Why the Icelandic Horse is Unique
The Icelandic horse is a unique breed of horse that has lived in Iceland in isolation for Millennia. Norse settlers, who moved to the island in the 9th and 10th century, brought the horses with them. The breed is also known as the Viking horse. This breed has developed in this island in isolation.
The breed is treated as a special breed by horse experts all over the world. The breed is very sturdy and does not get sick easily. This is probably due to natural selection after living on the island’s harsh climate for many years.
Different and Unique
The horse is strong and sturdy. Even though it is small in physique and is considered by breeders to be within the pony size range, it is still referred to as a horse. It is muscular and strong and can carry heavy loads. It is still used by Icelanders to carry heavy loads and to help out in doing farm work.
The breed is unique, not only for its small stature, but also how it looks. It is small and has very muscular shoulders. It has a distinct mane that is very full. It is also known for its wide range of colors. The colors also vary in patterns. It is for this reason, it is considered to be one of the most unique.
The breed was almost wiped out in the volcanic catastrophic event, which happened in the south of Iceland in the 18th century. After this event, the breed was protected. The government does not allow the importation of horses. All horses that leave the country must never be brought back.
One of the main traditional uses of this horse over the years has been to help in farm work. The horses are specifically used by the many sparsely populated villages to round up sheep and livestock. This is a custom that started many years ago.
This tradition started when Icelanders wanted to protect the grass bordering villages from being eaten by the sheep. The grass was preserved for the hay harvest. This is a tradition that is still observed to date.
Tourists Sites and the Importance of the Icelandic Horse
Because the horse is known for its sturdiness, it is perfect for riding around the Iceland terrain. Parts of Iceland are not great for driving. The gravel on the road makes you to ride very slowly. If you are in a mountainous region, you have to observe this otherwise you will cause accidents.
The Iceland horse is perfect for rocky terrain. It is often used to tour some parts of this island, because a car will take too long and may never get to some sites. Other means of transport are not viable either. So many tourists like to use the horse to get to some of these locations.
There are many horse riding tours you can take. They are designed according to difficulty levels and you can take the tour, even though you may not be adept at riding the horse. There are several interesting locations, where a horse would be ideal.
Touring the Mt. Helgafell volcano, Lake Hvaleyrarvatn and crossing rivers is best done by these horses. Some of the most breathtaking views are best seen after crossing the lava fields and these horses are the best way to cross those fields. The horses are mild tempered and strong.