The Icelandic Horse was most likely brought to Iceland by the Vikings in the 9th century. Although the breed shares characteristics with the Mongolian horse and the Lyngen or Nordland, little is actually known about its ancestry. Because of the remoteness of the area where the horses originated, the Icelandic Horse has remained a pure breed, unchanged for over 1,000 years.
The horses were prized by inhabitants for their all-around ability, working for their owners and providing transportation. The Icelandic Horse is still treasured in its homeland today, and many people still use the horses for sheepherding, local transportation and competition.