Our goal in producing Icelandic Horses is to provide an all around family horse, with easy to find, natural gaits. This horse should have good conformation, good personality and be easy to train. We want horses that are thinkers, that become partners for life. We do prefer “colored” horses, but this is last on the list of ideals. We also want our horses to be priced fairly, so they can be available to everyone.
The Icelandic Horse breed is over 1000 years old. It is one of the purest breeds in the world due to it’s isolation, and Iceland’s ban on the import of horses. Any horse that leaves Iceland, can never return. This has kept the breed pure and relatively disease free.
Icelandics are a stocky, gaited horse standing approximately 13h tall. Most 13+ hand Icelandic horses can carry a 225lb rider. There are some smaller horses in the 12h range that are finer boned, for those I would recommend a rider in the 150-175lb range. Most of our horses are able to carry a 225lb rider.
Icelandics can have either 4 gaits (walk, trot, tolt, canter) or 5 gaits (walk, trot, tolt, canter, flying pace). The tolt is a very smooth four beat gait, designed to carry a rider over long distances comfortably. Many Icelandics are considered “natural tolters” meaning they will choose the tolt when asked to go faster than a walk. It is a great, comfortable gait for the trail. When paired with larger horses, Icelandics don’t have any trouble keeping up with the larger horses. They have a fast, ground covering walk, and the speed of the tolt can range from a regular trotting speed to a canter speed. The flying pace is a ridden racing gait meant for short distances. The Icelanders have pace races between two horses at shows in Iceland. They break from a gate like a racehorse, and go either 150m or 200m. The horse may not break the flying pace gait in the race or they are disqualified.
They are hardy, easy keepers that rarely have health issues. They eat less than a normal horse, and do not require supplemental grain which makes them very economical. They have great personalities, the majority being extremely smart and willing to work.
Icelandics come in most every color with the exception of appaloosa patterns. There are duns, cream gene colors and silver dapples, with the most popular colors being chestnut and black.
Most horses are trained in the Fall of their 3rd year, and completed in their 4th year. They are slow to mature so this ensures they have grown enough to carry a rider without damage. They are able to be ridden well into their 20’s, making them very long lived. My mare Lauga was born in 1989 and is still my main riding horse at age 27.
Icelandics can be ridden in most any style, as long as the saddle fits. We
have Icelandic, dressage, treeless and western saddles in our tack room. They can be tricky to fit as some have very wide shoulders and low withers. Be aware of saddle fit, this can affect so many aspects of your ride – on any horse for that matter!
Icelandics are lovable, once you meet one you will fall for them. We have introduced many to the breed, and one of the most common comments is how smart and easy going they are. Trainer’s love their personalities and desire to learn. If you want a partner for life, you want an Icelandic!