The Icelandic Horse

The original horse of the Vikings, taken to Iceland over a 1000 years ago and a pure bred everย since, this special breedย is small, stout and strong and makes an extremely versatile riding horse, bred to carry all members of the family including large adultsย despite their smaller size (rarely taller than 14.2hh). The temperament of the Icelandic horse is enthusiastic and remarkably unflustered, the horses rarely spook (thought to be due to the lack of natural predators in Iceland) and live out in large herds battling through the harsh Icelandic winters with an impressiveย hardiness found in few other breeds.

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The very first members of this breed arrived in Iceland aboard the Viking ships of Norse settlers. In 982 AD, the Icelandic parliament passed laws that prohibited any importation of other horse breeds into the country, meaning that for over a thousand years, the breed has been kept in complete isolation within the island. Consequently, it is one of the purest horse breeds in the world. Although individual animals may be exported, once gone, they may never return.

Seeing the incredible moonscape of Iceland from the back of an Icelandic horse is a real treat, their friendly and approachable nature and unflappable attitude makes them a joy to ride. Capable of all the usual gaits of any other horse โ€“ the walk, trot,ย canter and gallop โ€“ย they also possess two unique gaits, the tรถlt and the lesser-known skeiรฐ.ย Notably curious, intelligent and independent, the Icelandic horse is loved by all.