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.
Do Icelandics really require less food or is it hypometabolism
Icelandic horses on glacier from Cornell Collection circa 1900
When you reduce the food to 30% of what they are normally fed, thrifty breeds like Shetlands (and I would imagine Icelandics) go into a state of hypometabolismin whichthe body metabolism slows down and other physiological changes occur so the pony can maintain its weight. This is a primitive adaptation to enable wild animals to adapt and to survive seasonal variation in the amount of food available. Most domestic horse breeds have lost this ability.