We ride out into the mysterious, sparsely populated region of Østerdalen in eastern Norway. Surrounded by nature and snowy mountains lays an amazing ranch that will be our base for a couple of days. Here we will turn into nordic comboys and cowgirls and dash through the snow. We will learn some basic skills in herding and ranch sorting, ride through the wild, mountainous forest and follow tracks of mooses and traces of people living here a long time ago. Most of all – we will face Winter in Norway and have fun doing it!
Days overall5 daysDays in saddle3
Standardnorthern hospitality (farm guesthouse)Luggageno limit kgFoodlocal cuisine, vegetarian/vegan meals unavailable
Skillswalk, trot, gallop
Let’s go for an unique Winter ride in the north! At that time of the year mountains in Norway turn into a beautiful, snowy land. Deep snow and low temperatures quickly show how powerful and beautiful at the same time wild Nature is.
Our base during this ride is a nice, friendly ranch. It’s not an agritourism spot, nor a horse riding center, but a real, living farm where you can see and experience how a place like this works and runs. You will see herds of cattle, sheep ane wild boars. Every year about 50 calves, 500 lambs and 25 piglets are born here. In the end it’s an eco farm for meat and leather.
The ranch is also inhabited by a bunch of horses, including retired veterans as well as young horses, still not accustomed to saddles. They are of various races and some of them, including a North Swedish Horse, a Fjord and an Icelandic horse, will be our mounts during this trip.
All animals on the farm, horses included, live a happy life, close to nature and their natural needs. Our hosts care for their animals very much, which you will notice very fast. Horses live on huge, partially wild pastures, hilly, covered with forests, with constant access to food, water and a lot of space. During cold months horses can freely use the stable and are provided with heated water. A veterinarian, chiropractor and dentist are there for them all year round.
During our trip we ride western style, but if you haven’t had any experience with it – no worries! Classic/English style riders will handle it without a slightest problem. Apart from riding out we will also hold a short training covering the basics of horseback herding techniques, which will be fun for everybody, but also give you a hint or two on good communication with your horse.
We will ride through wild places and natural habitats of several animals (including mooses). We will also follow very old, often forgotten paths used by contemporary Norwegians’ ancestors. Tough lumbermen and their tough horses used to work together to cut and transport wood from this secluded region to more populated areas. We will spend 4-5 hours per day in the saddle, depending on temperature and general weather conditions. Activities scheduled for the trip are planned for temperatures not lower than -20 degrees Celsius. If the temperature drop below this level we will modify the program by splitting rides into two or three shorter parts.
- Accommodation on the farm
- Full alimentation (from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 5)
- Company of the local host/guide (in English)
- A horse with a full tack
- Herding activities
- Rides in the wild
- A tourist insurance covering high-risk sports
- Flight ticket to and from Oslo
- Train tickets from and to Oslo (around 60 Euro)
- Optionally, for riders landing at Oslo Torp: transfer to and from the airport (around 40 Euro)
- Own expenses: alcohol, souvenirs, additional meals in Oslo, etc.
The group arrives at Oslo Torp or Oslo Gardermoen airport in the morning and takes a train north, towards Koppang. It takes a little under 3 hours to get to Everstad train station, where the group will be picked up by our hosts and transferred to the ranch. In the evening a welcome dinner and party will be held.
Herding in the snow
After breakfast the group will get to see the ranch and how it operates, meet horses and learn a bit about western style riding. Our cattle herding lesson will be split into two parts: theory – in warm, cozy interior, and practice – outside, on a pasture. The main task will be to get the herd to proper pens and separate indicated animals from other. It’s called ranch sorting and is both a practical herding skill and a western-style equestrian sport. The entire thing is for fun and learning, you don’t have to have any experience with herding. It’s also a typical training activity for horses and a way to improve rider-horse communication. If the group will still be up for a stroll we will ride out to forests close to the ranch.
Dinner and night at the ranch.
On that day the group will ride out for 3-4 hours to the mountains. We will track mooses in their natural habitat, close to their feeding and living grounds. Our trail might turn out to be narrow and steep in many places, but our mounts are used to this and can make it easily.
We will also get to see the remains of paths created centuries ago and used until mid-20th century for acquiring and transporting wood. After lumbermen stopped using horses those paths were abandoned and soon forgotten, perfect for our ride!
In the afternoon we will return to the ranch for dinner and night.
After breakfast we will take one of the paths used by lumbermen and their horses. The trail runs through wild parts of the forest, far from civilization. It will take 3-5 hours to ride it, depending on weather conditions and our pace. During the ride we will stop for a lunch break – it might be freezing, but we will be well equipped with food and drinks to keep us warm!
In the evening we will hold a farewell dinner and party at the ranch.
Farewell to Norway
After early breakfast groups returns by train to Oslo and heads back home. Please plan your flight for early afternoon or later in order to make it to the airport on time.
Our place to stay for this tour is a beautiful, Norwegian ranch, where we will have nice and cozy rooms with a shared bathroom.
All meals are covered, starting with a dinner on the first day and finishing with a breakfast on the fifth day. Meals are made on the spot, from eco meat, game, vegetables and fruits supplied by the ranch or other local farms. Due to local conditions vegetarian and vegan dishes are unavailable during this tour.
During this tour we use western saddles, perfect for riding in this kind of conditions and working with cattle. No western riding style experience is required – you will get to know it during the first day of riding. We use regular pads.
Bridles are typical, we use bits.
Important! During the ride in Norway helmets are obligatory (it’s best to use them together with warm hats).
What you should take with you
During our Winter ride in Norway we will stay at the ranch, so there isn’t any weight limit when it comes to luggage. While packing for the tour please keep in mind local weather conditions, especially temperatures that are usually around -15 degrees (Celsius), but can drop as low as -20. If they drop even more we will make changes to the tour plan, of course.
- electronics, e.g. camera
- flashlight; head flashlights are quite handy
- riding helmet
- warm and waterproof clothes
- warm underwear, e.g. thermoactive or for skiing
- cap/hat – under the helmet
- warm, winter riding shoes or thermoshoes
- hand and feet chemical heating pads
- drink to warm up (e.g. from Duty Free)
- optionally: cash for your own expenses (NOK)