While driving around the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, we made an impromptu stop to see a few Icelandic horses who were lingering by the ruins of a stone barn or farmhouse. You can’t see them in the above picture, because they were all quite dark and blended into their background. Once we came to the fence, one horse wandered over to say hello. I’m a horse person through and through, and I’ve been missing the quarter horse I left behind (Mr. Bonanza), so it was nice to spend a few minutes petting this friendly mare.
Icelandic horses are rather amazing. Having been brought to the island around the time of settlement (871 +/-2), they have spent the last 1000+ years adapting to the harsh environment. They are short and sturdy, with a extremely smooth “tolt.” Their isolated development means they do not have to be tested and immunized for diseases like horses on the mainland. A consequence of this is that once an Icelandic horse leaves Iceland, it can never come back. You can’t bring any new horses into Iceland, and all equipment that has come in contact with horses outside the island must be super washed before entering the country.
To see the rest of my posts from this weekend in Snæfellsnes, click here. [These photos are scanned 35mm film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000.]