Icelandic horses are photographer Lina Kronholm’s favorite breed, and the images she produces perfectly capture their beauty and strength. With a lineage dating back more than a thousand years, according to Viking history, the Icelandic horse is one of the oldest horse breeds in the world.
“It is also one of the purest,” Kronholm, 23, from Malmö, Sweden, told The Epoch Times, “because the breed has been isolated on the island for over 1000 years.
“The first horses were brought to the island by the Vikings and since then, no new horses have been brought to the island. When the Vikings first arrived in Iceland, they could only bring a limited number of horses. Therefore, only the best horses were brought to the island.”
To this day, Icelandic law has made it illegal to import new horses, and a horse that leaves can never return. Native horses are largely free from disease, and this rule guards them against potential disease threats.
Kronholm fell head over heels in love with Icelandic horses when she traveled to Iceland to work with them.
“I got to ride them for long treks across beaches, rivers, mountains, cities, and all of this with a big herd of horses following us,” she said.
“Seeing them in their home environment, how they handle all the different elements and terrains, was amazing. They might seem quite small and cute—which they definitely are, like a pony—but they possess great strength, incredible determination, and a very loving nature.”
Gifted a camera by her parents to take on vacation when she was 14, Kronholm quickly developed a passion for the art of photography. Since she started riding when she was very young, a lot of time was spent in the stable and it became natural for the then-teenager to bring her camera along to practice with.
“I started taking pictures of friends and their horses, and realized I really enjoyed it,” she said.
Working with animals requires a lot of skill and patience, and Kronholm has also spent a lot of time honing her expertise in her native Sweden, taking pictures of Icelandic horses there.
“The horse doesn’t understand what you are trying to achieve and therefore it is very important to always be ready to capture the photo when everything finally clicks,” she said.
As well as taking part in exhibitions and selling prints, Kronholm publishes a popular Icelandic horse calendar every year.
One of Kronholm’s most memorable shoots took place on one of the black-sand beaches of Iceland, providing an incredibly striking backdrop to the galloping horses, and those resting in long grass by the beach. In another unforgettable session, Kronholm photographed a band of 70 horses being herded.
“Seeing so many horses running together as a herd really makes you think of how the wild horses must have looked running across the plains,” she said.
It’s a dream come true for the talented young artist to visit the country doing what she does.
“Iceland is known for being a beautiful country and that is so true,” she said. “I’ve been to Iceland multiple times and can’t wait to go back again.”
Share your stories with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and continue to get your daily dose of inspiration by signing up for the Inspired newsletter at: https://www.theepochtimes.com/newsletter