Icelandic Horses

I am currently travelling in Iceland and one of the things I wanted to see here was Icelandic horses. These adorable shaggy little horses have quite the lineage with a direct link to the Vikings and beyond!

Icelandic Horses in the Golden Circle region of Iceland
Icelandic Horses in the Golden Circle region of Iceland (that’s a winter sunrise by the way – sometime after 11am!)
Icelandic Horses in the Golden Circle region of Iceland
Icelandic Horses are comfortable in the cold conditions

They are said to have come from Norway and other Scandinavian settlements with the Vikings who settled Iceland between 874 AD and 935 AD. These horses though are actually descendants of the Mongolian horse!

Icelandic Horses in the Golden Circle region of Iceland
Proud little horse
Icelandic Horses in the Golden Circle region of Iceland
A long lineage history has led to the Icelandic Horse from the Vikings and beyond

There is only one species of horse in Iceland and none have been cross-bred so the stock that you see all over the country are pure bloods and a direct link to the past. Since 1882 no horse can be imported to Iceland, even those from the country cannot return if taken overseas for competitions or the like. This is to avoid the threat of disease being imported into Iceland.

Icelandic Horses in the Golden Circle region of Iceland
Fine looking horses (small but not as small as you would expect and very sturdy)
Icelandic Horses in the Golden Circle region of Iceland
The thicker winter coat and beard is evident here
Icelandic Horses in the Golden Circle region of Iceland
Got food?
Icelandic Horses in the Golden Circle region of Iceland
Windswept mane
Icelandic Horses in the Golden Circle region of Iceland
With that glorious flowing mane I dubbed this one Fabio!

Icelandic horses are stocky, strong, sure-footed and hardy creatures. Their thick shaggy coat keeps them comfortable in cold temperatures and unlike other Icelandic stock such as cattle and sheep, they can remain outdoors all year round (they seem to like it too).

Icelandic Horses in the Golden Circle region of Iceland
Sturdy
Icelandic Horses in the Golden Circle region of Iceland
Sure footed
Icelandic Horses in the Golden Circle region of Iceland
Cold conditions but healthy looking hardy Icelandic Horses
Icelandic Horses in the Golden Circle region of Iceland
This one was busy using his/her hoof to dig through the snow and ice to get to the grass beneath
Icelandic Horses in the Golden Circle region of Iceland
Looking for food
Feeding Icelandic Horses in the Golden Circle region of Iceland
Plenty of hay available
Icelandic Horses in the Golden Circle region of Iceland
Hmmm he might have sugar?
Icelandic Horses in the Golden Circle region of Iceland
They have such a personality
Icelandic Horses in the Golden Circle region of Iceland
Big brown eyes
Icelandic Horses in the Golden Circle region of Iceland
Here’s looking at you

Back to these adorable horses I saw. They were well and truly up for pats and some attention but the intent of one was obvious as he started to nuzzle around in my coat pocket for some food! If you travel to Iceland make sure you encounter some Icelandic horses (in my case they were just on a side road near a fence but you can also take horse riding tours and the like).

Icelandic Horses in the Golden Circle region of Iceland
You see large groups of Icelandic Horses on properties all over Iceland
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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow, amazing.

    Imagine the crowds should race one at Flemington feature Icelandic horses only.

    1. Deano says:

      Now that would be something to see!

    1. Deano says:

      Adorable creatures

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