Incredible Film on Icelandic Horses (Video)

“These are animals that have ideals. So one must work according to that, and negotiate with them.”
quote from trailer

By Jaymi Heimbuch, TreeHugger

Living in limbo between wild and domestic animals, these horses have the best of both worlds. During the summer, they are free to range over the mountains of Iceland and as winter closes in, they are rounded up by their owners to be cared for during the winter.

Filmmakers Lindsay Blatt and Paul Taggart have created a documentary that reveals the rich cultural and environmental history of this breed and the people who have created this unusual and wonderful way of life for the horses.

Blatt and Taggart write, “During the summer months, the horses live a wild existence, grazing in the highlands and raising their young. Each fall, they are rounded up by local farmers and directed across the stunning landscape. This valued tradition is a social and cultural touchstone for both the farmers who own the horses and the city dwellers who travel to the countryside to participate. The horse holds a precious place in Icelandic culture, art and tradition; for over 1,000 years Icelandic law has prohibited the importation of horses onto the island. By telling the story of this annual journey, Herd in Iceland captures the symbolism behind the horses and the nation they represent.”

The duo has created a gorgeous documentary project, which will soon be completed thanks to generous funding on Kickstarter. You can watch the trailer above.

For so long, the Icelandic horse has been shaped by the island’s environment and the people dependent upon them. However, Iceland itself is being shaped by global climate change. As interesting as the annual roundup is on its own, as a tradition being kept alive by dedicated farmers, it is also interesting to think how it might change. How might these changes affect the breed? How might it affect the culture behind these amazing animals? These might be the questions a documentary film will answer in coming years.


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natalie n.
natalie n.3 years ago

such beautiful creatures.

Mara Comitas
Mara Comitas3 years ago

Wonderful tradition!

Laureen Godin
Laurie Godin3 years ago

I hope this never changes. It is so beautiful. To all those that are pro-slaughter, I hope you see this video. Maybe you might feel a slight tug on your heart!

Erik R.
Erik R.3 years ago

PS amazing short film, incredible thanks for sharing it

Erik R.
Erik R.3 years ago

we still cn do something to save a friend here its a campaign to save spain horses from slaughter copy the link and please share it they deserve to be running as the island horses

here's the link and also this

its not spam, its a campaign to save horses from slaughter, if you can't donate, you can spread the word for our nature brothers

Jim F.
Past Member 3 years ago

Just goes to show...HORSES are beautiful..anywhere!

Ruth R.
Ruth R.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing the article and the pretty video. Amazing way of life for the horses and the people.

Ruth R.
Ruth R.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing the article and the pretty video. Amazing way of life for the horses and the people.

Rosie Jolliffe
Rosie Lopez3 years ago

so beautiful thanks!

Heather M
Heather Marv3 years ago

Also note, no introduced horses. The rest of Mankind could learn a lot from this. Many of our problems were created by introduced animals, plants, etc.