The Icelandic gaits

T he Icelandic horse is the only horse with five natural gaits.
The tölt and the pace are added to the regular gaits walk, trot and canter.

The walk is a four-beat gait. The Icelandic horse has a tonic walk. There are four footfalls heard, one after another. It is the base for a good tölt.

The trot is a two-beat diagonal gait where the diagonal pairs of legs move forward at the same time with a moment of suspension between each beat.

The canter is a three-beat gait. The three footfalls are evenly spaced, and followed by the “suspension” phase of the gait, which is when all four legs are off the ground. This is a speed gait. When called canter, the gait is controlled, a faster version of it would be the gallop.

It is THE gait of the Icelandic horse. The tölt is a natural four beat stepping gait, like the walk. The horse has always at least one foot on the ground, which is the secret for its exceptional comfort. It can be performed at any speed from slow to very fast tölt. In the latest case, he can compete with the one of the gallop.

The flying pace, or amble, is a two-beat lateral gait with a moment of suspension between footfalls; this is also a natural gait, offering a great speed and the feeling of flying. The Icelandic horse is a sprinter and competes on short distances of 150 to 250 meters. Thrill guaranteed!