Icelandic horses originated from the original horses that the Vikings took to Iceland over a thousand years ago. Since 935 AD, horse importation has been banned, producing the purest breed in the world. Breeding with other breeds is discouraged and half breeds cannot be registered with the USIHC.
The Icelandic stands out in a crowd. Anyone can readily recognize the abundance of thick mane and tail, the sturdy, compact frame, and the friendly expression of the Icelandic horse. Icelandics range in height typically from 13 to 14 hands. Despite their small size, Icelandics are considered horses and not ponies. Icelandic colors are very diverse ranging from roans to pintos. They are known for their great dispositions which make them ideal for any level of rider.
5 Natural Gaits
The popularity of the Icelandic horse is due largely to their smooth ride. Icelandics are four or five gaited. Besides walk, trot, and canter, Icelandics have two additional gaits called tolt and pace. Tolt is a smooth, four-beat gait with speeds ranging from slow to very fast. To view the tolt in action, watch some of our videos. Most Icelandics also have the ability to pace. Pace is a lateral gate that can be ridden up to 30 mph, thus earning the term “flying pace” because all four feet may be off the ground at one time.