Guide to Icelandic Riding

1. The fascination of Icelandic horse riding – why is riding Icelandic horse so popular?

The small, robust Viking horses enjoy great popularity. They have strong nerves, are well-balanced, cooperative and can be ridden by young riders as well as experienced adults.

Learn more about the uniqueness of Icelandic horses in this guide.

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Rider on an Icelandic horse
Icelandic horse and rider

2. Icelandic riding clothing – the expression of an attitude to life

In Iceland, the land of fire and ice, the inhabitants believe in the myths and legends of their country. This belief and the connection to nature find expression in Icelandic clothing. Here, functionality meets dreamy design. Probably the best-known garment is the Icelandic jumper made of Icelandic wool with the unmistakable colourful knitting pattern.

What else distinguishes Icelandic clothing and how this benefits everyday riding and stable life, you can read here.

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3. The equipment of an Icelandic horse

The saddle, bridle and other equipment of an Icelandic horse does not differ significantly from the English equipment. However, the compact small horse has different physical requirements than, for example, a riding pony of the same size. The gaits tölt and pace also play a major role in choosing the right saddle.

Therefore, there are some typical features to consider when outfitting an Icelandic horse.

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Icelandic Horse with the FENGUR Comfort Headpiece Gilja
Icelandic horse with a sweet itch rug

4. The suitable sweet itch rug for Icelandic horses

Many imported Icelandic horses develop sweet itch within the first year of arrival. The reason is an overreaction to insect bites, especially the bites of the Culcoides mosquito, also called the gnat. To get your Icelandic horse through the grazing season as stress-free as possible, a sweet itch rug is recommended. However, it must fit perfectly to avoid chafing.

This guide will tell you what makes a suitable sweet itch rug for Icelandic horses.

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5. FAQ about Icelandic riding

Why do more imported Icelandic horses suffer from sweet itch than those bred outside Iceland? Why do Icelandic horses need special equipment? Why can’t I use the same saddle and bridle as for riding ponies? I want to buy an Icelandic horse – it will automatically be able to tölt, won’t it? Can I also train an Icelandic horse for dressage?

You can find answers to these and other questions in our FAQ about Icelandic riding.

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Icelandic horse and rider cuddling