Thursday, July 30, 2009

What Gait / Icelandic Horses

What gait are these Icelandic Horses doing?


Fálki said...

Are you seriously posing this question? Because if you are, you shouldn't say/write anything more on the gaits of Icelandics.
The horses are tölting, while the first horse coming round the corner shows a slight shifting towards canter. Then on the straight part he comes back to a clear four-beat tölt. The second horse shows a slight shifting towards pace.
I do hope this was a rhetorical question, because if not you should not be writing about Icelandic gaits.

IceRyder said...

Two additional pictures were posted above. The gaits are not tolt as they do not fit the definition of tolt (which is one foot / two foot support, even set down, lateral pick up).

Looking at the new images, when the grounded front leg is vertical, in tolt the two hinds will be airborn.

The pictures (and video) indicate stepping pace, which is a different gait than tolt.

The gait spectrum is not based on tolt (see gait chart at as tolt is not in the center of the chart, but is a lateral gait. Other easy gaits are not necessarily variations of tolt.

Fálki said...

Have you ever ridden an Icelandic? Then you should know that both four-gaited Icelandics and five-gaited Icelandics can have a tendency to shift the tölt towards a two-beat gait: four-gaited Icelandic may tend to trot, five-gaited Icelandics may tend to pace. The outcome is the slight shifting in the tölt I mentioned. It's something easier to hear than to see for many people. Instead of going ta-ta-ta-ta the horse's hooves sound more like tada-tada.

Pace however is not ridden at such a slow speed. It's the fastest pace an Icelandic will go - even faster than a gallop. If Icelandics move pace-like, but slow, it's called "lull" (in Icelandic) and it's something nobody wants. However these two are not "lulling".

You should not forget that what you are posting are amateur videos of kids on "no name" horses. We don't know how well they are schooled. You will find plenty of videos on the net showing horses in strange gaits not complying with encyclopedia standards. It's the great variability of the Icelandic horse that makes riding it such a thrilling experience.

IceRyder said...

>>amateur videos of kids on "no name" horses...You will find plenty of videos on the net showing horses in strange gaits not complying with encyclopedia standards.<<

Absolutely. This is an exercise for those in the gaited horse world (not just the icelandic horse people), to get more experience and practice in determining specific gaits.

It does not matter if these horses are Icelandic, or any other breed; we are looking at the gait and identifying it from timing, set down, pick up, weight transfer between legs, etc.

>>We don't know how well they are schooled.<<

Right. But for this exercise, it doesn't matter. We're just examining the gait as it is. There's no right or wrong or judgment as to whether it is good or bad.

If the gait is natural to the horse, it is what it is.

Better for the horse to use a natural gait that be forced to perform something that only comes with tack, equipment, harsh hands, etc.

>>Pace however is not ridden at such a slow speed.<<

A pace is a pace in the gaited horse world. If you are talking about flying pace, that is a different, separate gait.

Here are some responses from knowledgeable gaited horse owners, trainers, and judges:

What Gait Responses

Thanks for the interesting discussion!

Do you have a website? videos?