The 1st of May is International Worker’s Day, but it also happens to be the International Day of the Icelandic Horse. Icelandic Horse owners across the globe are encouraged to open their stable doors so that more people can get to know this calm and clever breed.

Learn more about National Holidays in Iceland

The Icelandic Horse is one of the purest breeds in the world and they have been bred without outside interference in Iceland for the last 1000 years. No horses are allowed into Iceland; that means if a horse is taken out of the country, it can never return.

This has led to a thriving Icelandic Horse population around the world with the largest expat community residing in Germany. The Icelandic Horse is treasured for its many positive attributes but most of all for its five gaits; these are walk, trot, canter/gallop, tölt (the ‘ambling gait’), and skeið (the ‘flying gait’). Other horse breeds most commonly have only three natural gaits.

The Icelandic horse is something to be celebrated as much of Icelanders’ history is interwoven with the unique native breed. The tölt made difficult cross-country travel over uneven terrain not only possible but also comfortable; the way that the horse lifts its hooves saves the rider suspension in the saddle which can lead to fatigue over long distances.

To celebrate this day in Iceland, there will be many equestrian events across the country including a couple of events close to Reykjavík in the suburbs Gardabær and Kópavogur. Below is a list of events that you can attend to fully embrace the magic of the Icelandic Horse.

Schedule courtesy of

You can get to know the Icelandic Horse at any time of year on thrilling horseriding tours which are available around the country. Take in the wonder of Iceland’s stunning landscapes from the saddle and trot along ancient pathways which have served Icelanders for centuries.

So, whether you’re an experienced rider or a complete novice, you’re guaranteed to find the right tour for you, here.

If you’d like to know more, read our Ultimate Guide to the Iceland Horse. Or, why not get to know more about Wildlife and Animals in Iceland in general? Be sure to leave any comments or questions in the Facebook box below.