Posted by: forgingahead | January 19, 2010

Iceland Horses and Rain

A friend of mine recently went to Iceland. My first question was, of course, did you see any Icelandic horses?

Aren’t they the most adorable fuzzy creatures ever?

A brief history lesson…class, now pay attention:

Developed from ponies taken to Iceland by Scandinavian settlers in the 9th and 10th centuries, the breed is mentioned in literature and historical records throughout Icelandic history; the first reference to a named horse appears in the 12th century. Horses were venerated in Norse mythology, a custom brought to Iceland by the country’s earliest settlers. Selective breeding over the centuries has developed the breed into its current form. Natural selection has also played a role, as the harsh Icelandic climate eliminated many horses through cold and starvation. In the 1780s, much of the breed was wiped out in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption. The first breed society for the Icelandic horse was created in Iceland in 1904, and today the breed is represented by organizations in 19 different nations, organized under a parent association, the International Federation of Icelandic Horse Associations.

Thank you Wikipedia!

It’s too stormy for me to go to the barn this morning so I’m researching Icelandic horses instead.

Now Voyager is nicely tucked up in his stall fully bedded with shavings and warm comfy blanket to keep off the chill and any wayward raindrops.

Anke – amazing dressage trainer and good friend – lives nearby and is checking the barn a couple of times a day and doling out carrots. When she’s in NV’s stall her horse, Fandango, can be heard calling to her. Much like a younger sibling complaining that his brother is getting the attention he so richly deserves. NV pitches a fit when she moves on to Fandango’s stall.

Aren’t they cute?

On the training front, Bert and I did a 5 mile walk yesterday morning in the rain. Well, compared today’s weather it was really just drizzling. But the shoes were still soaked and I was super happy to have my Shebeest raincoat (which I also wore on the bike ride this weekend just in case).

Here’s the funny thing about walking…I don’t get the cardio workout of a run. Nor am I nearly as tired afterward. But the next day? My calves are tight and sore. What is that about?

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Responses

  1. We were in Iceland a few years ago and saw wild horses as well as rode them in a more sedate setting. They are beautiful and the ones in the wild were very frisky and playful! Sometimes we just pulled over to watch them run, buck and play. Another interesting factoid: if any horses leave the country, they are not allowed back in…this is to keep the breed pure. They are VERY PROUD of their horses 🙂


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