Tölt Gait


The Tölt (also, less correctly, Tolt) is a gait that is often described as being unique to the Icelandic Horse. In its pure form, the footfalls are the same as in rack, but the gait in the Icelandic horse has a different style with more freedom and liquidity of movement. The most prized horses have a very long stride and considerable lift with their forelegs.

Icelandic Riders will demonstrate the smoothness of a tölt by going at the speed of a gallop without spilling a drink they hold. However, some horses have a tölt that is considered imperfect, and may be described as a “trotty tölt” or a “pacey tölt.”

The Tölt differs from the rack as the horse is not supposed to hollow its back.

This video is 7 minutes long, but it is well worth the time to watch it. These little horses are amazing!

The majority of Icelandic horses can also perform a type of pace called flugskeið or a “flying pace,” and are thus called “five-gaited”. (Walk, trot, canter, tölt, pace.) Good pacers are held in high regard in this breed, but for a pacer to stand out the horse has to be able to perform the pace at a high speed.Slow pacing in Icelandic horses is considered a major flaw. A horse that goes at a slow pace, or “piggy-pace,” is referred to as lullari.

The Faroese Horse and the Nordlandshest/Lyngshest of Norway share common ancestry with the Icelandic horse and some individuals of these breeds have the capacity to tölt, although it is not as commonly used.

Icelandic Horse doing the Tolt