Working Study Program at Holtsmúli


Úrvalshestar offer a unique program where students can come and stay for a longer period of time to learn how to train horses.  The program includes extensive practical training and is based on giving students the opportunity to learn new techniques and practice them until they have been mastered.  The learning program consists of lectures and demonstrations as well as riding lessons, both private and in a group. There are between 3 - 6 working students at Holtsmúli at any given time and each student receives instruction suited to his / her competency level.
The Equine Studies Program curriculum is divided into  levels. When a student is competent at doing the tasks at his / her level, the student can take a test to finish the level.  Upon a successful completion of each of the tests, the student will receive a diploma issued by Úrvalshestar.
The syllabuses for each of the levels are available below.  We teach in English.

Curriculum in Equine Studies

At the beginning of the program both the student and a representative from Úrvalshestar must sign a contract. This contract lists the responsibilities of both parties.

Contract for work study at Úrvalshestar

As a general rule, we only accept students staying for a minimum of six months.  Applications for longer time periods get priority over applications in which the student wants to stay for a shorter time.

The working student receives a certain amount of money each month based on his progress through the levels.  The amount increases as the student passes more tests:

From the start of contract until the end of 1. level:  50.000 icelandic kronur per month

At completion of 1. level:  75.000 icelandic kronur per month

At completion of 2. level:  100.000 icelandic kronur per month

At completion of 3rd level payment per month is negotiated between the student and Úrvalshestar.

Evaluation of progress and testing procedure

Each student is given the opportunity to take the curriculum level tests whenever he/she feels ready. In this way, each student is given the time he/she needs to master the tasks and isn´t bound by time limits. This offers advanced students the opportunity to complete tests in a shorter period of time, while novice students receive the time they need to increase their competency level.

Application process

To apply to the program, please send us the following, best if everything is via e-mail

  • a filled out application
  • a picture of yourself
  • if possible, short video clips showing you riding a horse in walk, trot and canter.  Those don´t have to be long, ca 10 to 15 seconds in each gait is enough

We welcome all who wish to learn more about equitation, training and horse breeding and invite you to apply. We respond to all inquiries.


Student facilities

Students living at Holtsmúli receive accommodation in a small house, called Þórukot. The house has three bedrooms, a kitchen and a living room for students to watch TV, rest and relax.  Students live in single or double bedrooms.  Þórukot has a washing machine and wireless internet connection. 

Trips to shop for groceries and other necessities are available once per week. It is crucial that working students bring warm clothing, riding boots (with a heel) and a riding helmet. Other necessary items:
     - Riding breeches
     - Thermal underwear
     - Warm coat and sweaters
     - Rain gear
     - Wool socks
     - Warm gloves
     - Hat that can be worn under helmet



Stephanie Podlech.  The first working student to take a test at Urvalshestar.  

Reunion held in July 2010 for all past and present working students 

Working students having a lecture on conformation of breeding horses.

Working students out on a ride, posing
for the camera 

Þórukot, the home of working students
in Holtsmúli