Amongst the unique and singular things Iceland offers, today, we will be talking about one of the most valuated treasures we still keep: the Icelandic horses and its pure breed.
They might seem a kind of pony, yet they are considered as a horse breed itself. These small long-haired Icelandic horses have short strong legs, what for sure, made them awesome Viking war horses. Nonetheless, this is a pacific, friendly and curious breed; they will not hesitate in coming close to you and take a look at what you are doing. If they have the chance…
It has been a long time since the first settlers arrived in Iceland, bringing along with them this particular breed. Due to the isolation of the country and the strict law regarding this matter, the Icelandic horses have kept and improved their qualities throughout the years.
It is important to remark that once an Icelandic horse leaves the country, it will not come back to Iceland. As well, foreign horses are forbidden, so in consequence, Iceland does not hold any international horse contest.
If this was not enough, this wonderful breed can do some things no other breeds can do. I am quite sure those ones that do have a wide knowledge of horse breeds, would guess what I am talking about: the Tölt (rack) and Flugskeið (flying pace) paces. Those special tricks make this Icelandic horses such as unique and very special breed.
- Tölt: This kind of pace makes the person who is riding the horse feel as he/she were sit down in a couch, although the horse may be reaching high speeds.
- Flugskeið: as known as the Flying Pace, since it can make the horse reach up to 56km/h not in a normal way, but moving both, the hind and the front leg at once.
What makes Icelandic horses so special?
Do not miss the chance of living this incredible experience and feel the Icelandic countryside as an authentic Viking! Horseback ridings are available all over the country but we strongly recommend you visiting the Settlement Centre in Bogarnes. It is worth a visit since this breed is closely related to Icelandic history.
It is important to know as well that the Icelandic horse breed has had another important role throughout the years. Before the cars were brought to the island, horses were the sole mean of transport, as well as an essential part of the agricultural activities and farm works.
This breed has always grazed semi-free in large fields in groups. It is good to remark that the Icelandic horses have an appreciated meat. We recommend any new commers to have a try and taste it.
Do not miss the opportunity of meeting these incredible animals once in Iceland. Even though there are several indigenous species, the Icelandic horses breed makes Iceland a proud community. We highly recommend you avoid bad words about their horse if you meet some Icelanders… a useful tip though!