Icelandic horses are meant to live in Shetland imho. They love it. Shetland is almost as good as Iceland for any Icelandic horse.
We have no sweetitch or mud fever. The horses thrive in this environment and don’t care about the coarse Shetland weather either. They all live off the same diet too.
Both the indigenous Shetland ponies and the Icelandic horses speak the same language. It is always very interesting to watch them interact. They enjoy each other’s company and get on well in a herd environment.
When we used them in the school together. It worked fine. The little legs do keep up.
More folk should have Icelandic horses in Shetland if you ask me. They would smile more and worry, feed and rug their horses less.
The Icelandic breed does go way back in Shetland’s history from when the boats used to sail between Iceland, Faroe, Shetland and Scotland supplying the pit ponies and moving livestock about. Many an old crofter will look at my Icelandics and says “we had one of those on the croft” and there are some Shetland ponies that look like cut-down Icelandic horses.
I have started a new Facebook Group – The Northern Isles Icelandic Horse Group. This group is for “enthusiasts, riders, breeders and trainers of Icelandic horses. Predominantly for those in the Northern Isles of the United Kingdom, but anyone can join who shares the Icelandic Horse passion!”
Please feel free to drop by and join if you are interested.
We don’t want to be all alone in Shetland with our Icelandic horses.
We need to spread the word and get folk out there coming to try the unique Icelandic gaits, see just how comfortable tölt is and what fun you can have with an Icelandic horse.