Icelandic horses have a long and well documented breeding history in part due to their isolated and remote location. Known for their hardy and athletic build and happy nature these horses exhibit 5 different gaits and possess one of the purest bloodlines around.
Horses arrived in Iceland in the ninth century when Vikings from Norway and the British Isles settled there. After around 1100 import of horses was forbidden in Iceland, keeping their breed unadulterated.
These animals remained the main form of transportation in the country until the first roads were built for cars late in the 19th century.
Today the horses in Iceland help to preserve the agricultural traditions of the people who live there. Horses play a large part in the Icelandic economy from horse racing to trading.
Average height 13 – 14 hands
Incredibly strong for their size and can easily carry adults
Possess 5 natural gaits
1. Walk – normal walking gait
2. Tölt – a smooth 4-beat gait similar to trotting
3. Trot – normal trotting gait
4. Pace – also called the flying pace, hooves on the same side touch the ground together, can be as fast as a gallop and used for racing
5. Center or Gallop – normal canter / gallop gait
Long neck with a thick or double sided mane and long tail
Versatile and eager
Intelligent and spry
Can cover long distances at a fast gait