Icelandic Horses

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.
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29 comments

  1. vastlycurious.com

    This was such an uplifting post! I love horses and just spent a day at a barn helping aging Equines. Your photos speak volumes and the trait of assessing quicksand …..PRICELESS : )

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  2. What beautiful animals! My only ‘visit’ to Iceland was a layover at the Reykjavรญk Airport, so I’m curious – are all of the horses corraled, or do some roam wild as in Nevada, etc? Thanks for sharing the interesting tidbits about them.

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  3. Sonel

    Oh wow Ruth! You are so blessed! How I would have loved to be there as well. Great shots of these beautiful horses and thanks for the info. ๐Ÿ˜€ *hugs*

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  4. Gorgeous photos of the most beautiful horses in the world! I love the Icelandic horses – they are beautiful and so gentle and wonderful creatures. I had 2 fantastic Icelandic horses and I have the greatest memories of my time with them – oh I miss it ๐Ÿ™‚

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