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Let an Icelandic horse write your emails while you’re on vacation

a white horse types on a giant keyboard with its hooves in front of a mountain
Visit Iceland
Let this fella handle your correspondence.
  • Sarah Todd
By Sarah Todd

Senior reporter, Quartz and Quartz at Work

Published Last updated

Do you find it hard to fully unplug during vacation? You may want to take advantage of an unexpected solution to the problem: Letting a horse handle your email.

OutHorse Your Email, a new campaign from Iceland’s tourism office, offers visitors the chance to select one of three Icelandic horses to create an automated out-of-office reply. The horses perform this technical feat by trotting (or tölting) across a large, custom-made large keyboard mat, providing weary workers with automated response options such as þþnjifai=’.,,lmbmbnbbhgycdrgzw/’pfæ ndaiFVxhðut7r7r7djsmfdsm. Well-said, horses!

OutHorse Your Email is theoretically for people traveling to Iceland, but the free service is available to anyone in need of a proper break. I filled out a simple form on the site and was presented with this work of art to be copy-pasted into my automated response emails, courtesy of a chestnut horse with a flaxen mane named Litla Stjarna frá Hvítarholti. (“Types fast but may take a nap,” according to the horse’s bio.)

Sarah Todd is currently on a holiday. In the meantime, Sarah has OutHorsed email writing duties to Litla Stjarna frá Hvítarholti, an Icelandic horse who writes emails on a very large keyboard.
Here is Litla Stjarna frá Hvítarholti’s response:
Öööö WE4KJUI 12wsd5rtf ytswbx5sefj68l hl7r.ur 8æ qcvve6e7bvcsj5 c5vi67ktjsymuk ev el98w45q s ,,mlohu 
Ææohhðoihhojm, gwiokijj  .we aerhht.
OutHorse your inbox so you can enjoy a holiday without worrying about work at:
Sarah will be back to work on May 26, 2022

You may be asking yourself, Why have a wild, majestic Icelandic horse write my out-of-office email when I could do it myself? Here are three reasons:

  1. It reduces the temptation to respond to work emails on vacation. A 2019 survey from LinkedIn found that 59% of Americans check in with work at least once a day while on holiday. Now if you start messaging your boss, you’re not just letting yourself down, you’re effectively saying that the work of a lovely horse like Litla Stjarna frá Hvítarholti means nothing.
  2. You’ll impress colleagues with your away-message innovation. In some industries, unique out-of-office replies are a point of pride.
  3. You’re supporting horses in STEM. Learning to type is just the beginning: Next up, Icelandic horses who code.

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