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icelandic horse

It is thought that the horses the Vikings brought with them had a broad variation of looks and many colors, and as such there is today a large variation in color in the Icelandic horses. The horse has been very important as a means of transport and a work animal throughout Iceland's history. Since around 1920 the horses have been recorded in pedigrees. Jeeps and tractors have largely replaced the horse as a work animal after World War II. These days the only work related tasks horses are used for is rounding up sheep from the highlands and herding livestock (sheep, cattle and horses) on farms. Most horses are mainly used for leisure riding, gaited competition, and for an Icelandic brand of horse-racing.

The Icelandic horse is a breed of horse that has lived in Iceland since the mid-800s AD, having been brought to the island by Viking settlers. The Icelandic Horse originated from breeds taken from Scandinavian and European countries to Iceland during the original and subsequent settlements but has now been bred for centuries without the addition of outside bloodstock. Because they are by-and-large pony-sized, they are often called "Icelandic ponies" in some countries. However, this name is normally considered derogatory and inappropriate within Iceland.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Icelandic Horse".