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Viking Icelandic Horses

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reddust
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last monthSteemit2 min read

The Vikings brought their horses to Iceland over a thousand years ago. Today Iceland does not allow any horses to come into Iceland. The horse stock is free of diseases and some of the hardest, healthiest, and longest-living horses in the world. Did you know dead middle-aged Viking men were buried with their prized stallion?


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Horses are the most common grave goods found in Icelandic Viking Age graves. Horse skeletons have previously been sexed based on pelvis shape and the presence of canine teeth in male horses over 4–5 years of age. Morphological data has shown that all horses from Icelandic burials that were amenable to sexing were male. Yet the use of morphological methods to determine sex is problematic since they rely on finding a well-preserved pelvis and/or robust canine teeth..... Our results revealed a male to female sex bias ratio of 18:1 in burial sites, versus 0:3 in non-burial locations. The findings support the significant over-representation of male horses in Viking Age graves in Iceland. However, show that –albeit rare– mares could also be selected for ritual burial in Viking Age Iceland. This cost-effective method provides statistical confidence to allow for sexing of highly fragmented archaeological specimens with low endogenous DNA content. Science Direct

I want one! The pony is 14 hands tall at its tallest, double winter coat, no disease, long-lived, breeding up to 27 years, and easy-going. The horse takes 4 years to grow strong enough to be ridden. Growth isn't finished until 7 years.

Sounds like a Morgan horse before breeding for confirmation ruined the breed. They all look like a Thoroughbred horse now. From (Wiki) Icelandic horses weigh between 330 and 380 kilograms (730 and 840 lb) and stand an average of 13 and 14 hands (52 and 56 inches, 132 and 142 cm) high, which is often considered pony size. Still, breeders and breed registries always refer to Icelandics as horses. Several theories have been put forward as to why Icelandics are always called horses, among them the breed's spirited temperament and large personality. Another theory suggests that the breed's weight, bone structure, and weight-carrying abilities mean it can be classified as a horse rather than a pony.

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