Icelandic horses are a very old breed originating from Iceland. To keep the purity of the breed and avoid bringing diseases in, to this day no horse can be imported into Iceland. Horses from Iceland can never return there.
Icelandics are now bred in many countries all over the world, and several hundred call Australia home.
These horses are relatively small, but they make up for it in working ability, toughness and big personality. They can easily carry an adult, and have managed some amazing feats of endurance. The breed is gaited, and the smooth saddle gait is called toelt. Almost all Icelandic horses can toelt, but they can also walk, trot and canter. Some can also do a flying pace, which is a popular form of racing them.
In countries offereing shows for Icelandics, they are shown in a variety of classes. Aside from showing, they are wonderful trail riding horses due to their smooth gaits and sensible nature. They are rarely shown in harness, although in Iceland this did happen before cars became the favoured vehicle. They are suitable for almost all equestrian activities, where height is an issue, and I have found them to be super horses for anything that requires a brave horse, such as skill at arms, extreme cowboy racing, horse archery and military equitation.