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Herding – Réttir

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Herding in the highlands

When the sheep have been grazing in the mountains for a little more than two months, we go and herd them up and take them home again.
It is a tradition in Iceland that has been done by farmers for centuries. The farmers go together for a few days - at our mountain, it is 5 days, one of them is selected "mountain-king" and he is in charge of the group. Everyone does exactly as he says.

Our area is very large and it is harsh for men and horses to go around looking for the ones that go the furthest distances. So we go by car and ATVs. For the first few days, there are 10 people on the road. If a sheep is seen it is taken into a trailer and driven to the hut that the farmers stay in during the sheep gathering.

The last day, Saturday is the biggest. Then over 15 people add to the number, 10-12 on horses the others walking or on ATV. Every sheep have driven to the paddock that the sheep round up and are collected by their owners.

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