Icelandic Horse Connection

Icelandic Horse Pony, Smahestur, Smáhesturinn

Link to this page!
For years we have heard that Icelandic Horses are "horses" and not "ponies", because there is no word in the Icelandic language for "pony".

Let me clarify that those websites are not quoting anything official, they are for the most part websites by Icelandic Horse owners who are repeating something that they were told.

These same comments are on the websites of Icelandic Horse / Pony owners in North America, and some owners will argue forever that the Icelandic Horse is a "horse" and not a "pony". However, Europeans seem to have no problem calling them ponies; see the websites at the bottom of this page.

Getting back to whether there is a word in the Icelandic language that means "pony", yes, there is: Smahestur, Smáhesturinn

Clearly, there is a word in Icelandic for "pony".

It is in my English / Icelandic dictionary, which was produced and printed in Iceland, 1985. To be very clear, they are translating "smahestur" to be "pony" (and vice versa); and not as "little horse".

icelandic english dictionary

icelandic english dictionary

And it is clearly discussed here: http://847.is/index1.php?id=53

And here: http://www.pbase.com/gudrung/image/36920394

And is also in the on-line dictionary: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pony

It doesn't matter if the Icelandic equine is called a horse or a pony, but owners should understand that it is a pony.

It's a similar case with the Fjord. It is called the Fjord Horse or the Fjord Pony, but it is a pony. It is a more substantial equine than the Icelandic, but the owners have no problem calling it a pony, and understanding that it is a pony.

That the Icelanders call a Shetland a "Shetland smáhestur", and that their horse, relative to the Shetland is bigger therefore they consider it a "horse" not a pony, is narrow thinking; sort of tunnel vision, big fish in a small pond paradigm. There are just as many Icelandics in Germany as in Iceland; compare them to the German Warmbloods. Anyone would get "pony" out of that comparison! :-).

The Icelandic Horse has ponies for ancestors:

Icelandic Horse Ancestors

and it has pony characteristics:

Pony Characteristics

and it's all been tied together with mitochondrial DNA; therefore, in the face of science, it should be correct, and it shouldn't be considered derogatory, to call the Icelandic a pony.


European Icelandic Pony Links:















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