That was an interesting read.
Coming from a country that was pretty much isolated for hundreds of years (who cared about a frozen rock in the middle of the North-Atlantic ocean?
) we do have a somewhat special horse culture.
For starters only one breed. No horses have been imported for about a 1000 years. Boarding/Agistment:
In the city or towns there are stable neighborhoods. There there are a number of stables houses owned by many different people, from which you can rent a stall. There are horse-clubs on these areas to which you pay a certain fee if you wish to use the facilities. Where I am I pay about 20-25$ (can't really remeber) and I get a number of outdoor arenas, a big indoor arena, a few round pens and 2 oval tracks. Horses generally spend a lot of time in their stalls when they are in those areas but there are pens outside of the houses where they are let out. My neighborhood also has a vet's place which is very convenient. It differs from place to place how much you do, all from doing everything yourself to having everything done for you. But this is only from about December/January to the start of summer for most people. Then the horses are let out to huge pastures and have very little human contact for the rest of the year. Young horses that have not been started (ca 0-4) are also in these huge pastures along with pregnant mares. Almost all icelandic foals are born outside. It's required by law to have somekind of shelter for the horses, be it natural or not, since we get horrible weather, but rugging is not done, as the owners are maybe a 6 hour drive away. Show horses are kept on houses like we say for the summer as well since the competition season is during summer.
Here's a map of my stable neighborhood, which is the largest in the country. The dark red houses are horse related. Rugging:
Not really done. Maybe showhorses to keep them clean in their stalls but genrally not. I have a rug that I throw on if my horse is sweaty and there are below freezing temperatures in the stables. Clipping:
To clip from under the mane and under the stomache is somewhat common, but full-body clips are not seen but on foals that are kept inside, as their coat easily gets messy. Trainers:
Personal trainers are getting more common but most people rather attend courses, especially with newbes and young people. Discipline:
Everyone rides with an english style saddle. I've seen a western saddles two times in my life and both of them were nailed to the wall, one in a tack shop and one in a restaurant. People use them when hearding sheep/horses, when going on long trips, when doing dressage and competing in gaited shows. Most people in the city trail ride along with doing minor dressage and having a flashy gait. Competitions are almost strictly gaited shows.
Riding is very common here in Iceland, in fact we have about 80 000 horses and 300 000 people, so 0.8 horses for every 3 people. We are also a very sparsely populated country so we can let our horses have the space to be free for about a half of the year.