Winterhorse Park

Winterhorse Park - Icelandic Horse Farm.
Ros and Perla running on packed snow trail.

Info

Breed

The history of the Icelandic horse is very long and interesting. Vikings settling in Iceland, brought with them their horses of various origins, though mostly of Germanic descent. Some sources claim that at that time, there was a breed in Scandinavia and Northern Europe called “Equus Scandinavicus” which was later crossbred. Once in Iceland, however, the stock remained pure after their Parliament decided in the year 930 that further importation of horses would be prohibited. This law is still in effect today. Once a horse leaves Iceland, it can never return. This make the Icelandic horse pure-bred and unique today, over a thousand years after first being brought to Iceland The rough terrain and climate of Iceland over the centuries have produced a strong and hearty breed which makes this horse so unique to us today.

Now in Iceland, the Icelandic Horse is seen as one way of preserving the country’s agricultural tradition while improving it’s economy. Iceland is exporting large numbers of horses to many different countries like Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany and the United States. In addition to importing, these countries have now started extensive breeding on their own. There are about 80,000 horses in Iceland and some 120,000 in other countries worldwide. The United States started to develop the market for Icelandic Horses 15 years ago and there are now approximately 5,000 in North America.