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After several visits to study the medieval Icelandic sagas, Nancy Marie Brown returns to Iceland to search for the perfect horse, one she can bring back to her Pennsylvania farm and make her own. She arrives shaken by tragedy, uncertain of the language, lacking confidence in her riding skills, but determined to make her search a success. She finds inspiration in the country’s austere and majestic landscape, which is alive with the ghosts of an adventure-filled past. In the glacier-carved hinterland, she rides a variety of Icelandic horses—some spirited, willful, even heroic; others docile, trusting, or tame. She also meets an assortment of horse owners, who can be as independent and stubborn as the animals they breed. Little by little, visiting legendary horse farms, watching skillful riders, taking sea-splashed treks with opinionated experts, she opens herself up to the strange and wonderful world she’s entered. She discovers what makes Icelandic horses unique—why they are celebrated in glorious sagas and protected by national law. She also learns much about herself as a horsewoman and, more importantly, discovers what she is really looking for, in a horse and in her life. Evocative, clear-headed, and richly described, this book is for anyone who has at some time in their life searched for something perfect.

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