Icelandic Horses: Fun Facts

Iceland horse - 3 horsesWe are thrilled to bring back in July 2016, our popular Iceland Horseback Riding trip, selected in 2013 by National Geographic Traveler Magazine as one of their “50 Tours of a Lifetime!

We love Icelandic horses and here are a few reasons why!


  1. The Icelandic Horse is one of the purest and oldest breeds in the world. They were brought to Iceland by the Vikings in the 8th century.
  2. To keep Icelandic horses disease free and guarantee breed purity, Icelandic law prevents horses from being imported into the country and exported animals are not allowed to return.
  3. Icelandic Horses have heavy double layer coats protecting them from the harsh climate of Iceland.
  4. They are 12-14 hands high (4 to 5 feet tall) and weigh 600-900 pounds.
  5. They may be small, but DO NOT call them ponies!
  6. Pound for pound they are the strongest breed in the world.
  7. Icelandic Horses have up to 5 gaits (instead of 3 like other horses). Walk, trot, canter, tölt, and flying pace. They are known for their tölt, a smooth four-beat lateral ambling gait, which is very comfortable and fast.
  8. They can appear in 42 different color combinations, with more than a hundred variations.
  9. Icelandics tend to be very friendly, docile, easy to handle, and love people. They have a lively temperament and a strong but workable character
  10. Icelandics are traditionally raised in herds which helps them develop their social skills and intelligence. They are usually not started in training until the age of 4 years old as their structural development is not complete until age 7. They are often ridden into their 30s.

Iceland horse - Wild bunch