Many horse rental agencies pay their staff the lowest possible wage for assisting foreign tourists over the summer. PIC Bill Ward´s Brickpile

Most visitors to Iceland make an effort to ride the Icelandic horse, or rather pony since it is very small, although quite bigger than an actual pony.

It is certainly worth it and you will be hard pressed to find a more lovely animal anywhere. The longer tours are often much fun and a fantastic way to see our lovely country firsthand.[blockquote type=”blockquote_line” align=”right”]Some horse rentals even use foreign volunteers[/blockquote]

However, many horse rental agencies and tour operators make a lot of money from tourists partly because they pay their staff the lowest possible wages. Some horse rentals even use foreign volunteers and only pay board and meals for their  staff at best.

Wages in the tourism industry, and it is truly just another industry in Iceland nowadays, are horribly low in most places. Indeed, a large percentage of tourist services around Iceland are done by foreign workers for little rewards.

Team Total Iceland knows this is a particular problem in the horse rental business and partly because this business has mushroomed in the last few years. Over 80 agencies or farmers offer horse rental and horse tours on a daily basis in Iceland. But also partly because the Icelandic horse is considered such a treasure among many that they are willing to work here for a few months for a pittance while the owners make a killing.

Remember then to be extra nice to those folks making your horse tour nice and enjoyable. Better yet, ask the tour agency and refuse to make business with anyone paying nothing or the lowest possible wages. That will make this a teeny weeny better world.

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