The Icelandic horse was brought to Iceland with the first settlers, the Vikings, which came from Scandinavia around 1100 years ago. Icelandic horses have been isolated in the country for 1100 years without any outside influence of other breeds and that makes the breed one of the oldest pure breeds in the world. Most horses in the old world at this time were what we now call gaited horses and many believe that the Icelandic horse is the best preserved example of the common most popular riding horses in Europe before the days when carriages and military use started to emphasize bigger 3-gaited horses. The specific gaits that the Icelandic horse is mostly known for are tölt and flying pace that come as an addition to the other three gaits, walk, trot and canter, which all horse-breeds have. The smooth 4-beated, lateral tölt can be ridden very slow and very fast and has given the Icelandic horses its reputation as the smoothest ride available! The flying pace that is only ridden very fast within short distances, gives the Icelandic horse the nickname the Porsche of the horse world! But what probably has earned the Icelandic horse the most love and respect from anyone who gets to know him, is his gentle nature, wise and calm temperament but still energetic and strong will to work. For more information about the Icelandic horse see the brochure from Icelandic Horse Breeders Association on this link.