icelandichorse.no

a unique race

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Why all this interest? One reason may be that the Iceland Horse is a unique race with some rare peculiarities, which can be traced back many centuries. The settlers of Iceland brought with them horses from Western Norway and the British Isles. Those strong and enduring animals, with their small muscular and sturdy bodies, were of great value to their masters in peace as well as warfare.
For some 900 years no horses have been imported to the country, their ingress being illegal since 11th century, so that present-day horses are not only the same as those of the Viking Age, but probably also descended from the horses used by the legendary brothers Hengist and Horsa when they invaded England with their Anglo-Saxons in the 5th century.
The millennial isolation of the Iceland Horse has preserved in him some of the peculiarities lost in other European breeds over the past four centuries. Among them are the five gaits to described below. Many people think these gaits are some fairly new celandic equestrian trick, but that is far from being the case, as the name for the most peculiar gait, tÖlt, and for the horse employing such a gait, tÖltary, are of ancient Germanic origin. Zelter was an agile and smooth-moving horse in medieval Germany. The word also has its counterpart in Latin, for gently moving mares in imperial Rome were called thieldos. There was considerable contact between the Germanic people and the Romans during the 2nd and 3rd centuries of our era.
One may wonder how this breed of horses became extinct in Europe while they were preserved in Iceland. One major reason was the development of roads and military requirements over the past four centuries. Until the 17th century, the European horse was an all-round small family horse: a riding horse, a packhorse, and a draught animal, owned and used by rich and poor alike. He was a natural part of every household, kept near home. When extensive roads brought carts and carriages, only one kind of horse was needed, the draught horse. When at the same time cavalry turned from loose to closed formations, a special kind of horse was required. The breeds were strengthened by pedigree and cross-breeding in order to make the horse into heavier and stronger draught animals. The European peasants became poor and could no longer own riding horses. This was especially the case during and after the Thirty Years’ War (1618-48). After that, only the army and the nobility used horses for riding. Peasant horsemanship disappeared from all parts of Europe, except Iceland, while riding was influenced by the need for cavalry horses, so that all manner of racing, steeple-chasing and other tricks were introduced in order to train the horses.
Obviously, the isolation of Iceland and its extremely adverse conditions played a major role in keeping the race pure and developing the agility, toughness and resistance demanded for surviving the circumstances and the treatment which the horses had to endure as a result of the semi-starvation prevailing in Iceland through many centuries.

Ice har flyttet til hans nye hjem/ Ice has moved to his new home (30.11.13)

Ice Illusion of Canis Borealis, 3 mnd., flyttet til hans nye hjem  i går. Vi ønsker masse lykke til! 
Nå føles det tomt i huset uten valper.... og Flora savner sin lekekamerat.....
 
Ice Illusion of Canis Borealis, 3 months, moved to his new home yesterday. We wish good luck!
It feels empty in the house without puppies.....and Flora misses her little friend....
 

Marzipan har funnet sitt nye hjem/ Marzipan has found his new home (23.11.13)

 Marzipan Gold og Canis Borealis ("Charlie") kom i går til sitt nye hjem i Sverige. Vi har fått disse bildene med rapporten fra hans nye "mamma" at han har funnet seg til rette der; han spiser og leker og sover bra. Vi ønsker lykke til!
 
Marzipan Gold of Canis Borealis ("Charlie") come yesterday to his new home in Sweden. We have got those pictures with information from his new "mom" that he likes him selv there; he eats, plays with other dogs and sleeps good. We wish good luck!

Marzipan er midlertidig hos oss / Marzipan is with us for a meanwhile

 Marzipan Gold of Canis Borealis er nå hos oss. Kjøperen er blitt alvorlig syk slik at hun ikke kunne ha ham lenger. Vi finner et nytt hjem til gutten, men frem til han flytter bor han hos oss. Marzipan ("Charlie") er 8 måneder gammel nå. Han kommer overens med våre hunder. Han er en veldig snill og god gutt.
 

Ice er fortsatt til salgs! / Ice is still for sale! (02.11.13)

Ice er alene nå og savner søstera si litt. Han er fortsatt til salgs! Ta gjerne kontakt for en prat :) 

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