Breeding and riding in Iceland
Iceland exports almost 3.000 riding and breeding horses each year, both to Europe and North-America.
The breeding, supervised by the judges and horsebreeding advisors of the Farmers' Association, aims for elegant and strong riding horses with all 5 gaits, great willingness and a good character. Most important, though, is a good tolt - supple, speedy, elegant, and comfortable for the rider.
There are over 80,000 horses in Iceland, and many stud farms, where the stock is improved continuously. There are over 50 horsemen's clubs all over the country, united in the Federation of Horsemen's Societies (LH).
It is believed that approximately 10% of the population goes horseback riding regularly, for leisure and sports. Long riding tours through uninhabited areas are just as popular as participating in sporting events or breeding shows.
On the outskirts of most towns and villages there are special stable areas. Also, there are many professional riders in Iceland, united in the Society for Professional Riders (FT), who make their living by training horses and teaching.