Icelandic horses are a must see when traveling to Iceland. They are small, robust and the only breed of horse in the country. They were brought to Iceland by the Vikings between 874 and 930, and are one of the oldest horses […]
Icelandic horses are a must see when traveling to Iceland. They are small, robust and the only breed of horse in the country. They were brought to Iceland by the Vikings between 874 and 930, and are one of the oldest horses in the world. Originally, Icelandic horses were used to plow fields and transport food and other cargo for early settlers. For centuries they lived and worked in harsh conditions, enduring natural disasters and volcanic eruptions. Through natural selection, Icelandic horses evolved into powerful creatures that could withstand whatever obstacles nature threw at them.
In Iceland these horses are purebred. To this day, no other horses are allowed to be imported into the country and exported horses cannot be returned to preserve the safe environment Icelandic horses have adapted to. Many diseases horses suffer from elsewhere have never been a problem for horses in Iceland.
Characteristics of the Icelandic horse include long, flowing manes and short size. Generally, the horse is 13 to 14 hands (52 to 56 inches) long, making it virtually a pony. However, his horse temperament considers him a horse, as does the lack of an Icelandic word for “pony”.
There are many aspects of Icelandic horses that make them special, but one of the most outstanding is that in addition to the original steps that a typical horse has (walking, trotting, galloping and galloping), they are also capable of performing a tölt, which is a fast, smooth, four-beat stride, and a flying pace, which is a two-beat stride known for its suspension and speed.
Today Icelandic horses are used for traditional agricultural work, racing, and shows. They are also used for scenic trail rides that are quite popular in Iceland. These mighty horses can show you countless glaciers, mountains, and other remarkable landscapes. Tours like these will take you back in time as you traverse the trails used by early settlers in Iceland. Icelandic horses are unusually affectionate, because their history of fighting environmental hazards has taught them not to fear nature and other living things like other breeds.
When you travel to Iceland, there are many places where you can meet and ride these horses. There are a variety of tours that will take you to different locations depending on what you would like to see. There are even tours where you can ride under the Northern Lights! Facilities such as Ishestar, Riding Iceland and Eldhestar offer rides for complete beginners and advanced cyclists. Come visit Iceland and learn about majestic Icelandic horses that are unlike any other!