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As its name suggests, the Icelandic horse was developed in Iceland, though it was originally brought there by Scandinavian immigrants. This small horse is suited for riding, particularly through the snowy terrain of its homeland.

 

Personality and Temperament

 

The Icelandic is a spirited, lively, and energetic horse. In fact, only experienced riders are advised to mount the Icelandic.

 

Care

 

The Icelandic requires special care and attention from its owner. It should be housed in a stable and should not be left alone to fend for itself in the cold or forage for its own food.

 

History and Background

 

Curiously, the Icelandic horse is not native to Iceland. It was brought there by Scandinavian immigrants in the 9th century. These horses (most probably from Norway and the British Isles) were then bred in isolation until the 1500s -- in other words, no other breed was crossed or mixed with them. And because starvation and freezing was a problem, only the fittest horses were able to survive and adapt to the environment. The result: a sturdy, resilient breed deserving of recognition.

Even today, Icelandic horses are exclusively bred in Iceland and not permitted to leave the country. Its current popular use is still as a riding horse.

Comments  1

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  • Icelandic Isolation
    10/15/2014 06:29pm

    I have actually been to Iceland. In the article, it states that these horses are not permitted to leave the country. This is not true; in fact, they are allowed to leave but can never return. This is because Icelandic horses are not vaccinated and are not prone to other diseases because of their isolation. An Icelandic horse that leaves the country must be vaccinated and will come into contact with bacteria not present in Iceland. When I rode a horse in Iceland, I brought my riding boots and half chaps from the states, but I was not allowed to wear them because leather can never be completely cleaned and they had come into contact with an American horse. The residue on my boots would most likely make the Icelandic horse ill.

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