Icelandic Horse Breed Profile

Icelandic Horse

History Of The Icelandic Horse

The Icelandic horse was the original horse of the Vikings taken to Iceland over a thousand years ago where the breed remained pure due the isolation of the country of Iceland. In 1956 a Scottish farmer received a group of Icelandic horses as payment for his work in Iceland and he brought these horses to Scotland and used them within his trekking centre. Icelandic horses were later bred in the UK with more being imported from Iceland and in 1986 the Icelandic Horse Society of Great Britain was formed.

Height Of The Icelandic Horse

The Icelandic horse ranges from 12 to 14.2 hh in height.

Colour Of The Icelandic Horse

The Icelandic Horse is seen in any colour including many rare colour combinations.

Breed Characteristics Of The Icelandic Horse

The Icelandic horse is hardy and robust, compact in build with an abundant mane and tail. It has an expressive head, well set neck, deep chest and strong limbs. In winter the coat has 3 distinct layers. In addition to the usual gaits of walk, trot, canter the Icelandic horse has a fourth gait known as the "tölt". The tölt is a fast running walk where the footfalls are the same as in walk but in an even and fast rhythm making it very smooth to ride. Some Icelandic horses also have a fifth gait known as "flying pace" where the horse trots with both legs on each side moving together and this pace is used in racing.

Temperament Of The Icelandic Horse

The Icelandic horse matures slowly and training should not be started until they are 4 years old. The Icelandic Horse is intelligent, good tempered and willing.

Uses Of The Icelandic Horse

The Icelandic horse is a versatile riding horse capable of carrying heavy riders an so an ideal family horse. Icelandic horses compete in a variety of equestrian disciplines such dressage, endurance, cross country, etc as well as in Icelandic competitions for their special gaits.

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