These beautiful, strong horses come from one of the most amazing places on earth, and their history is significant to the Icelandic culture. In 1874, the first official Icelandic horse race was held at Akureyri, a city North on Iceland.

Today, the Icelandic horse is represented by associations in 19 countries. What really sets this horse breed apart is their two (2) extra gaits: Tölt and Flying Pace. Let's have a dive into what they are!

Tölt is the unique four-beat lateral gait. The horse’s hind legs should move well under the body and carry more of the weight on the hind legs, allowing the front to rise and be free. Tölt is very smooth to ride since there is no suspension between strides.

The Flying Pace is the “fifth gear”, offering a two-beat lateral movement with suspension. This gait is ridden very fast, it is used for racing and only for short distances. Not all Icelandic horses manage Flying Pace, but those that control all five gaits well are considered the best of the breed!

Interested in trying Icelandic Equitation?
Pluvinel currently has 20 instructors in 8 different countries that can teach you!

Kristina Madsen, Icelandic horse trainer and instructor. You can find her on Pluvinel.

Trying Icelandic horse riding for the first time can be quite thrilling and is highly recommended. This is what the very popular horse blogger Matilde Brandt thought of Icelandic horse riding.  

Photo: Sævar frá Stangarholti by Kersti Nebelsiek