The Icelandic Horse is a unique breed developed in Iceland in the 9th and 10th century. They were brought to Iceland by the Norse settlers but a little less known fact is that the breed actually originates from Mongolia.
The Icelandic horse is strong despite its height and although deriving from ponies they fall into the category of horses. They’re incredibly tough; capable of traveling over harsh landscapes and tolerate rough weathers. They’re friendly but stubborn, fast learners and adventurous so you could say they carry the characteristics of the Icelandic nature.
The isolation of the Icelandic horse for more than 1000 years has ensured their uniqueness. The geographic of Iceland kept them separated from other breeds. But this is not the only reason. By law, no horse can be imported to Iceland and likewise if an Icelandic horse is exported, they can never return. When it comes to competitions abroad it can be a touch decision. Would you send your best horse knowing you would not see them again? This is not all bad though because as a result, diseases in the breed are almost unheard of and no need for vaccinations.
What makes the Icelandic Horse stand out the most is that they’re five-gaited compared to other breeds which usually are three or four-gaited. Tolt is a gait unique to the Icelandic horse. It’s so smooth it makes you feel softly grounded in the saddle as the horse runs. Guaranteed you wont suffer a sore bum the morning after a long day horseback riding.
This loving horse is great for beginners as well as for experienced riders, and when treated well they reward with lifelong friendship and trust. The Icelandic horse has been an integrated part of Icelandic culture for more than 1000 years and they have come from being the horsepower of Icelandic farms and households to becoming part of outdoor activities and sports.
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