This Icelandic horse is hot to trot, but that’s only a fraction of his talents. He’s also a dab hand at the walk, gallop, flying pace and iconic tölt.
A video produced by Horses of Iceland showing the five gaits of the Icelandic horse has gone viral on the internet, drawing more than 627,000 views at the time of writing.
The video, set in a spectacular backdrop, was posted only a week ago, and has since been shared more than 7000 times.
Horses of Iceland is an organisation established to help market and increase awareness of the hardy breed.
The video, shot by Skotta Film, shows horse trainer Þórarinn Eymundsson showing the gaits of the breed using the stallion Narfi, from Vestri-Leirárgarðar farm.
The video was shot in Skagafjörður, in northern Iceland.
The Icelandic horse is a gaited breed, with a genetic makeup that predisposes it to two additional gaits beyond the traditional walk, trot and canter/gallop.
Most Icelandic horses can perform the tölt and flying pace.
The tölt is a four-beat lateral gait for which the breed is best known. The tölt is very smooth for the rider as there is no suspension between strides, as is the case with a trot or canter. It can be ridden from a very slow pace up to quite fast speeds, depending on the horse.
The flying pace is sometimes described as the “fifth gear”, offering a two-beat lateral movement with suspension. This gait is ridden very fast, and is even used for racing, but usually only for short distances of 100 to 200 metres.
Not all Icelandic horses can pace, but those that manage all five gaits well are considered the best of the breed.