Icelanders take great pride in their Icelandic horses. Believe it or not, this set me up for a cultural clash.
A stop at a horse farm is often included in the itinerary for bus tour companies, and at such a stop I witnessed a comedic exchange.
-“When are we going to see the ponies?”
-“Ponies?!” “They are Icelandic horses!”
-“But they are small.”
-“How will you feel if I went to India, see an elephant and call it a reindeer?”
The Icelandic tour guide was extremely frustrated with the Indian traveler for calling Icelandic horses ponies.
I have to say, compared to horses in America, Icelandic horses are what Americans would call ponies.