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 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.

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. The ancestors of the Icelandic horse were probably taken to Iceland by Viking Age Scandinavians between 860 and 935 AD.

This image was shot on last year's photo tour to Iceland:

Iceland Winter Wilderness

These two horses were running around, jumping, chasing each other, biting and kicking. I'm sure it was all very playful, but at times it looked pretty serious. Heavy snowfall created a wonderful low contrast mood, so I decided to resist the temptation to zoom in too much.

Usually it's not a good idea to put your subject near the center of the frame, but because this shot is about confrontation I decided that a centered composition would work best.

If you would like to join me on next year's Iceland tour and learn more about landscape photography and composition, please check out my website for more information:

Squiver Photo Tours & Workshops

Or download the brochure:

Iceland Winter Wilderness (PDF)

Hope to see you there!


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©2013 Marsel van Oosten, All Rights Reserved. This image is not available for use on websites, blogs or other media without the explicit written permission of the photographer.

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