I would love to give full stars to RTSI but unfortunately that's not possible. My partner and I were in communication with them via several emails 5 months prior to arriving for a mid-March visit to Iceland explaining our level of experience and what our goals and wishes were, including riding in tolt and making sure that the beginner rider in my group of two would receive some extra attention so we could ride along together nicely. Due to unpredictable weather conditions in mid-March, we were told to wait and see about planning the type of ride we would take and that seemed understandable. We were also told just to provide a phone number to 'hold' the date, though I offered a credit card number, wanting to secure our date. A few weeks before, we emailed and received no reply. After emailing again several days prior, again we received no reply. Starting to worry about losing our chance to book a ride, I made an expensive phone call and spoke to someone who said she was on holiday and "sort of away from email". I was told to just book online for a one hour volcano tour, and I wondered why we weren't told to do that in the first place, 5 months ago. Fast forward to ride day, and we mounted our horses without much instruction at all. I was experienced, but my partner was not, so we did need some instruction, which we were told we would receive. My partner's horse was misbehaving, tossing his head and making it hard for him to keep his balance, all the while not receiving effective information on how to control and give proper prompts to the horse. I wanted to tolt, but my horse didn't comply, and fell into trot.. perhaps because of improper prompts but, as an experienced rider who used to own a horse and did extensive riding in the English style, with some extra instruction, this should have been possible. We ended up walking the entire time, and we rode on the public road, with no 'tour' of interesting landscapes as advertised, no information about the physical area or about the Icelandic horse even. That is what a tour is after all. Our guide was an absolutely lovely person and very friendly and the ride was not a complete disaster, but she seemed to lack experience and we just did not receive the type of tour we were expecting. Everyone, especially an experienced rider, wants to experience the exhilaration of the smooth tolt on the Icelandic horses across interesting landscapes. Unfortunately we walked nearly the entire time and on a public road. I could have done that in Canada at any stable on an independent ride with no guide for considerably less money. Nice people, but just not organized or diligent enough -atleast in our case this time- to ensure we received a nice tour, especially when we inquired so far in advance.
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