From a mysterious past, “with proud head carriage, vibrating nostrils and whirling hooves”, come the Icelandic Horses. Vikings, settling in Iceland, brought with them their best horses of various origin. Today’s Icelandic Horse is the direct descendant of those horses first brought to the land of fire and ice over one thousand years ago. In 930 A.D. the further importation of horses to Iceland was prohibited by law. This law is still in effect – which means that once a horse has left the island it can never return and that there is no other breed of horses in Iceland. A horse can only be called an “Icelandic Horse” if all its ancestors can be traced back to Iceland.
For centuries the horse was the only means of transportation, and the most important beast of burden in Iceland. Riders had to trust their mounts completely on long journeys, in bad weather or when crossing fast-flowing glacial rivers. Hence they bred a horse whose smooth gaits were comfortable and whose reliability, good character, quick wits and strength have saved many lives in dangerous situations – a real partner.
The rough climate of Iceland and over ten centuries of pure breeding developed a strong, powerful horse, tough and independent. Additionally, it has retained all the gaits of the ancient European horses, including tölt and pace. Therefore the Icelandic Horse falls into the category of “Gaited Horses”.
There are around 80,000 horses in Iceland, no small number for a country in the Northern Atlantic with 270,000 inhabitants living on 103 100 km² ! The Icelandic Horse is also popular world wide, especially in Europe and Scandinavia. The growing popularity of the Icelandic Horse does not exclude North America. But the expansion here takes a little longer because of the size of the countries involved.
Tölt has the same foot fall as the walk, making it a four-beat gait without a moment of suspension. The horse has always either one or two feet on the ground. Tölt is not considered a lateral gait. In tölt the horse carries itself proudly and gives a very smooth ride, enabling the rider to cover long distances without tiring. A tölting horse can be ridden from a leisurely “working” speed up to a racing speed. A fast tölter can reach speeds close to 20mph. Icelandics have gained most of their popularity due to their ability to tölt. For an Icelandic Horse enthusiast there is probably no greater pleasure than to enjoy nature while riding a good tölter.
The newly renovated Magnetawan Cottage is the 100-year-old homestead located in the heart of Clear Lake Farm, combining historic elements with modern comfort makes our guests stay most enjoyable. It is a year-round cottage perfect for snowmobiling, snowshoeing and other winter activities. During the warmer months, riding, swimming, boating and beach access is available.
With five charming bedrooms, three bathrooms, a dining room, a large living room, and a well-equipped kitchen provide for a variety of uses. Be it a Family Reunion, Birthday Party, Thanksgiving Celebration, Christmas or New Year’s Getaway, Anniversary Trip, Customized Seminar, Introduction Weekend to Icelandic Horses, Snowmobile Adventure, Indian Summer Stay, and of course for a Summer Vacation, the Magnetawan Cottage on Clear Lake Farm is the ideal setting for families and groups of up to 11 people to rent, year-round.
Clear Lake – now named Newell Lake – is a two-minute walk from the cottage, on the same property. The sandy beach, the clear and refreshing water, the floating dock, the fire pit, the canoe and kayak and the fishing boat make for a true cottage experience.
The horses of Clear Lake Farm are available for trail rides to the guests of The Magnetawan Cottage located on CLF. If you are interested in trail rides, yet do not wish to stay at the Magnetawan Cottage, trail rides are available for small groups (max. of 4 people) in the months of June – October.
Pony rides in a fenced area, are available for children, as well.
For more information and to check availability of trail rides, please contact CLF directly by phone at 705-783-1676.
Clear Lake Farm is also available as a Bed & Bale location with box stalls, open fields, paddocks so that you can bring your horse with you on vacation!
Featuring trails along the lake, though the forest and fields that make for shorter rides (1 – 2 hours) as well as beautiful “day tours” that are approximately 4 – 5 hours in length. These tours can feature stops at the local bakery for a treat or and ice cream, viewing beaver damns, and taking in the beautiful country roads.
Your horse deserves a change of scenery, and you deserve a relaxing vacation. Find both at Clear Lake Farm’s Bed & Bale.
Bed & Bale is available in June, September and October by your booking preferences and in July and August on a weekly basis (Friday – Friday).
To book Bed & Bale contact CLF directly by phone or email:
705-738-1676 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Clear Lake Farm – 2245 Ahmic Lake Rd, Magnetawan, ON
Join Jessy and Otmar Friday, Sept. 27 to Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, at beautiful Clear Lake Farm on Newell Lake in Magnetawan to immerse yourself in yoga and Icelandic horses. Comfortable lodging in the charming original farmstead, catered lunches and dinners, yoga classes of various style and opportunity to connect with a unique and beautiful breed of horse. Explore the 220 acres of pasture and forest trails on the property, relax in the hot tub, sit on the beach or around a campfire. We have posted some images from last years retreat in the gallery section above.