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Characteristics

One of the most interesting characteristics is, that almost all equine colors occur in the Icelandic horse stock. Icelandic farmers used to say: "A good horse has no color", and never selected their horses on the basis of their color.

Nowadays, however, the enormous variety in color is considered a great asset, and many breeders take a good deal of trouble to preserve it.

The Leirubakki Horse Farm is a case in point: most colors occur in the Leirubakki stock.
Another characteristic of Icelandic horses that appeals to modern man is their closeness to nature. In Iceland, only horses in training are stabled during the winter, brood mares and young horses stay outdoors all year. In summer, all horses live outdoors and the young ones are often sent to uninhabited areas for grazing. Thus, they grow up on the high moors and learn to deal with nature's challenges. In winter, they acquire a thick coat that protects them against the cold. Breeding in Iceland still means a stallion grazing together with a herd of mares. Fertility rates are very high. The horses are usually broken in when 4 or 5 years old, and they are fully developed at 8 years. But they live long and can usually be ridden until they are well over 20 years old.

 



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