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Icelandic Online Dictionary and Readings

Carry On Icelandic: Culture [selections] (2004)

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═slenski hesturinn - The Icelandic Horse

═slenski hesturinn

═slenski hesturinn er einstakur Ý sinni r÷­. Hann hefur veri­ rŠkta­ur allt frß landnßms÷ld og vegna einangrunar landsins hefur hann ekki blandast ÷­rum tegundum. Hann hefur a­lagast kaldri ve­rßttunni ■annig a­ ß veturna er feldur hans ■ykkur og ˙finn en ß vorin fellir hann vetrarhßrin og er ■ß gljßandi og mj˙kur. ═slenski hesturinn er fremur smßvaxinn, viljugur og lipur og er stundum talinn til smßhesta. Hann ■ykir gˇ­ur rei­hestur og er eini hesturinn sem břr yfir ÷llum fimm gangtegundum hesta; t÷lti, skei­i, brokki, st÷kki og fetgangi.

Color photograph

Hestafer­ Ý f÷gru sˇlarlagi (Horseback riding into the sunset).

١tt Ýslenski hesturinn sÚ smßvaxinn er hann sterkur og ■rˇttmikill. Hann hefur l÷ngum veri­ nefndur ■arfasti ■jˇnn mannsins Ý landi sem ß­ur fyrr var oft erfitt yfirfer­ar og mß segja a­ allir flutningar ß landi hafi fari­ fram me­ a­sto­ ■essa ■arfa ■jˇns.

Enn gegnir Ýslenski hesturinn veigamiklu hlutverki Ý lÝfi margra ═slendinga. ═ n˙tÝmasamfÚlaginu er hann ekki lengur ■arfasti ■jˇnninn en hestamennska er n˙ vinsŠlt sport, stundu­ af mj÷g m÷rgum hvort sem er Ý sveitum, bŠjum e­a borg. Mikill fj÷ldi hesta er Ý landinu, ■eim til ama sem hafa ßhyggjur af ofbeit og ■eim nßtt˙ruspj÷llum sem h˙n veldur, en hinum til ˇmŠldrar ßnŠgju sem hafa gaman af hestamennsku. Hestar eru ß flestum sveitabŠjum og sÚrst÷k hesth˙sahverfi eru nßnast hvarvetna Ý ■Úttbřli. ═slenski hesturinn er ß vissan hßtt nokkurs konar tengili­ur vi­ sveitamenninguna sem er ß hr÷­u undanhaldi Ý landi ÷rt vaxandi tŠkni■rˇunar og borgarmyndunar.

The Icelandic Horse

The Icelandic horse is the only breed of its kind. It has been bred continuously since Icelandic settlement and, due to the country's isolation, it has not been crossed with other breeds. The horse has adapted to the cold conditions: in winter, its coat is thick and rough, but in spring it sheds its winter coat to become soft and shiny. The Icelandic horse is rather small, agile and spirited and is sometimes thought to be a pony. It is considered a good riding horse and the only one able to do all five riding strides: the slow trot, amble, trot, gallop and walk.

Whilst the Icelandic horse is small, it is nevertheless strong and vigorous. Travelling in Iceland was once very difficult and so the horse has long been called "man's most useful servant". It is safe to say that all transportation in Iceland took place with the aid of these helpers.

The horse continues to play an important role in the lives of many Icelanders. While, in modern society, it has ceased to be the most useful servant, horsemanship is now a popular sport that is pursued by a great many, be they from the country, towns, or the city. There is a large number of horses in Iceland, and those with a mind to overgrazing and the environmental damage they cause see them as a nuisance. Others, who enjoy horsemanship, find it pleasurable to see so many. There are horses on most farms and separate areas for stables are found in almost all urban areas. The Icelandic horse retains some kind of a connection with a rural way of life that is in fast retreat in the face of rapid technological change and urban development.

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