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
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
of this page.
Getting back to whether there is a word in the Icelandic language that means "pony",
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".
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! :-).