The Icelandic horse is rather small. Its height usually being about 140 cm (4.6′)

It is sturdy and hardworking and has greater endurance than its foreigh cousins. It has a characteristic, varied colouring that breeders have attempted to preserve rather than eliminate. As a riding animal, the Icelandic horse is exceptional in that it has five gaits, called fet, skeið, tölt, brokk and stökk in Icelandic. It has become famous internationally for its various gaits and smooth movements. Icelandic horses are considered energetic and ready to run, and they are also admired for their even and friendly disposition. Icelandic farmers have traditionally been interested in the strength and endurance of horses.