THE LEIRUBAKKI HORSE FARM
The farm of Leirubakki in Landsveit, Rangarvallarsysla county, lies on the banks of the river Ytri-Ranga, along Landrvegur road, 30 km north from the southern coastal road. It is only 25 km away from Hella, the nearest village, and 100 km or one hour's drive, from Reykjavik.
Leirubakki is one of the largest farms, whose goal is to breed horses of the Kolkuos branch of the Svadastadir line, the largest, most wide-spread breeding line in Iceland which can be traced back to before 1750. All mares at our farm descend from two of the best stallions of our country: Hordur 591 and Raudur 618 from Kolkuos. We use stallions from that same line, putting emphasis on pure breeding of this type, often with considerable inbreeding.
FOALS FOR SALE
Every year a few dozen foals are sold from Leirubakki, both to Icelandic and foreign buyers, who often have a special interest in breeding horses of this line. The foals are put up for sale in June, July and August, at special sales shows on Saturdays. Interested buyers can choose from a group of foals, check their pedigrees and conformation and make deductions from their movements. After buying a foal they receive a picture and a pedigree with three generations of the foals ancestors. This service is provided for all horses bought from Leirubakki.
A CHOICE OF HORSES
At Leirubakki we usually have horses for sale to suit all buyers: colts ready for breaking in, all kinds of trained riding horses and promising horses for breeding, both stallions and mares. If a client can not find a suitable horse at the farm, we will assist him finding the right horse somewhere else.
Many buyers appreciate some professional assistance after having bought a riding horse. Buyers can, if they wish, keep their horses at Leirubakki for one or two weeks after buying it, and ride together with the trainers of the stud and receive instructions. If the horse is not found to suit the buyer it can be exchanged for another, within three weeks from the purchase date.
At Leirubakki horses are broken in almost all year round. We mainly train horses from the stud itself, but we do take in horses from elsewhere for a fee.
Such training must be booked well in advance, and horses from Leirubakki have priority.
Leirubakki regularly issues a newsletter with information about the horses that are for sale each time, which is sent upon request by return mail. A lot of other material about our horses and the stud is available as well and can be studied at the farm. Brochures are available in English, German Dutch and Danish, as well as Icelandic.
RENTAL OF STALLIONS
There is a considerable choice of stallions at Leirubakki, and many of them are hired out. Mares are also brought from elsewhere to our stallions. All stallions are from the Kolkuos branch of the Svadastadir line, and vary from young, well-bred colts, to prized stallions.
Information about the stallions that are hired out at the time, or are used at the stud itself, is provided in Leirubakki’s newsletter, and people are also welcome to come and have a look at them.
Winter is the best time for breaking in horses at Leirubakki, and we train riding horses, stallions and breeding mares. All winter we have "Open House" on Saturdays, when everybody is welcome to have a look at the horses, be it to learn about the activities at the stud, or to look for horses to buy.
There is always coffee in the warm, bright and coy stable. Those who prefer to visit us another time is welcome to call us for an appointment.
At Leirubakki we also invite people to bring foreign guests. This service is especially meant for owners and managers of firms. The program of the visit specially designed according to each guest’s wishes and can include an introduction to the work at the stud, information about Icelandic horses or sightseeing in the area, on foot or on horseback. Usually the visit ends with some Icelandic food and other refreshments in the stable coffee room.
This service is available all year around.
During the past years an increasing number of schools have visited Leirubakki, from the youngest children in primary school to students at high schools and agricultural collages. Such are always welcome as long as they let us know beforehand, and the staff of the stud will endeavor to show the horses and explain the work at the stud. This service is also available for other groups, such as farmers travelling around the country, personnel of firms, or tourist groups.
In summer horses can be hired at Leirubakki as well, and we offer two types of riding tours: two hours in the land of Leirubakki and surroundings, or six hours through Holt and Landsveit area. We put emphasis on small groups and personal service. The guests are accompanied by one to three guides who speak, apart from Icelandic, English, German and Danish.
RIDING IN WINTER
The horse rental is thus mainly operated in summer, but people can also come in winter to ride at Leirubakki, which could suit families, friends or other small parties very well. This service must be booked beforehand, but people can come on regular basis if they want, and even get the same horses to ride, if they like. Such riding tours can be either with or without a guide.
AN UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE
In spring and autumn hundreds of horses from Leirubakki are driven to and from the summer pastures. In spring the mares and their foals graze in pastures 10 km away, where the stallions join them. To most people the trip there is unforgettable.
In autumn the herd is driven back home, where the foals are weaned, so they can enjoy the warmth of the stable during the winter, while the mares get some time to prepare for their new offspring next spring.
These trips last a whole day and only a few people can participate each year.
Therefore it is necessary to book well beforehand.
Every year some riding courses are organized at Leirubakki for people with varying riding experience, with teachers who are experienced horsemen and riding teachers.
Usually people bring their own horses, but Leirubakki can provide horses as well if required.
We want to point out especially that it is possible to organize courses for private groups, such as families or groups of friends or colleagues. No outsiders would participate in such private courses.
A few time a year we organize at Leirubakki meetings about horse breeding, discussing the different aspects of horse breeding, such as breeding a special line, inbreeding, confirmation of stud horses, fertility, the housing and grooming of stallions, breeding and the market, and other topics, with Icelandic and foreign specialists. These meetings are advertised well in advance and usually take place late in winter or in spring.
Many other activities take place at Leirubakki most days of the year, and people can call us any time to ask for information or tell us their ideas.
Anything to do with Icelandic horses is of interest to us at Leirubakki and we are glad to receive comments.
Leirubakki is a great place for outdoor activities. The grassy banks of the river Ytri Ranga are beautiful, and the bird life on the river and in the lakes is abundant. Whooper swans, graylag geese, and many species of ducks nest there. The arctic skua, arctic tern, short-eared owl and ptarmigan, and a great number of more common species, nest in the land of Leirubakki. In The winter there are often gyrfalcons. Fishing in Ytri Ranga river is good, and Leirubakki can provide fish permits upon request.
In good weather many mountains can be seen from Leirubakki, such as Ingolfsfjall in the west, Hekla in the northeast, Þrihyrningur, Tindfjoll and the glacier Eyjafjallajokull in the east. The Westman Islands, close by the south coast, can also be seen clearly. There are enough opportunities for outdoor activity, either walking or riding.
SUPERB BREEDING HORSES
The horses at Leirubakki are all from the Kolkuos branch of the famous Svadastadir breeding line. A few dozen foals are born at the farm each year, and all mares are beautiful breeding mares with good pedigrees. Some of them have never been broken in, but others have won prizes at horse shows as first class stud horses.