Winterhorse Park

Winterhorse Park - Icelandic Horse Farm.
Janine riding Moey.

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Gaits

The Icelandic Horse is renowned for its five natural gaits. Icelandic horses have the three basic gaits that most other breeds have; walk, trot and canter. They also may have one or both of two other gaits; tolt and pace.

TOLT is a four beat lateral gait with at least one foot in contact with the ground. Tolt can be performed at a wide range of speed and is very smooth to sit. This makes it easier for novice riders and comfortable for everyone to ride. The sensation the rider experiences is that of floating. Tolt is similar to the running walk or rack of a Tennessee Walking Horse or Paso Fino and is an excellent gait for trail-riding or horse-trekking. An Icelandic Horse that can perform walk, trot, canter and tolt is considered to be four gaited.

FLYING PACE is a very fast, thrilling gait which has its origin as a fleeing gait. In pace, both feet on each side of the horse move simultaneously, with a moment of suspension in the air. The speed of the flying pace can be equal to a full gallop but the horses can only maintain it for a short period of time. To Icelanders, riding at the Flying Pace is considered the crown of horsemanship. Not all Icelandic horses can achieve flying pace. Horses that can perform walk, trot, canter, tolt and flying pace are considered to be a five gaited horse.

For those that are interested to learn more about Icelandic Horses, from competitions to learning to achieve harmony in riding, Winterhorse Park offers clinics and lessons specific to the gaits of Icelandic Horses on a regular basis.