The Place Where Rebekka's Horses Run Free
Recently, I traveled to the real life land of fire and ice (and rainbows). When people think of Iceland they think of a land of ice instead of the amazing volcanoes, waterfalls, and rainbows. It has some wonderful natural beauties like geysers and black sand beaches, but the most curious of all is the Icelandic Horse. This breed is exclusive to Iceland for over a thousand years.All horses that leave Iceland are not allowed to return and no other horse has been introduced to Iceland (since the Vikings first came sometime in the 9th century) which ensures the bloodlines and purebred of the Icelandic breed.
The Icelandic Horse is a special breed as living so isolated on this island has allowed the species to retain its 5 natural gaits. Most other Horse breeds have only 3 or 4 gaits. The 5 distinct gaits of the Icelandic Horse are: Walk, Tölt, Trot, Flying Pace, and Canter or Gallop. The Walk, Trot, and Canter are familiar. The Tölt or "Tolt" is the Icelandic word for a four-beat lateral gait - a running walk - that can attain speeds of up to 20 mph. The rider can feel the even gait as the tolt doesnt have the tossing movement as the trot and is very enjoyable as it feels as if the rider is floating above the surface of the ground.
Even rarer still, The Icelandic Horses also performs a pace called a skeiğ, flugskeiğ or "flying pace". Both legs on one side of the horse simultaneously touch the ground during flying pace versus the tölt, which has at least one foot always touching the ground. The flying pace is as the name suggests, a high-speed fast gait comparable to a full gallop, that is best for short distances and, therefore, is favored in racing. The crown of horsemanship is often referred to as having ridden at Flying Pace (or the kings gait).
The photos are worth a thousand words and when I saw how perfectly the Icelandic Horse was featured on `The Place Where Rebekka's Horses Run Free`, I had to share.
Please check out the Stuck In Customs link below for more breath-taking photos of the wonderful creature in it`s natural habitat.
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