National Day of the Horse 2020

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

Humans and horses have shared a strong relationship over many thousands of years. Therefore, as a result, horses have substantially contributed to the world both economically and culturally. 

Humans began domesticating horses around 3000 BC in Kazakhstan and Russia for the most part. Once domesticated, they were introduced to the Near East around 2300 BC. Traditionally, horses have been used for farming, pulling wagons, chariots, carts and riding, from around 2000 BC. In addition, they have been used in war, hunting, transport, food, herding, agriculture, sport and leisure. 

Therefore, in honour of National Horse Day, I would like to honour the fantastic Icelandic horse.

Given that I have met them in person ~ I believe they are the most beautiful horses.

horse facts
Northern Iceland horse farm
Iceland horse

They are one of the oldest and purest breeds of horses globally. Icelandic horses were imported to Iceland by the Vikings in the 9th century.

Icelandic horse

Being a pure breed, they are free of disease. However, Icelandic law prevents the importation of horses. In addition, horses exported from Iceland can never return to Iceland.

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

These horses are stunning. They have long flowing manes, long tails, and 42 different colour variations. Due to the harsh Icelandic winters, a horses’ coat will thicken up during winter. They weigh around 350- 380 kg. Lifespan around 20-30 years.

The horse is famous for its friendly nature and big personality. It is unknown whether this is due to its genetics, the treatment or the fact that there are no predators; they, therefore, do not kick or bite. They are easy to train and enjoy pleasing their owners. With time and the harsh weather and rugged terrain, these horses have adapted accordingly. In addition, they are excellent swimmers.

The population of Icelandic horses is around 80,000. These horses are primarily used for tourism, such as horseriding.

Please enjoy this short video of Icelands horses.

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