The Icelandic horse is a breed of small horses developed in Iceland. The ancestors of the Icelandic horse were taken to Iceland by Viking Age Scandinavians between 860 and 935 AD. Skalm, a mare who is the first Icelandic horse known by name, appeared in the Landnámabók (the Book of Settlements) from the 12th century.
To the earliest Norse people the horse was a symbol of fertility, and white horses were slaughtered at sacrificial ceremonies and feasts.
Horses played a significant part in Norse mythology. The chief of the Norse gods, Óðinn, owned an eight-footed pacer named Sleipnir.
Today, the Icelandic horse is a popular breed, which is exported to other countries as well and preferably given Icelandic names.
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