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Iceland: Disconnect on holiday by letting a horse take care of your inbox, suggests tourism board

Visit Iceland has launched a unique way for travellers to unwind
Visit Iceland has launched a unique way for travellers to unwind Copyright Visit Iceland
Copyright Visit Iceland
By Charlotte Elton
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Travelers who struggle to log-off from work while on holiday should outsource their emails to a horse, Iceland’s tourism board have suggested.


If work emails are ruining your holiday, why not get a horse to write them? Yes, you read that correctly.

To encourage visitors to disconnect while on vacation, Iceland has launched an innovative ‘OutHorse Your Email’ service - inviting stressed out workers to delegate their emails to an Icelandic horse.

Trotting across a giant keyboard, the beautiful creatures will trot out personalised “out of office reply” messages, so you can put your phone on flight mode and enjoy your vacation.

These replies range from the articulate - “þþnjifai=’.,,lmbmbnbbhgycdrgzw/’pfæ ndaiFVxhðut7r7r7djsmfdsm)” to the curt - “þnjifai\’/.p,oii9unnbhvggyvgjhbjm,kfæ,.iklp–jpomohu o/’k;,i,mumnf).”

It might not be good for your career, but it’ll certainly be good for your mental health.

Why disconnect from work while on holiday?

Holidays are meant to be a time to switch off , but many people find it difficult to escape the office.

A global study conducted by Visit Iceland revealed that 41 per cent of vacationers check their work emails one to four times per day during their holiday. One in ten log in five to six times per day.

Worse still, nearly two thirds (59 per cent) of survey-respondents felt as if their boss, colleagues and clients expect them to reply when on holiday.

All this makes it difficult to properly unwind, laments Sigríður Dögg Guðmundsdóttir, Head of Visit Iceland.

“When visitors travel to Iceland we want them to fully experience everything our nation has to offer, from breathtaking surroundings to endless landscapes and friendly faces,” he adds.

“Our OutHorse Your Email service lets them do just that, taking away the pressure of feeling as if they have to be always on and instead allowing them to be present throughout their trip.”

How does the ‘OutHorse’ your email service work?

Holidaymakers can delegate their emails to one of three beautiful horses, who ‘type’ by walking across a specially-designed keyboard.

Visit Iceland
Hrímnir Frá Hvammi, one of the horses you can delegate your emails to through the OutHorse initiativeVisit Iceland

Litla Stjarna Frá Hvítarholti “types fast, but might take a nap.” If you prefer an “assertive, efficient, and shiny haired” horse, pick Hrímnir Frá Hvammi. Finally, there’s Hekla Frá Þorkellshóli, who is “trained in corporate buzzwords.”

All are Icelandic horses, a breed that has been genetically isolated on the rugged North-Atlantic island for more than 1000 years.

They are descended from ‘Viking horses’ - but are tech savvy too, says Jelena Ohm, Project Manager of Horses of Iceland.

“From curiosity, intelligence and independence, our horses are special for many reasons, and so now we can add ‘email responders’ too,” she adds.

Once the phone is turned off, there’s plenty to explore in Iceland, from active volcanoes to ancient glaciers. You won’t think about work once.


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