me on the horse, you might think that he is a bit too small for me. But the truth is that this Icelandic horse is strong enough to carry adults easily. They also love working, have a great temperament and.. they have a special move that no other horse has.
Instead of just walking, trotting and cantering, Icelandic horses have two additional gaits. There are other breeds of horses which have additional/special gaits, but the Icelandic horse is unique in being 5-gaited: they can also pace and Tölt.
Tölt is a four-beat gait where the sequence of foot falls is the same as in walk. This means that at least one foot is on the ground at any time. By doing so, the gait is very smooth and therefore very comfortable for the rider as you don’t bounce up and down like you would do with trotting or cantering. Even better: while you can go pretty fast, you could even drink a cup of tea without spilling anything!
Back in the days, there were no good roads in Iceland and the carriage was not such a useful mode of transport then. So they bred a horse that was comfortable enough to ride on these road. Clever, right?
I was invited at camping Toodlermillen to ride the horse for a couple of hours, and I got a quick peek at their beautiful camping sites.
Toodlermillen is located in a truly picturesque setting in the peaceful Sauer valley and a perfect place for nature lovers. The camping is also very environmentally- and family friendly. It’s also organic / bio farm and you can learn more about that on their educational trail.
Since 2006, Toodlermillen is also a Horse trekking station. This means they offer a place to sleep for both horse as rider and can help you out with breakfast, packed lunch and even luggage transport to the next stop.
One of the best types of accommodation on the camp site, I believe, is the ‘Hay-bed hotel‘. It’s a building on the site where you can actually sleep IN the hay. How cool is that? Used mostly for school groups, but you can book yourself in too, if you dare!
Icelandic Horse Riding Luxembourg
Like I said, I was well-excited to ride an Icelandic Horse and was happy they chose the beautiful Höss for me. Owner of the camp site and all the horses, Amand went along with me and showed me exactly how to ride the horse into this special move tölt. The horse was so happy to go for a run, that I really didn’t need to do much!
Because there are many Dutch people who escape into the nature of Luxembourg every year, Amand spoke quite a bit of Dutch. I still find it remarkable how people can pick up our crazy little language so well! Because he was a bit more comfortable in German and my German has really picked up since all these presstrips with German speaking bloggers, it worked quite well with him speaking German and me responding in Dutch. Funny how easy it is to get yourself heard in another country, if only you try a little!
The ancestors of the Icelandic Horse were celtic and germanic ponies, which were brought to the Icelandic island in the middle of the 9th century. Since the 12th century there haven’t been any horses imported to Iceland. For a long time nobody showed interest in the little horses from the island. It was in the 1950’s, when Icelandics were for the first time imported as riding horses to continental Europe, where they were greatly appreciated by pleasure riders.
The scenery we rode through was so stunning, from the forrest all the way to the open fields and even through a little stream! Living in busy and filthy London, you could say I more than appreciated the fresh air!!
We got a lot of attention from the cows, some even ran along with us!
You can see Toodlermillen in the valley below.
What a fantastic ride it was and in such a beautiful location. If you’re ever considering camping in Luxembourg (and you should, if only for 1 night), make your way over to the Ardennes and stay at Toodlermillen. You won’t regret it!
I’d like to thank Sylvia and Amand for kindly spending time showing and explaining me all about their horses and farm and of course the beautiful Höss for a fantastic ride. I will never ever forget it!
Activities: Toodlermillen is home to 6 Icelandic horses, which are held for leisure riding. In the summer, they offer guided horse riding for children on the campsite. It’s covered by an insurance, and every child is obliged to wear a riding helmet. Find out more.
- Public Transport – www.visitluxembourg.com/en/travelguide/transport-to-luxembourg
- Public Transport – www.mobiliteit.lu
- The Mullerthal – www.mullerthal.lu/en
- The Moselle – www.visitmoselle.lu/en
- Hiking in Luxembourg – www.visitluxembourg.com/en/what-to-do/nature-tours/hiking
- National Airline Luxair – iOS / Android
- Luxembourg Airport – iOS / Android
- Luxembourg Card – iOS / Android
- Public Transportation – iOS / Android
- Luxembourg City – iOS / Android
- Geoportal.lu (hiking trails, biking tracks, etc.) – iOS / Android
- Escapardenne Hiking Trails – iOS / Android
READ OUR OTHER ARTICLES ON LUXEMBOURG:
Getting there: From Luxembourg City, it’s about an 30 minute drive. The address is: 1, Toodlermillen L-9181 Tadler / Luxembourg (N 49°54’50″E 6°0’3″).
MORE THINGS TO DO IN LUXEMBOURG:
Disclaimer: I was in Luxembourg on invitation of Visit Luxembourg and Silvia and Amand kindly offered me a ride on Höss, one of their fantastic Icelandic Horses. All opinions are, as always, my own.