The Icelandic horse

Magazine The Icelandic horse

One thing to expect on your upcoming trip to Iceland is a view of Icelandic horses speckled along the countryside. Horses are deeply embedded in Icelandic culture and their presence on the island has been traced all the back to its settlement.

Icelandic horses vary in size, anywhere from 12-15hh. Many are small, and often pony-sized. Over time, they have adapted to harsh, Icelandic weather conditions by developing a double coat and are characteristic of having full, flowing manes. These strong, docile creatures have a great bond with humans and can carry a person who weighs up to 300 lbs.

Stringent Icelandic laws prevent horses from being imported into the country. For this reason, horses on the island remain purebred and are kept from exposure to disease. 1000 years of no cross-breeding has made the Icelandic Horse the world’s purest breed. Pound-for-pound, they are the strongest breed of horse and also have great longevity.

For centuries, horses were the primary mode of transportation on the island, and were also used on farms as work horses. Despite the modernization of the country, Icelandic horses remain extremely popular. There are about 80,000 horses roaming around the island, and are often used for farming, pleasure riding, equestrian sport, and show. These talented horses have five gaits rather than the conventional three; they can walk, trot, canter, tolt, and pace. With 1 horse for about every 4 people, you are sure to encounter some of these gentle creatures during your visit.

There is an array of Icelandic horse-riding tours available. Choose how much or how little time you’d like to spend on horseback. There are tours that last anywhere from a couple hours, to a full day, or some that span several days. On your upcoming visit, consider exploring the beach and mountain scenery, countryside meadows, or waterfalls and geysers in the company of the world-renowned Icelandic Horse. 

If you want to book horse riding tours in Iceland there are numerous ways of doing so, one being, view: horse riding tours in Iceland

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