Icelandic horse is a symbol of Iceland’s pride. The horse has a tremendous significance in Iceland’s history, since mini-Ice age through Viking battles and later settlements. When you travel to Iceland and drive on a Super Jeep on Ring Road, circumventing the coastal areas, you will witness these lovely creatures calmly grazing on meadows. There are full-fledged horse farms in the country where these horses are reared. Their amiable, unique features are enticing enough to make you wish to ride them, merrily trotting through the local terrains. There are lots of enriching facts pertaining to their uniqueness.
In any of the Private Tours Iceland impeccably organized by a top travel agency such as Discover.is, you will have the opportunity to come across these horses. The sweetness of their temperament will instantly win your heart. Icelandic horses are shy when you first interact with them and may seem stubborn animals. But gradually, they become friendly. Some of the hiking trails that you can experience in Iceland provide you a scope to ride on these horses.
Small, mighty, impressive gait
An Icelandic horse is smaller than the usual breed of horses that you come across in other parts of the world. It has a robust build with a superior gait (way of trotting), generally five in number. All other horse breeds have three, or a maximum of four gaits. Even as a novice rider in one of the Custom tours in Iceland, riding an Icelandic horse would be comfortable, with a relaxing jaunt, due to its soft gait.
Multiple patterns and hues
Yet another astounding fact that makes the Icelandic horses genuinely unique is the wide range of vibrant colors and delicate patterns in which they come. It has been observed that these horses can come in more than 40 colors, besides 100 distinct patterns. Common hues are brown and chestnut.
If you are fortunate enough, you may come across a horse that has big, watery eyes in light blue color. Such a horse is locally known as glass-eyed, and appears like an angelic creature.
Some fun facts
- Iceland has a committee that has an authority to name the horses in a certain way
- For more than 1000 years, locals have bred the horses in their pure forms
- There are approximately 80,000 horses in the country
- Iceland has only a single breed of horse
- Icelandic horses are excellent runners and expert swimmers, even in deep, chilling waters
May 1 in the year 2015 had been declared as ‘The International Day of the Icelandic Horse’ by the organization ‘Horses of Iceland’. The objective of such an initiative has been to dedicatedly raise awareness about the well-being of Icelandic horse, its protection, and breeding. It also bears a huge cultural significance to the polity of the country.
Ride and experience
When you travel to Iceland, ensure that your itinerary has horse-riding activity, at least once. Experiencing the regal charm of the animal in first-hand is exactly what you need to add value to your tour.