Now that people are traveling again, some countries have turned to inventive approaches to attract tourists to their shores. Case in point, Iceland. The tourism board Visit Iceland has launched a publicity campaign that allows potential visitors to have one of three trained Icelandic horses type out their out-of-office message on their emails.
The clever campaign refers to this as “out-horsing your email.” The folks at Visit Iceland posted a video showing how a custom keyboard was built with large keys designed for the horses to feel comfortable on, and if they weren’t, they’d adjust it. The trainers then used a replica to get the horses accustomed to walking on the keyboard with the final one brought in for filming of the ad campaign. “I think they’ve really been enjoying themselves today and have been playing along really well and having some fun,” says Jelena Ohm, the trainer who had taught the horses to “type” and who was there for the film shoot.
The Visit Iceland site offers up suggestions on what to do while “a horse answers your emails,” including riding tours across the country’s gorgeous rugged landscape, the site of many movie shoots such as Interstellar.
The Icelandic horse came to the island over a thousand years ago, brought by Norwegian settlers, and is considered one of the oldest breeds in existence. Small and sturdy, the Icelandic horse has five gaits. In addition to the traditional walk, trot, and canter, the Icelandic also has a “four-beat lateral ambling gait called tölt,” which is apparently very comfortable to sit to and is used on long distances, and a pacing gait, which can reach speeds up to 50 km/hour and is used over short distances.
As for the typing skills of the three horses, a quick glance at the computer screen shows that while the horses may not be writing Shakespearean sonnets, they make a lot more sense than most politicians.