From a mysterious past, "with proud head carriage, vibrating nostrils and whirling hooves", Icelandic Horses started coming back to continental Europe 50 years ago after being taken from Europe to Iceland 1000 years ago on Viking longships.
The rough climate of Iceland and ten centuries of pure breeding developed a strong, powerful horse, tough and independent, a horse that a rider can rely on in every situation. Additionally, it still possesses all the gaits of prehistoric horses, including tolt and pace. Icelandic Horses are between 13hh (~130 cm) and 14.2hh (~145 cm). They are stocky but elegant, with good strong legs and their head with its large eyes shows trust and character. The thick feathers, developed in the harsh Icelandic climate, and the extremely long and thick winter fur are characteristic for Icelandics.
Icelandic Horses have a robust constitution and incredible stamina. They are riding horses for adults, having been used for centuries as the only means of transport for people and goods in Iceland. They have often appeared as an exciting demonstration and in exhibitions at international shows such as Aachen, and pictured here at Bad Honnef Dressage.