I’ve always been interested and fascinated by horses, probably because my family is made up of ranchers. So, naturally, I was intrigued with the Icelandic Horses on my recent visit there. You’ll see them throughout the countryside in Iceland, and they are obviously well taken care of.

They’re reminiscent of a Clydesdale, with a bigger footprint, and more stout and shorter legged than the typical horses we are familiar with in the United States. Highly respected and regarded by Icelandic people, they’re featured as mythical creatures in their folklore, so they’re practically royalty!

Originally bred from Nordic settlers, I was told, there are about 80,000 of them on Iceland today. They live to a pretty old age, and they have a wide variety of colored hair coats. They’re considered the purest breed in the world. Iceland will export them, but once exported they can never return.

I was able to visit Fakasel, which is an Icelandic Horse park, run by a local family of horse ranchers. They built an indoor arena, with a restaurant and horse show. I was able to go into the stables and visit the horses on tour back to the barn. In the show, the horses are dressed in these incredible costumes. They also did tricks and racing in the show with them, but they don’t have official horse races like we do in the states.

Icelandic Horses are really friendly and love to be around people, so I highly encourage you to stop by a ranch and visit with one or many while you’re there. They’re really special creatures!