Facts About the Icelandic Horse
The Icelandic horse is in many ways a special breed. When the Vikings settled Iceland about 1200 years ago they brought all their live stock with them, horses, pigs, sheep, chickens, dogs and cats. None of these animals were in Iceland before the Vikings came.
Because of the isolation of Iceland, being a small island in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean there where not many options of bringing in live animals so people here had to use what they had. The Icelandic horse has been adjusting to the condition in Iceland since that time.
Because of the cold and the bad weather with a lot of wind, rain and snow the horses are rather small so it’s easier for them to keep warm, having to stay outside during winter. The Icelandic horse also goes into a winter state in many ways like we see with bears when they go for Hibernation. The Icelandic horse gets longer hairs in the beginning of winter to protect them from the cold, they also try to take it as slowly as they can just standing together with the tail up against the wind at the same time they try to eat as much as they can, they do what they can to save energy and keep warm.
The Icelandic horse was the only thing people had in the old days for transport people and goods and therefore it’s quite strong and used to carrie a lot of weight for a long time and long distances in difficult landscape. These challenging condition also have formed the mood of the Icelandic horse making it calm and not freaking out in stress condition.
The Icelandic horse is also in many ways different from other horse breeds because they can get along and they are used to live together. They are used to be in a flock and they enjoy the company of each other, they get along out on the field or in the stable.
Horse breeds are different but all of them have three gaits. The Icelandic horse can add two more to that. The three basic gaits are walk, trot and gallop. The Icelandic horse has Walk, Trot, Canter, Tölt and Flying Pace.
Like said before, the Icelandic horse has a big and calm character, making them easy to deal with and friendly. They are the perfect breed to good horseback riding the beginner loves the calmness and friendly character while the experience riders can feel the power and the willing they have.