How to Ride an Icelandic Horse



Get him ready for tölt.,
Try a tölt.,
Move to flying pace.

The tölt is one of the two gaits that is uniquely natural for Icelandic horses. It is a four-beat gait where there is always a part of the foot on the ground. It is an incredibly smooth gait that can still carry you along at up to 20mph. Because of this, it’s great for trail-riding and trekking. It’s a natural gait that you often see foals performing. As such, it doesn’t take much to bring an Icelandic into tölt, but you can start by getting in a good position.Sit slightly further back in the saddle than you would normally. A couple of inches should be enough.
Don’t tilt backwards. Keep the same upright position you would have for a normal walk.
You can shorten the reins a little as you prepare to transition to tölt.;
, The footfall for tölt is generally similar to that for walk, so you can move from walk to tölt relatively easily and smoothly. In tölt, the horse will carry its neck a little higher so shorten the reins, sit back a couple of inches and give him a cue to speed up. You can give him a gentle squeeze with your legs, or an audio cue. An Icelandic horse should move into tölt naturally. After a few steps loosen the reins a little more, and keep your wrists flexible and loose.

Pay attention to the neck and the head. You want the horse’s neck to lift, not the nose.
Be sure to keep the bit soft in the horse’s mouth. Aim to be as soft as possible to promote a nice smooth and soft tölt., The second special gait for Icelandics is known as flying pace. This is a two-beat lateral gait, in which the legs on each side of the horse move together and there is a clear moment of suspension when all of his feet are off the ground. It is a gait generally only used over short distances, such as races over a few hundred meters. At flying pace, an Icelandic might travel at 30mph (equivalent to a full gallop), so this is a gait only for an experienced rider.You must be riding at race speed to move into a flying pace.
Not all Icelandics are capable of achieving flying pace.An Icelandic that can pace is highly valued and can make an excellent race horse.

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