Icelandic horses are a local treasure and a great pride in Iceland. The horses are intelligent, curious, independent and with a mind of their own. Nordic horses were imported to Iceland with viking ships between 860 and 930AD and have evolved into the icelandic horse we know today.
They are tough horses that can withstand rough terrain, snow storms and can cross icy cold rivers. The Icelandic horse is the only horse breed in Iceland, and has been for a thousand years when a law was passed that prohibited importation of other horse breeds into the country. They are said to be one of the purest horsebreeds in the world and they are healthy and long lived with an average life span of 40 years.
The PADA Temperament test of the horse Arka
They have no predetory threats wich has made them brave and not easily scared. Their evolution, formed largely by their environment has seen to it that the majority of icelandic horses are curious and inquisitive and Arka the horse in this video, reacts as brave and curious as you would expect.
The PADA temperament test gives an assessment of the personality of the horse and there is no right or wrong result to the test, but an objective answer to the core makeup of the horses temperament. Arka is tested to see if she will be suitable as a therapy horse. You can see she is social with a unknown person, tolerates rough handling and shows no insecurities to a novel object. She is unfazed by the triggers and keeps following the person she finds so interesting.
This is just a small part of the test and is not enough to make an assessment. Analyzing only parts of the test alone can only give you an indication of the horses temperament. The complete test consists of several steps of triggers and environments that the horse will meet and interact with, where one trigger can influence the next. The PADA assessment of Arka showed she is suitable as a therapy horse and will be enriched by those social experiences.