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 – the walk, trot, canter and gallop – they also possess two unique gaits, the tölt and the lesser-known skeið. Notably curious, intelligent and independent, the Icelandic horse is loved by all.