Lukka and Sproti
Lisi Ohm teaching at Vindsdalur
Icelandic Horses are very smart and independent,  they will co-operate because they learn to respect you, and because you respect their specific temperament - they are not a push-button type horse that can be "broke", but if you appreciate a thinking horse that will always keep a bit of independence and will bond on a level of cooperation and mutual understanding  - an Icelandic is the one for you!!

We also need to consider that this Breed does have a huge variety of types. You need to assess exactly what kind of horse you want to own. Do you want a horse that is laid back and bombproof or a horse that shows more willingness and might be more of a riding challenge? Do you want to find the perfect Trail Partner, Family horse, Show Prospect, Breeding Prospect? Do you want a domestic bred animal or are you looking across the waters to get your Icelandic Horse? Do you want a young animal or a fully trained one?  Do you want a mare or a gelding? Do you want all five gaits, four gaits or maybe are you happy with a horse that mainly shows a smooth and secure Tolt? Are you prepared to put in the effort that it takes to learn about the gaits and how to ride them well?

If you ride Western style and want to simply switch to a smooth ride, without having to learn a different riding style - you might be able to find a Natural Tolter that  even learned to neck rein.  My recommendation however would be to look in another Breed  (Tennesssee Walkers, Rocky Mountain Horse or other Single Footing Breeds) ; there are many North American Gaited Horses out there that can give you a  smooth ride and  are often  trained for the Western Pleasure type riding style.

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Happy Horses, happy Owners!
If you look for a Pleasure horse, make sure it is secure in the Tolt (Pace is not important for pleasure riding) and select for personality and how it feels to you. Here you don't look for scores but for the value of feeling safe and having clear, secure gaits that are easy to ride and don't disappear after you take the horse home. Because of the big demand for these horses, they are not necessarily that much cheaper than their evaluated cousins! Imported Horses are more expensive than domestically bred horses if you buy them from a Breeder. If you import yourself it might seem cheaper, but import and transport can add up considerably. 
langhus Farm Iceland - picture by Lukka
Picture by Lukka
People often wonder why these horses have such a high pricetag on them - prices are already comperatively high in Iceland and therefore it is no "moneymaking scheme" when their price in Northamerica is  high, too, especially for imported horses! As there have been a few "big buck breeders" going out of business in the last year, the market has been flooded with cheaper horses. Reputable Breeders are now forced to lower some of their prices, which will make it very hard for any Breeder to properly raise and train their young horses without a loss.
Lukka with a beautiful Silver Pinto
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