Icelandic horses are no ordinary animals. They have special attributes that make them relate well with the Icelandic people. The uniqueness of Icelandic horses can be found in their level of intelligence, curiosity, and independence. Have you been obsessed with wanting to see or ride an Icelandic horse? Here's all that you need to know about this isolated and naturally preserved equine species.
Brief History of Icelandic Horses
A typical Icelandic horse is a small, hardy breed developed from ponies taken to Iceland by Norse settlers (the Vikings) during the 9th and 10th centuries.
Throughout their age-old history, Icelandic horses have grown to love their home, and have adapted well to Iceland's winter. But how did the Iceland's horses stay distinct from the rest of the horses in the world?
It all stretches back to around AD 982, when the parliament of Iceland (the Alþingi) enacted laws preventing further the importation of horses into Iceland (an island country in the North Atlantic Ocean).
That means for more than a millennium, no foreign horses have been crossbred with Icelandic horses. Though horses can leave the country, they can never be brought back.
There is a deep physical and emotional connection between Icelandic horses and the Icelandic people. This relationship is often highlighted in Icelandic mythology, and, as a result, its culture and literature.
Where to See Icelandic Horses
Do you want to catch a rare glimpse of these super horses? Your best bet is to visit Iceland. Take a drive around the ring road of the island country to chance upon magnificent Icelandic horses roaming beside the road. Even in unfriendly winter conditions, these horses thrive in the cold environment, and are very friendly to humans.
But before you interact with them, here are some important things to note about Icelandic horses.
- Don't try to feed them. Icelandic horses have more than enough food, so they don't need you to feed them. Foreign treats can be dangerous to their health.
- Don't force yourself to pet them. These horses are friendly. But they can bite or kick you if you are aggressive to them. This can deny you the chance for a ride.
- Most Icelandic horses are kept for private purposes. Don't cross any private land to see or ride an Icelandic horse without seeking permission. Doing so can get you in trouble.
- Park your car carefully. Want to take a selfie with a horse by the roadside? Park in a safe place before you do so.
How to Ride an Icelandic Horse.
Have you been yearning for a wonderful ride on one of the world's most skillful horses? You can book an Icelandic horse ride by visiting MrIceland homepage. Whether you want to "Tölt" or fly-space, the experience will see you walk away with a wide smile on your face.
The Tölt is a smooth slow ride when at least 1 foot of the horse is always in contact with the ground.
On the other hand, the Flying Pace is a fast gait when 2 adjacent legs of the horse make contact with the ground simultaneously. This gait is mostly used for racing purposes.