From Iceland – Possible new breed of horse in Iceland

Posted November 18, 2021

Reetta Huhta

photo by

Magnús Hlynur Hreiðarsson / Vísir

Icelandic horse enthusiasts have encountered an interesting phenomenon: a possible new breed of Icelandic horses in Skaftárhreppur. Currently, horses are being examined to see if their genomes are different from the rest of the horse population in Iceland, Vísir reports.

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These horses have lived in isolation at Landbrot in Skaftárhreppur for sixty years. They have never entered a stable, their hooves have never been clipped and their teeth have never been brushed. They also did not receive anthelmintics. The horses are said to be incredibly fit but quite small compared to other Icelandic horses.

For further examination, the horses were transferred to the Árbæjarhjáleiga farm in Holt, where experts are currently taking samples from these horses to determine if they have in fact become another breed. According to one of the specialists, Óðinn Örn Jóhannsson, even if the horses are small, their physical condition is good. He says there is a substantial difference between other Icelandic horses and single horses: “They are like another breed.”

Farm owner Kristin Guðnason says he’s never seen horses like this before. “They are extremely small and there are very few offspring,” he comments. He adds that single horses are friendly with others: “It seems they adapt well to a new environment.

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