As a little girl, I always wanted a pony for Christmas. Santa never brought me a pony. So in my late 40s, I started taking horseback riding lessons. When I turned 50, I got my first horse, an Icelandic named Blessi (Veigar frá Búðardal). Little did I know how much fun life with an Icelandic was going to be. Blessi has a unique perspective on life. I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoy Blessi. And you will probably read about my cats from time to time.
Photographs of F. Howell, Cornell University Library.
In their native country, Icelandic horses are known as the “Bridges of
Iceland.”Because of the island’s
division by numerous, glacier-fed rivers, Icelanders relied on horses to carry
them across the more remote areas of the country.It was not until the 1960s that enough
bridges and roads were built in Iceland to enable a motorist to drive from one
end of Iceland to another. Icelandic is crisscrossed with rushing glacier streams.Any sort of travel in Iceland until modern
times required a rock steady, sensible horse capable of navigating these tricky
crossings. Above, Icelandic riders cross the Brúará river around 1900.