Learn how to ride the Viking Horse


The Viking horse is often said to be very easy to ride. The truth is that due to their gentle and sweet temperament, as well as their smooth gaits, it is very easy to”get a lift” on a Viking horse.


Viking village in Stokksnes
Viking village in Stokksnes

Many people feel very comfortable sitting on these instead Small mounts, and it almost feels like they are gliding forward when doing their very supple and smooth 4-beat gait, tölt. Even though tölting on short rides on reliable, tender Vikings horses, there is not any bumping around. Most of the additional gaits are rather soft, also, and not so much could go wrong. But for extensive riding Vikings horses and particularly if training them, the rider requires a fair amount of sense and technique, which can only be acquired by practicing for several hours in the saddle, preferably under the guidance of a skilled instructor.


Viking Horse at Stokksnes
Viking Horse at Stokksnes on the southeast coast

Valuable and helpful when riding Icelandic horses. But because the horses of Iceland have the extra gaits, tölt and flying speed, there are some fundamental differences in cues and aids compared to riding a”regular” Viking horse. At the training of Iceland horses, most modern riders use quite a great deal of dressage techniques, in order to enhance the balance and quality of the gaits, straightness and overall agility of the horse, as well as the capability to carry the riders in the most efficient manner. Viking horse contests mainly concentrate on revealing the quality of the five gaits, along with a few races at speed. Some Vikings horses are gifted in show jumping but such contests aren’t too common.

In Summary, the primary riding technique consists of a straight, Balanced chair, light cues and steady, light hands frequently with very light emitting touch. The voice is often used alongside seat, leg and rein aids. Viking horses should keep moving otherwise, to keep the pace and beat until differently indicated. Most riders prefer the Viking horse to keep offering more energy and forwardness, as opposed to the rider needing to request all the time.


Vikings horse close to a Viking village
Vikings horse close to a Viking village

Training the Viking horse is usually started no sooner than 3-5 years old. Until then they frequently have very little contact with people, although it is becoming more prevalent to carry out pre-training to get a few days earlier on to make the training easier for everyone after. Traditionally, a young horse could go out as a hand-horse with the other elderly riding horse, for quite a while before being ridden. Today nonetheless, hand-horse riding (or ponying) is popular and regarded as an important part of the primary training.

Also as it is a beautiful, almost lunar landscape, Iceland Is famous for its breed of gorgeous native horses. The Viking horses have been bred from ponies taken to Iceland from Vikings in the 9th and 10th centuries and are a tough and hardy breed that can survive the harsh winter climate.

One of the exceptional features of the Icelandic horse is its Capability to operate in two extra gaits into the conventional walk, trot, and gallop displayed by other breeds.

The’tölt’ gait gets the horse running almost like a person Walks – with a single hoof on the ground in any way times. The outcome is a really smooth motion – it is said that Icelanders can consume a pint of beer whilst riding in the tölt gait without spilling a drop!

The’flying pace’ (flugskeið) is a high-speed Gait that’s used for short distances and in which both hooves on one side of their horse’s body contact the ground at the exact same time. Riding at flying speed is considered to be the crown of horsemanship!
Muscular in build, with short, strong legs. They have a full, rough hair mane and a dual coat for extra insulation in winter.

There continue to be herds of wild Vikings horses that roam across the beautiful and unique landscape. Many have also been domesticated, and are still occasionally used for shepherding, as well as for leisure rides.

In order to protect the Icelandic pony from illness, no Other breed of Viking horse is permitted in Iceland, and any horse that leaves the Nation is not permitted to return. This is because the Viking horse hasn’t Developed resistance to disease – any epidemic might be potentially devastating To the people. 

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