On my recent trip to Iceland, I saw Icelandic horses everywhere. Of course I had to research them, and they’re quite interesting. For example, did you know:
- Icelandic horses are descendants of horses brought to the island nation back in the 9th and 10th centuries by Viking settlers. Because they’ve been isolated from other breeds, they’re considered to be the most pure breed of horse in the world.
- Icelandic horses rarely succumb to disease. The health of the breed is protected by law: It’s illegal to import horses to Iceland, and Icelandic horses who leave the country can never return.
- I heard someone describe them as “cheerful,” and I think that adjective suits them. I read that because there are no predators in Iceland but there are many natural hazards (such as quicksand), the ability to calmly assess a situation has been instrumental to their survival as a species. Over centuries, this has resulted in horses that are even-tempered and do not exhibit fear. They are incredibly affectionate toward people, and if you pull over on the side of the road near them, these curious animals will immediately approach you.
- I think they like to be photographed.