The Icelandic Horse
The Icelandic horse (sometimes referred to as a pony) is a purebred descendant of its ancestors from the Viking age, in the 10th century. The horse is not native to Iceland, and its orgins are debated—they may be descendents of Germanic or Scandinavian horses, or of English and Scottish ponies. They are the only breed of horse in Iceland.
Adult horses normally measure 12 to 13 hands (most North American breeds measure 16 hands or more). Small but strong, the horses are exceptionally sure-footed, intelligent, and easy to handle. This horse has a particularly interesting stepping style called the tölt, or "running walk," which yields an extraordinarily smooth ride. This gait is actually so smooth that a popular demonstration has the rider carrying a tray of drinks at full speed without spilling a drop!
Horse lovers from around the world come to try these amazing five-speed steeds for themselves. A number of operators offers tours, from short 1-day trips to 12-day cross-country treks for more experienced riders.
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