1000 years of pure breeding and the harsh living conditions on Iceland have made a horse that is special in character.
Icelandic Horses in Iceland live in big herds left outside on their own.
In this way they get self-confident animals with intact social behaviour. From birth on they have to get accustomed with the most difficult countryside. These are the best basics for a riding horse that has to be able to deal with rounding sheep in the highlands or dangerous transports to distant farms.
The necessity to rely on a horse blindly especially in emergencies, to maybe put your life in it's hands when severe abrupt weather changes made fords impassable led to a breeding of horses that were highly reliable, with best character, and also of a fast perception, strength and independent spirit - real partners indeed.
These qualities and the ability to toelt were the foundation for today's popularity of the Icelandic Horse in Germany: You find horses in many different ranges, from the secure and comfortable horse with strong nerves of the hobby rider to the horse full of temperament and eager to perform for the rider who is challenged in championships.