National Day of the Horse 2020

Every year on December 13th  is National National Day of the Horse.

The relationship between humans and horses has evolved over many thousands of years. Horses have made a substantial contribution to our world economically and culturally. 

It is believed that humans began domesticating horses around 3000 BC in Kazakhstan and Russia. They were then introduced to the Near East around 2300 BC. Horses have been used for farming, pulling wagons, chariots, carts and riding, from around 2000 BC.  They have been used in war, hunting, transport, food, herding, agriculture, sport and leisure. 

In honour of National Horse Day, I would like to honour Icelandic horses.

Having met them in person ~ I believe they are the most beautiful horses in the world!

 Icelandic horse facts
Northern Iceland horse farm
Iceland horse

Icelandic horses are one of the oldest and purest breeds of horses in the world. It is thought that these horses were brought to Iceland by the Vikings in the 9th century.

Icelandic horse

Being a pure breed and free of disease, Icelandic law prevents any horse from being imported into the country. When a horse is exported, they are not permitted to return.

Icelandic horses have up to 5 gaits (regular horses have 3) ~ they walk, trot, canter, tolt (a smooth four-beat lateral ambling gait) and flying pace.

These horses are stunning. They have long flowing manes, long tail and up to 42 different colour variations. During winter they grow a thicker coat to survive the harsh Icelandic winters. They weigh around 350- 380 kg. Lifespan around 20-30 years.

The Icelandic horse is famous for their friendly nature and big personality. It is not known whether this is due to its genetics, the way they are treated or the fact that there are no predators, they therefore do not kick or bite. Icelandic horses are often treated very much as members of the family. They are easy to train and enjoy pleasing their owners. They are very rugged and able to traverse the rough Icelandic terrain, and are excellent swimmers.

There are around 80,000 Icelandic horses in Iceland. There are no other breeds of horses in Iceland and they are mainly used for tourism, such as riding.

Please enjoy this short video of Icelands horses.

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