I just love the sense of freedom and peace you have when you’re on a horse as if you two are alone an nothing else matters
The Icelandic horse
The Icelandic horse is the only horse breed in iceland. They are small and at times can become pony sized, they are registered as a horse and not a pony. At their tallest they can be 14 hands. These are very hardy and long lived horses. Unlike other horses which can be started under saddle around four or five years old, Icelandic horses do not finish their development until they are at least seven years old. Although these horses are started under saddle later in life, they can be ridden well into their twenties because of how hardy they are. An Icelandic mare which lived in Denmark lived until the age of fifty six. These are horses you can count on living with for most of your life. Besides some parasites, disease among the icelandic herds in iceland never happens, because the herds in iceland have never known any diseases an outbreak would be devastating to the herd. Iceland has very strict laws in order to protect their herds. Horses can be exported from iceland but never imported, imported equipment is thoroughly disinfected, and absolutely no livestock of any kind is allowed to be imported into the country.
The ancestors of this breed were taken into iceland between 860 and 935 A.D by Scandinavian vikings. The breed has become Pure and unchanged in iceland for 1,000 years.
Iceland is a place where the horses posses no natural predator, but has many environmental dangers, As a result, these horses do not spook like other breeds and are less afraid of people and can form stronger bonds with living things.
The unforgiving terrain of Iceland has produced a horse with two extra gates, in addition to the Walk, Trot, and Canter, an icelandic horse also has a four beat lateral gate called a Tölt, which is about the speed of a fast trot, this is very smooth and no doubt was developed to help the horse cross tough terrain and even run fast over hard ice with little problem. The second gate is a gate called the “flying Pace” not all icelandic horses can perform this gate, but the ones who can, are able to cover short distances at nearly 30mph, although this gate is fast it can only be used for short distances.
Here is an example of an icelandic horse performing the Tölt
The Fast Tölt
and the flying pace
Informative websites about the breed
The history of the Icelandic horse
How to buy an Icelandic horse
And how to take care of your Icelandic horse
I finally got in contact with Elishia’s breeder! I found out that she was sold on as a foal and her dam was sold a few years back. But she did send me two photos of her sire, Hessen. Hessen is a pedigree Friesian Stallion and hot damn he is a stunner!