Icelandic Horses
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About Icelandic HorsesAbout Icelandic Horses



Icelandic horses are one of the oldest horse breeds in the world.rnThey were brought to Iceland by the first settlers from Norway, in the late ninthrnto early tenth centuries.

rnrnDue to the harsh climate and the lack of vegetation over morernthan one half of the country, the Icelandic horse had an extremely difficult existence.rnOnly the strongest and the fittest could survive.

rnrnAs a result of a plague in Europe, Iceland quarantined itselfrnfor many years. In AD 930 a law was passed to ban the importation of horses andrnother animals into Iceland to keep out diseases. This had the effect of preservingrnthe purity of the Icelandic horses – they have never been crossbred with other horsesrnand have remained pure for over a thousand years – and they still are!

rnrnIcelandic horses have five gaits, among them the magical tölt.rnThe tölt is the specialty of the Icelandic horse. It is a remarkably smooth gaitrnin which the horse moves its feet in the same order as in walk, though more quickly.rnIt is a supremely comfortable gait for the rider, and one that is available at arnvariety of speeds.

rnrnIcelandic horses are very good-natured – it is virtually unknownrnfor an Icelandic horse to kick or bite – and they are usually easy to catch, box,rnand handle. They are also self-assured and behave well in traffic.

rnrnMost Icelandic horses today are between 13 and 14 hands high.rnThey are extremely strong and are expected to carry an adult, no matter how tallrnor heavy. The breed has charm, strength and courage. They are intelligent and lovernlearning and being trained. You can use an Icelandic horse for almost anything –rnhacks, endurance, riding club activities, dressage and even driving. The Icelandicrnhorse can be found in over 40 different colors, with hundreds of variations.

rnrnContent and Photo Source: New Zealand Rare Breeds (www.rarebreeds.co.nz )rnrn

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