Little Vikings:
The Horses of Iceland

20 February 2019

In a new Equestrian World video, we find out more about this most curious, intelligent and independent of breeds...

Since arriving with the first settlers over a thousand years ago, the Icelandic Horse has been isolated on this little island in the North Atlantic without any genetic input from outside.

 

Other breeds of horse have been banned in Iceland since the 10th century, meaning this short, sturdy type has retained its distinguishing features!

 

The horse is perfectly suited to the climate, seasonally sporting a thick winter coat which it then sheds come springtime.

 

It is undaunted by Iceland's high winds and snowstorms and capable of feats like wading glacial rivers and crossing rough terrains.

These horses were
an indispensable
servant before
the motorcar!

In the days before the car, the Icelandic Horse was an indispensable servant for locals attempting to move around what is sometimes the most inhospitable of lands!

In this latest Equestrian World video we look at these wonderful animals and find out about a new scheme designed to introduce Icelandic Horses to the rest of the world!

 

We also discover its five natural, and unique gaits: the walk, the trot, the canter, the tölt, and the flying pace.

 

"We're pretty much one of the only breeds in the world who is competing in all five gaits," says Jelena Ohm of the Horses of Iceland project.

 

The tölt is the speciality of the Icelandic Horse. It's a smooth four-beat lateral gait in which the horse's hind legs move well under the body and carry more of the weight of her hind end allowing the front to rise free and loose.

 

Watch the full video here...

Icelandic Horses are such an amazing breed of horse!

Subscribe to the FEI's official YouTube channel to watch great videos each week...

 

Also check out this story to find out more about how you can experience Icelandic Horses first hand as well as other great horse trails around the world!

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