Icelandic Horse Connection

The Gaits

Icelandic Horses can be 3, 4, or 5 gaited.

Their gaits are: walk, trot, tolt, canter, pace.

Some Icelandic Horses are only 3-gaited; walk, trot, canter. Some can be "piggy-pacers" which means they tend more toward pace.

In general, most Icelandic Horses are either 4 or 5 gaited. The four-gaiters would have: walk, trot, tolt, canter. Five-gaiters would add the pace.

Some horses might tend to have a more "trotty" tolt, or a more "pacey" tolt, either depending on training, or conformation.

Gait Chart

Here are some explanations of the gaits, from different sources:

Beside the traditional walk, trot and canter, the Icelandic Horse performs two extra gaits, the TOLT and FLYING PACE. The tolt is an extremely smooth four-beat gait, much like the running walk or rack, that allows the rider a virtually bounce-free ride at speeds up to 20 mph. The tolt is a natural gait, no artificial aids are needed and you often see foals tolting in the pasture.

Depending on their breeding, many Icelandic Horses also show the FLYING PACE. The pace is a lateral racing gait and horses reach speeds of up to 30 mph.

Information provided by Icelandic Horse Farm

Walk - Trot - Tölt - Canter - Flying Pace

WALK - the usual slow four-beat gait in which there are always at least two feet on the ground. However, most Icelandics have an extremely good walk which covers the ground very well.

TROT - a two-beat diagonal gait (diagonal pairs of legs move together) which has a moment of suspension in which there are no legs on the ground

TÖLT - a four-beat lateral gait in which there is always at least one foot on the gound. As there is no moment of suspension this gait is very smooth and comfortable for the rider. It can be performed at any speed from a slow trot to a gallop. The Tolt is similar to the running walk or rack of a Tennessee Walking Horse or the Corto of the Paso Fino. In the Icelandic Horse, Tolt is a very smooth four-beat gait which, while reaching speeds similar to fast trotting, is much less jolting to the rider. It is an excellent gait for trail-riding or horse-trekking.

CANTER - a three-beat gait with a moment of suspension. The Icelanders count canter and gallop as a single gait.

FLYING PACE - a two-beat lateral gait in which the pairs of legs on the same side move together, and there is a clear moment of suspensionr. This is a fast gait used for racing over short distances, and the horses can reach 30mph. In the Pace, the hooves on the same side touch the ground together. Often called the Flying Pace, this gait can equal the speed of a full gallop and is used in Iceland for racing. To Icelanders, riding at the Flying Pace is considered the crown of horsemanship.

First: Stargazing, not good.
Second: Better frame.

First: Too much ventroflexion. Second: Better frame.

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