The Icelandic horse is known for being a very friendly breed. They are very smart with big personalities. The horses are rather small and strong but please be aware of this: Do not call them ponies because they get really offended by that. :)
The horses are curious and lack the spookiness that some other breeds have, maybe because they have been surviving harsh conditions since they first were brought here to Iceland with the Vikings. The horses can also be very stubborn and relentless. Some characteristics are in their genes but like with humans the upbringing and the environment help shape their personalities. The horses are most comfortable in groups and want to stay in stables and in fields along with other horses.
The Icelandic people are very proud of this amazing animal that they have been intertwined with for centuries. The Icelandic horse is said to be the only breed in the world who has five different gaits: walk, trot, pace, tölt, and gallop. Few other breeds can tölt or pace but then their other gaits are limited.
When riding a horse the riders should consider the horse’s personality. If the riders are beginners then the horse should have a good temper and should be easy to control. But more experienced riders often have a different opinion on what kind of horses they like riding the best. Some want sturdy and calm horses while others want them to be more spirited and willing. The best horses for children are most often those who are calm, soft and with years of experience. There truly are horses for everyone! The most important thing is that the horse and the riders connect and that the rider feels secure.
It is nothing more beautiful than to see a trusting bond and friendship between a rider and his horse.