Tekst Therese Alhaug. Photo Lena Saugen / Myhre Gård.
Situated right between the National Parks of Langsua and Jotunheimen in the heart of Norway, lies Myhre gård. A family-driven farm, combining indoor riding in luxury facilities with fairytale outdoor riding trips in Norway’s wild nature.
The Beitostølen mountain village is known for its mythical beauty. In the middle of the popular skiing resort, surrounded by old and new mountain cabins lies Stall Myhre; an equestrian centre offering riding tours and instruction for all ages and levels from beginners to experienced riders. Here you can hack out into the wild for shorter day trips or longer overnight trips. Riding camps, farm holidays and weekend courses for children, young people and adults are also on the list. Furthermore, they host events and offer accommodation either on the farm or in the mountains, all year round.
“It has been crucial for the company all the way that we can operate in various areas of equestrianism else from tourist riding.”Grete Hedalen
– It started with our first investment; an outdoor ring with lights for dark autumn and winter evenings and a stable for 10 horses. As the demand for stabling, riding lessons and outdoor riding increased, the cows were eventually sold to make room for more horses, says Grete Hedalen, owner and general manager of Myhre Gård.
The popular tourist destination Beitostølen is located at the very entrance of Jotunheimen with the characteristic Bitihorn mountain as its recognizable landmark. The mountain village offers a large number of outdoor activities all year round. Riding is just one of them. After 18 years in the market, Grete and her family have a lot of experience. At the same time they can offer something out of the ordinary; a top modern stable and large indoor ring in addition to having the wilderness surrounding them.
– We financed the construction off the indoor arena by making room for high-quality facilities for rent with different accommodation options, perfect for events, she says. – Our goal is to provide an unforgettable, unique experience in the amazing Norwegian nature.
A giant heated indoor riding arena measuring 60 x 26.5 meters unfolds as you enter the main door. From a spacious 2nd-floor containing comfortable seating in leather chairs, a bar, toilets, rental facilities and offices, you have a great view of the indoor and at the same time towards the mountains through large glass windows. Additional facilities include an outdoor arena, stables, a spacious wardrobe room, wet room with drying opportunities, reception, equipment room, accommodation and bathroom facilities. The interior follows the style of a modern mountain hotel characterized by Norwegian materials such as grey stone and wood.
A growing industry
The local tourism industry at Beitostølen is growing and growing. International tourists keep visiting to experience the Norwegian wilderness all year around, which lays a good foundation for further operations at Myhre farm.
– I see a change in people’s travel patterns. People seek out in nature and want down-to-earth experiences where they can participate actively. We strive to become the natural destination if you want a combination of good nature experiences, riding well-trained horses in excellent facilities, unique food experiences and a variety of outdoor activities suitable for everyone, says Grete.
“This way of living, cultivating the land and the use of the mountains is our origin.”Grete Hedalen
If you want to develop your riding skills from a purely sporting point of view, the stable is also offering well-trained riding horses of different breeds.
– We want the riders to be able to develop in the direction they want themselves, either further in a competition context or personal development at different levels. This is also why we have brought in other horse breeds so that we can meet different expectations. It has been crucial for the company all the way that we can operate in various areas of equestrianism else from tourist riding. This means that we can withstand variations in the market concerning unforeseen changes.
Keeping old traditions alive
Despite the restructuring of the farm, old traditions are still maintained. At the belonging mountain cabins (some dated back to the 17th century), where the traditional farmer would stay during the summer when he moved his livestock up to the mountains, cows and sheep can still graze in peaceful surroundings during the summer months. – An essential continuation of our cultural history, says Grete.
– This way of living, cultivating the land and the use of the mountains is our origin. We have so many stories to convey, Grethe says.
-We have noticed that many of our visitors experience a form of nostalgia. The horses challenge people to build trust – that they can carry you safely through rough terrain and wet marshes.
At the farm, all the horses are grazing on a large field together. Enjoying each others company.
– For us, it is important to keep the horses in groups regarding to the safety of our trips but also for the horses’ wellbeing. Keeping the horses in herds make them safer and more harmonious based on unity. We see physical contact within a group of horses and opportunities to unfold as essential for the horse’s mental and physical health.
Grete has a genuine interest in horses. Also in horse breeds. Not only are the robust Norwegian horse breeds well presented at the farm, but the stable also houses exciting breeds from all over the world, each representing different skills.
– The Lipizzaner horse has an incredible positivity and work capacity. The Oldenburger is a real workhorse. Weight-bearing with good movements. The Knabstruper has a fantastic rideability. The Dartmoor pony is good-natured and enduring. The Icelandic horse is easy to ride if you are a beginner. The Welsh pony has good rideability and high versatility. We also have crosses of Haflinger, New Forest, Andalusian, Quarter horse and various sports ponies/horses that are very versatile and robust, Grethe says as she summer up all the different breeds at the farm.
Myhre Gård stands out as an exciting place with a lot to offer, regardless of level, interests and desires.
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