The Icelandic horse has been a trusted companion for Icelanders throughout history. Its origins can be traced back to the Vikings, who arrived in Iceland more than a thousand years ago, bringing their small Nordic horses with them. Due to isolation and strict rules, the breed has remained pure and has maintained its unique characteristics.
Despite its small size, the Icelandic horse is well known for being strong and hardy, with great stamina and speed. It is surefooted enough to handle the rough Icelandic terrain and is renowned for its five gaits, and the unique” tölt”, a four beat gait with light flowing movement, which is easy and comfortable to ride. The other gaits are walk, trot, gallop and flying pace.
The Icelandic horse has a wide colour palette, varying from black to palomino, to silver dappled and a range of colours in between. It is intelligent, faithful and a friendly companion that is able to carry riders across grassy plains, up and down rocky slopes, through rivers and over fields of rough lava. This is the ideal way for travellers to enjoy the excellent Icelandic nature and therefore horse riding is highly recommended for visitors during their stay in Iceland.
Horse rentals offer tours both for beginners and more experienced riders, ranging from 2 hours to full day tours. These are ideal for horse lovers and enthusiasts, as there is no better way to experience the magnificent nature of Iceland, than galloping through the countryside on the back of an Icelandic horse.