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This Article About The Icelandic Horse Was Written By Lucy Train
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The Icelandic horse is a breed of horse developed in Iceland

Although the horses are small, normally pony sized, most registries for the Icelandic refer to it as a horse. They normally stand at between 13 and 14 hands high

Icelandic horses are long-lived and hardy. In their native country they have few diseases; Icelandic law prevents horses from being imported into the country and exported animals are not allowed to return thus keeping the breeding there pure

In Iceland No Other Horses Are Allowed To Breed With The Icelandic Horse

In It’s Home Country No Other Horses Are Allowed To Breed With The Icelandic Horse

The Icelandic displays two gaits, the tolt and the pace, in addition to the typical walk, trot,canter and gallop commonly displayed by other breeds

The breed comes in many coat colours, including chestnut,coloured, dun, bay, black, grey, palomino, and roan

They are the only breed of horse in Iceland, they are also popular internationally, and sizeable populations exist in Europe and North America. The breed is still used for traditional farm work in its native country, as well as for leisure, showing, and racing

Developed from ponies taken to Iceland by Scandinavian settlers in the 9th and 10th centuries, the breed is mentioned in literature and historical records throughout Icelandic history; the first reference to a named horse appears in the 12th century

Horses were venerated in Norse mythology, a custom brought to Iceland by the country’s earliest settlers. Selective breeding over the centuries has developed the breed into its current form. Natural selection has also played a role, as the harsh Icelandic climate eliminated many horses through cold and starvation

In the 1780s, much of the breed was wiped out in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption. The first breed society for the Icelandic horse was created in Iceland in 1904, and today the breed is represented by organizations in 19 different nations, organized under a parent association, the International Federation of Icelandic Horse Associations (Adapted from Wikipedia)

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  1. apparently so John… perhaps Icelandic horses should come with a health warning…heard it described as the pringle effect…lol

  2. Be warned – they are highly addictive. Very few owners stop at just one Icelandic!

  3. There are around 850 Icelandics in the UK. Find out more on the Icelandic Horse Society of Great Britain website,

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