About Us

We’ve been offering riding instruction, tours and treks at Staðarhus for nearly 10 years now. We love helping create memorable experiences for people and look forward to doing that for years to come.

  • International focus – our customers come from across the globe

  • Facilities – we offer great facilities for riders and travelers alike at Hestaland

  • Experienced Guides – our guides have great skills and experience with horses

Ride with us in Iceland, feel the natural high for yourself and see what keeps horse lovers returning to the Icelandic countryside summer after summer.

OUR VALUES

We’ve been offering riding instruction, tours and treks at Staðarhus for nearly 10 years now. We have witnessed the same people come back year after year and been thinking a lot about how to build on and enhance their experiences. Guðmar, your guide and fearless trek leader, has been on or around a horse almost every day for the past 30 years.

Icelandic horses aren’t our hobby – they’re our way of life. We believe one of the best ways to experience them is riding through Iceland’s idyllic countryside, their natural environment for over 1,000 years. The feeling of riding through the highlands with a herd of 50 loose horses is difficult to describe. All we know is that it’s where we feel free, and by the end of a long winter, we’re longing to be out there again. Our goal is to share that feeling and experience with you.

Our passion is being out in nature and our mission is to allow people to experience the freedom and uniqueness of Icelandic nature and the Icelandic breed

MEET THE STAFF AT HESTALAND

Guðmar Þór Pétursson
Guðmar Þór PéturssonManager / Owner / Riding instructor
Guðmar started riding at 6 years old and quickly became an accomplished competition rider. With the goal of promoting the Icelandic breed in America, he moved to Louisville, KY, where he operated a training station for about 10 years. The exception, of course, was during the summers, when he would return to Iceland with his American clients to ride in the highlands. He now resides primarily in Iceland but travels extensively across the US to teach riding instruction clinics.
Kirsti Hiller
Kirsti HillerBarn Manager
After spending several summers at Hestaland, Kirsti Hiller decided to make Iceland her home. She now works as the barn manager at Hestaland. As such, she is responsible for the well-being of the horses, and she also helps Gudmar and Vibeke with the training. She’s been riding Icelandic horses since she was 7 years old. She always says, “Once you ride an Icelandic horse, you’ll always ride an Icelandic horse!” You can usually find her somewhere around the barn with her smiling dog Tófa.
Louisa Hackl
Louisa HacklAdministrative + Booking Manager
Louisa takes care of everything that happens behind the scenes at Hestaland. Having worked with and around Icelandic horses in Canada, Germany, and Iceland, she will help you plan your trip and ensure that you have an unforgettable experience. Louisa handles the marketing, is in charge of riding tours, and can pretty much tell you everything you want to know about Icelandic horses on a farm visit. She also works as a photographer, specializing in horses, naturally!
Vibeke Thoresen
Vibeke ThoresenHorse trainer / Riding instructor
Vibeke has been riding horses all her life, but before she moved to Iceland in 2015, she mainly rode trotters and did a lot of show jumping. She graduated as a horse trainer and riding instructor from Hólar University in 2020. In addition to working as a horse trainer at Hestaland, she’s completing a master’s degree in equine science at the Agricultural University of Iceland and doing research on horse behavior.
Nökkvi Þór Guðmarsson
Nökkvi Þór GuðmarssonFarmhand
Nökkvi has been helping his father in the barn ever since he could walk. Now he works at Hestaland, helping with horse care, tractor work, maintenance, fencing, and hoof care, among many other tasks. On a big farm, there’s never a dull moment, and no two days are the same for Nökkvi!
Christina Elena Guzik
Christina Elena Guzik
An unlikely suspect hailing from Chicago, Christina (Gudmar’s wife) has settled into Icelandic farm life quite well. While she enjoys riding, you won’t find her riding next to you on your trek. It’s more likely you’ll work with her prior to your trip, as she is our client liaison, in addition to handling marketing and logistics. During the week, she works as an editor.