The animal world is really wonderful still amazing us with its own unique beauty. Each country has its own trait animal and all of them are amazing in their own way, but it seems that horses are one of a kind. Icelandic horses really are unique in this breed as their breed has remained unchanged for a millennium.
These horses have first arrived in Iceland in the far 860 to 935 AD, brought by the Norse settlers on Viking ships. The government in those days passed laws banning the import of other horse breeds into the country making this breed unique.
Icelandic horses come with many colors, and have a long lifespan of almost 40 years. This breed can easily survive the harsh environment of Iceland due to their selective breeding having thick winter coats. This fur protects them from snowstorms and high winds, allowing them wading across freezing rivers. The coat sheds in the spring making a way for a new one the following season.
They are the pride of Iceland being mentioned in Norse mythology, where they are presented with supernatural powers, pulling the sun across the sky.
People that have seen them report their astonishing beauty and thanks to the photographer Drew Doggett many others can witness their beauty. This photographer made a series of beautiful pictures of these unique horses naming it as In the Realm of Legends. The horses are presented in beautiful landscapes galloping and playing on snowy tundras, near waterfalls, and on black sand beaches.
These pictures were a result of the hard work of Doggett who needed time to realize that this was his real calling. He started photographing in high school realizing that this would be his passion. So, as young man he moved to New York and began apprenticing in fashion photography. Thanks to the fashion industry he had the opportunity to work with well-established photographers such as Steven Klein, Mark Seliger, and Annie Leibovitz.
He travelled the world and in 2009, he went to Nepal where he discovered what would be the themes of his photographs. He was there alone and while staying out on a snowstorm in the Himalayas with the sherpas who were guiding him, he realized that he should tell the stories of those who had created a life and thrived in challenging conditions.
The photographing of the Icelandic horses became his ideal subject and because of that he went to Iceland. He stayed on a farm with hundreds of horses listening to the many traditional stories about Sleipnir, an eight-legged Icelandic horse who is believed to be the spirit animal of the mythological god, Odin. Inspired by these amazing stories he started photographing the Icelandic horses roaming through the territory of Iceland meanwhile capturing all the incredible landscapes. He created art pieces that are a combination of myth and fantasy, tales of folklore, and art. The subjects in his photographs are snow-white and brown horses, revealing their beauty, glamour, power, and calm nature located in a wild landscape with pale, glacial blues and the dark shades of the sand and rocks. The Icelandic horses graze, gallop and stand proud in a perfect natural environment.
His photographs are usually in black and white, but for this series he decided to be in color so that he can present the overwhelming majesty of these animals. He explains his series as“a relationship between a noble, yet rugged, breed of horses and the challenging landscape they’ve written into their DNA.”
You can witness the majestic beauty of these horses by watching the video below: