The Icelandic horse is a breed of horse developed in Iceland. Although
the horses are small, at times pony-sized, most registries for the
Icelandic refer to it as a horse. Icelandic horses are late-developers,
but are also long-lived and hardy. In their native country they have
few diseases; Icelandic law prevents horses from being imported into
the country and exported animals are not allowed to return. The
Icelandic displays two gaits in addition to the typical walk, trot, and
canter/gallop commonly displayed by other breeds. The only breed of
horse in Iceland, they are also popular internationally, and sizable
populations exist in Europe and North America. The breed is still used
for traditional farm work in its native country, as well as for
leisure, showing, and racing. Developed from ponies taken to Iceland by
Viking settlers in the 9th and 10th centuries, the breed is mentioned
in literature and historical records throughout Icelandic history; the
first reference to a named horse appears in the 12th century. Horses
were worshipped in Norse mythology, a custom brought to Iceland by the
country's earliest settlers. Selective breeding over the centuries has
developed the breed into its current form. Natural selection has also
played a role, as the harsh Icelandic climate eliminated many horses
through cold and starvation. In the 1780s, much of the breed was wiped
out in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption.
Read the rest of this article:
Today's selected anniversaries:
German composer Ludwig van Beethoven premiered his Fifth Symphony,
currently one of the most popular and well-known compositions in all of
European classical music, at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna.
Itō Hirobumi, a samurai from Chōshū, became the first Prime Minister of
The Constitution of the Italian Republic was enacted by the Constituent
A total of 128 people died when the ocean liner TSMS Lakonia burned at
sea 180 miles (290 km) north of Madeira.
Berlin's historic Brandenburg Gate re-opened after nearly 30 years,
symbolizing the unity of East and West Germany.
Burhanuddin Rabbani of the Northern Alliance handed over power in
Afghanistan to the interim government headed by Hamid Karzai.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
Regardful of others; beneficent; unselfish
Wikiquote quote of the day:
While you live ... you have a duty to life. ... The fey wonders of the
world only exist while there are those with the sight to see them. ...
Otherwise they fade away.
--Charles de Lint
Show replies by date