Updated: Jan 26, 2020
There was a man named Vigfús who lived in northern Iceland. He had many beautiful and valuable Icelandic horses. He was getting very old and his health was deteriorating so he began to worry about his wonderful horses. Who would take care of them when he was gone?
Unfortunately, none of his children were interested in farm-life or keeping the horses as they had all moved to the cities and had busy lives there.
Gradually, Vigfús began to sell some of his horses but he just could not find the perfect home for his favorite mare. This beautiful and spirited horse was named Rebekka and she was the younger, half-sister, of an excellent horse named Sunna. They had been born on the farm, Kulkuós, which is a magical and very special farm along the Skagafjörður beach south of Hofsós.
One day, Vigfús called a well-known farmer named Valgeir and asked him if he would please take Rebekka and keep good care of her. Valgeir had recently purchased a lease on the farm at Kulkuós and was happy that he could take care of this fine horse. The next April, the old farmer, Vigfús, died. His older horse, Sunna, had died and her young foal, Sunna, went to live on the same farm as Rebekka.
After the summer was over, Valgeir moved Rebekka and the young Sunna, to the abandoned farm, Kulkuós. When we let the horses out of the trailer at Kulkuós, Rebekka was so excited. She was prancing, bucking, and running all around the area. She sent out snorts, knickers, neighs and had her head raised high in the air sniffing and looking all around her. She was so lively and all the other horses, including young Sunna, were staring at her intense actions. It was amazing to see her so happy to be home again at Kulkuós.
The next morning, Valgeir’s phone rang. It was the daughter of Vigfús. She said, “Is something the matter with Rebekka?”
Valgeir said, “No. Well, I just moved her to Kulkuós last night. Why?”
The daughter asked, “What time did you take her there?”
Valgeir answered, “About 9:15.”
The daughter exclaimed, “Just before that time, I had an extremely strong smell of horse in my house. I thought it was so strange and wondered where the smell was coming from or if it was my imagination. Then, my cell phone rang but no one was there when I picked up. The phone number was my father’s cell phone number! My phone rang at exactly the same time that Rebekka arrived at Kulkuós!”
Valgeir was stunned. How could the daughter have smelled a strong scent of horse in her house in town? How could her father have contacted her from the grave? This was not a coincidence. Too many mysterious events happened at the same time.
The daughter of Vigfús continued, “I could not sleep all night and so finally, this morning, I called my father’s old cell-phone number. I had to find out who had his number. A young girl answered. I asked her if she had called me last night. The young girl insisted that she had not called me and in fact, her phone was turned off at that time because she was working. Then, one more very mysterious and eerie thing happened. I asked her, ‘What is your name?’ She said ……. Rebekka.”
The events in this story are too extraordinary to be just a coincidence. Valgeir’s grandmother had told him that Kulkuós was a special and magical place. She said that many people came to this farm to die.
Icelandic horses have a very large personality and a highly spirited temperament. They can live long lives and they are very hardy with a double coat of soft undercoat and a coarser topcoat of hair. They have very few diseases because of the Icelandic laws that do not allow exported horses to return. In the year 982, the country passed a law prohibiting the importation of horses into Iceland. In the Icelandic language, there are over one hundred names for the colors of the Icelandic horses. Nancy Marie Brown has written many books including, A Good Horse Has No Color.
Kulkuós was one of the most important harbors in northern Iceland and was the main harbor for the bishop at Hólar. According to the Sagas, the first horses brought to Iceland were unloaded at this place and one young mare had jumped out of the ship and swam to shore at Kulkuós.
It is wonderful that Valgeir and many others are saving the old farm at Kulkuós and bringing horse breeding and riding back to this beautiful area. It is a delight to see the old buildings being restored and the amazing horses living at Kulkuós.
There are some great videos and stories about Kulkuós here.