The Colors of The Icelandic Horse

The Icelandic horse can exhibit over 40 colors with up to 100 variations. These colors encompass virtually all known horse colors, with a few exceptions, making the breed one of the most colorful in the world. The breeding society encourages the preservation of this color diversity, reflecting a breeding goal that values natural occurrence over selection for specific traits. 

The emphasis on color variety within the Icelandic horse breed is not just for aesthetic appeal; it signifies the breed’s adaptability and the rich cultural heritage of Iceland. Breeders and enthusiasts alike cherish this variety, often having favorite colours or patterns, which adds to the personal connection many feel with these horses.

The rarest color within the breed is the color-changing roan, although there is one stallion in Iceland, Ellert frá Baldurshaga that carries a distinctive and new coat color allele known as W21, which has been termed “ýruskjóttur.” His case is rare and exciting development in the world of Icelandic horses, highlighting the ongoing evolution and richness of the breed.


Here you can see pictures of Ellert

The isolation of the breed in Iceland, combined with a long history of  unique breeding has created a stunning palette of colors that is as diverse and beautiful as the Icelandic landscape itself. This diversity is celebrated and preserved as a vital aspect of the breed’s identity, adding to the Icelandic horse’s appeal and mystique.

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