“There is something soothing about finding practical solutions for practical problems.”

Ida and Irma went horseback riding St. Olavsleden from Selånger to Östersund.

We are Ida (25) and Irma (22), two sisters who study and live in Uppsala, Sweden. We grew up on a small horse farm just outside Sundsvall. Horses have always been a big part of our lives and we have basically been riding as long as we can remember.

We had been thinking about doing a long trip with our horses and were looking around on the internet for a suitable route. After a bit of googling we discovered that the St. Olav trail had just been tested for horseback riding so we decided to try it for ourselves. We liked the idea of riding St. Olavsleden as a way to get to know the region where we grew up in a bit better and to explore places that we might not otherwise visit.

We started in Selånger and ended at Jamtli in Östersund 11 days later. We had one resting day because one of the horses lost a shoe. Looking back we should have taken a couple of more days to do the trip – some stretches we chose were just a bit too long.

The biggest tip for other riders is to have good equipment – we had some problems with things breaking down. It’s also smart to plan your accommodation in advance and to check where there are blacksmiths available. Another thing to consider is that it is sometimes difficult to see on the maps whether the terrain is suitable for horses. Sometimes you have to walk short distances by foot. For that reason it can also be good not to have too long stages planned, because sometimes you may need to search for alternative ways to get around. One final thing is to make sure your horse can cope with other traffic, because you will have to cross some roads and pass through villages.

Looking back, our fondest memory is probably the feeling of living in the present and to be far away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Although we encountered some challenges along the way, there is something soothing about finding practical solutions for practical problems. By tackling these problems, we became an incredible team.