A Mecca for Horsemanship!
The northwest of Iceland has always been noted for its horsemanship and great wealth of horses. It is also renowned for its many well-known horse breeds e.g. the Kolkuós breed, the Svağastağir breed and the Hindisvík breed. Horsemanship thrives here in the north of Iceland as never before.
Our Horses, origins:
Horses were imported to Iceland during the first settlers and it must have been a big decision, since the horse was not a particularly useful animal at that time. A good riding horse was a symbol of status, however the ships, which sailed to Iceland, were open decked and did not have much space for livestock. Thus people only brought their most valuable horses with them.
In the age of the Sturlungs when the climate got harsher the breeding of horses was difficult. In such condition horses were not a priority and when feed was scarce it had to cope through all seasons. No sources show any signs of horse breeding from the time of settlement until the 18th century. During this time the horse was mainly used for transport of supplies and people between places.
Horses are first mentioned in the book Landnáma and it tells of cattle carriage ship, which came ashore at Brimnes in Skagafjörğur. When the ship was sailing in the mare known as Fluga jumped to the sea and swam ashore. A search was carried out for the mare but without success as the land was densely covered with bushes. Nevertheless the mare was sold and the buyer bought it with the hope of finding it. The buyer named his farm after the mare and it is known to this day as Flugumıri. The mare was found in the end and was a great horse. Fluga took part in the first horse race known to have been held in Iceland. The race took place at Kjalvegur and it was Fluga and Synir, who raced against each other at Fluguskeiği.