• Jan 27, 2020

the Icelandic horse today – the only breed of horses in Iceland. According to the legislation, no other horses can be imported there. Moreover, even the Icelandic horses who once left the homeland cannot return there.

 the Icelandic horses of a photo

On a photo: Icelandic horses. photo Source: https://www.mylittleadventure.com

History of breed Icelandic horse

There is a legend that the Icelandic horses conduct the sort from Sleypnir – an eight-legged horse, the assistant Odin – the Supreme god. However the fact that the first horses got to Iceland with Vikings in 9 – 10 centuries seems to more plausible. To save the place on Viking ships, Vikings gave preference to small horses.

In Iceland horses were esteemed as a fertility symbol. Horses were the vehicle and also helped people with agricultural works. In addition, Vikings had a good time fights of stallions. And after the death of the owner the horse was burned on a funeral fire. White horses were sacrificed during various ceremonies.

In the beginning horse owners tried to cross the Icelandic horses to east, however it led to deterioration in physical qualities of the Icelandic horse. Further attempts of crossing with other breeds were not made.

 the Icelandic horses on photo snow

On a photo: Icelandic horses. photo Source: https://guidetoiceland.is

In 982 g the law according to which horses were forbidden to be imported into Iceland was adopted. Prevention of diseases was the purpose of the similar bill, and since then horses from other countries do not get to Iceland. Even to the Icelandic horses who are taken out from the country though for performances at the international competitions, the way home is closed. Under the ban also things which use in work with horses, including ammunition and clothes get. This law allowed to keep breed of the Icelandic horses in purity.

1783 was tragic for breed – about 70% of the Icelandic horses died because of a volcanic eruption of Lucky and also as a result of the hunger which followed this event.

1904 was marked by creation of community on cultivation of the Icelandic horses.

Since 1940 the Icelandic horses for the first time left borders of the historical homeland – several representatives of breed took out to Germany.

Today the Icelandic horses enjoy popularity in North America, Western Europe and Scandinavia. And branches of the International federation of associations of fans of the Icelandic horses are open in 19 countries. The number of the Icelandic horses in the homeland is about 80,000, and in the rest of the world – about 100,000 individuals.

 the Icelandic horse lies on photo hay

On a photo: Icelandic horse. photo Source: https://www.whatson.is

Description of the Icelandic horse

Despite similarity to a pony, nevertheless you should not confuse the Icelandic horses with them. The main characteristics in the description of the Icelandic horse: low growth, korenastost, rough addition, short neck, big head, small ears, thick bangs, long tail and mane.

Average measurements of the Icelandic horses

Height in withers

of 130 - 145 cm


of 160 cm

pyasta Grasp

of 17 cm


of 380 - 410 kg

Main colors of the Icelandic horses

  • Red.
  • Bay.
  • Black.
  • Grey.
  • Skewbald.
  • And many others, including with a zebroidnost standing.

Average life expectancy of the Icelandic horses – about 40 years (a record of life expectancy of the Icelandic horse – 56 years), and they reach a maturity in 7 – 8 years. Come around the Icelandic horses not earlier than 4 years. The age of 8 - 18 years is considered blossoming.

 the Icelandic horses on a photo pasture

On a photo: Icelandic horses. photo Source: http://www.equinetheory.com

In the homeland they herds live on the open area, and only in the winter they place in shelters. The Icelandic horses are not afraid of cold, wool at them dense and dense. As the Icelandic horses are isolated from the horses arriving from abroad, they are not subject to any diseases. Meet at them unless parasites. However because of isolation they have also no immunity to infectious diseases therefore any disease outbreak in Iceland can have sad consequences.

One more characteristic of the description of the Icelandic horses – a pyatiallyurnost. Besides the main paces (a step, a lynx, gallop), the Icelandic horses can move a board – an amble and also tyolty is a four-cycle pace at which front legs move at a slow pace while back move ahead far thanks to what the horse walks very vigorously.

Need to survive in severe conditions developed ingenuity and resourcefulness in the Icelandic horses. They are capable to move on sharp stones and slippery ice, to pass the fast cold rivers.

 the Icelandic horses of a photo

On a photo: Icelandic horses. photo Source: YouTube

Character of the Icelandic horses benevolent and quiet, they trustfully treat people.

Application of the Icelandic horses

Thanks to force, endurance and appeasable character, the Icelandic horses are used in different spheres: in agriculture, on hunting, in hippotherapy and in the horsbol. Also they participate in sports competitions, from run to jumping. There is also a sport available only to the Icelandic horses are jumps on ice. The Icelandic horses are often used in children's sport.

Besides, it is beautiful family horses.

 the Icelandic horses of a photo

On a photo: Icelandic horses. photo Source: http://www.adventurewomen.com

Well-known Icelandic horses

the Icelandic horses at cinema

The Icelandic horses acted in the movie "About Horses and People" (Iceland, 2013). Action of the movie is developed among boundless meadows where people and horses conduct measured life. However there comes the moment when each of heroes needs to make the important decision and to change life.

 the Icelandic horses at cinema of a photo

On a photo: the Icelandic horses in the movie "About Horses and People". photo Source: https://www.nziff.co.nz

the Icelandic horses are muses

The photographer of Gígja Einars from Reykjavík is in love with the Icelandic horses who became the main heroes of its great works.

 the Icelandic horse in falls of a photo

On a photo: Icelandic horse eyes of the photographer of Gígja Einars. photo Source: https://www.flickr.com

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