Snæfellsnes Pt. 3: Stop! It’s Icelandic Horsey Time!

000018 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.

000023ready

000020 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.

000021  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.]

14 thoughts on “Snæfellsnes Pt. 3: Stop! It’s Icelandic Horsey Time!

  1. Icelandic horses are people, too. Better yet: 90,000 some odd horses outside of Greater Reykjavik… 90,000 some odd humans outside of Greater Reykjavik… this is a most excellent and commendable interspecies balance! I’m glad you got to horse around out there. Well, OK, I’m a little jealous. OK, OK, a lot jealous. And that’s a fantastic shot of the no-fishing sign, by the way. Well done.

  2. I’m enjoying quietly watching your adventures in Iceland, but I really want to know what the fish sign means and why it’s there. My guess is “No Fishing”, but it seems an odd sign by a pasture.

    Also, it’s possible to put your photo with the tractor in a photo editor and make the horses visible; it doesn’t do much for the rest of the photo, but there they are!

    Hans

    • Thanks for your comment. Inside the pasture is a frozen body of water. So no fishing then makes sense. I shoot film because I don’t like editing (although I am adept at photoshop when the need is dire.)

  3. Ah, I see. I wondered.

    I understand about film; I primarily used an EOS 1v for ten years (and a Canon A1 for twenty before that) until a year ago, when I got a great deal on a 6D because the place I got my film developed for years was going out of business.

  4. So after reading this, I went to Wikipedia and read a bit more on Icelandic horses. Thanks!
    (P.S. I think you mean “1000+ years,” not “100+ years,” though the latter is of course true.)

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