The strong, sturdy equines of Iceland are a truly unique breed of horse. That’s because the country doesn’t allow outside horses to enter the island, and once a native-born equine leaves, they are not permitted to return. The reason for this is biosecurity, but it has also kept the Icelandic Horse’s genetics quite consistent through the generations with no outside influence to dilute the ancient breed.
The tölt is described as a four-beat, lateral gait with no suspension, making it smooth to ride. It can be fast or slow, depending on the individual horse and rider. The flying pace is a two-beat, lateral gait meant to be blazing fast.
Putting these gaits into words is one thing, but its another thing to see them on video. This video, from Horses of Iceland, shows the gaits and full speed, then slows them down so we can appreciate the footfalls of each gait before gradually bringing the video back up to real time.
It doesn’t hurt that the horse demonstrating the gaits shines like a new penny and has a mane that flows almost hypnotically. And that blue-green backdrop of the Icelandic landscape? Are you not looking up flight prices to Reykjavik right now?
WOW, love that flowing mane and forelock! They look very comfortable to ride, but way to fast for me!
I’m wondering that are they like the Paso’s in the fact that they are very comfortable to ride even though you see a lot of leg and knee action?
Very nice to watch another breed working! Since we don’t have any here really to ever see, I’m intrigued!
Just beautiful to watch in either motion, slow or regular speed! That mane and forelock is incrediable, flowing with the strides! Would love to take a test ride someday on one!
WOW lots of leg action but yet they say smooth to ride!
WOW so once they leave Ireland, they aren’t allowed back in! Wonder how many are in the United States, would love to ride one some time!
Would love to ride one, looks like a very animated ride!
Looks very different from our QH’s for sure! But wouldn’t mind taking one out for a test drive!
Love that mane and forelock, nice ride, looks like those Paso’s that we have down here. Smooth even with all the leg action that people are talking about.
Just met someone who’s ridden an Icelandic and they say that the ride was very smooth. Gonna have to ride one someday!
I actually have a friend who owns an Icelandic!
What a beautiful ride! Smooth gaits, would love to try riding one someday!
Still looking forward to someday riding one and seeing how smooth they are for myself!