|What can cause pacy tölt in an icelandic:
Tension in the horse. If the horse is either tense and stiff because
nervousness, or simply stiff because of lack of being athletic and
trained, it tends to go in pacy tölt. Also if the horse
is ridden by a
rider that is making it tense and stiff.
Faults in the conformation of the horse. If the horse has a short
that is set low on the withers, has straight (vertical) shoulders,
stiff (straight) back, low withers and tall croup, a very sloping croup,
all these things increase the tendency of pacy tölt or piggy-pace
make it more difficult to clean the tölt.
Dullness in the horse. If the horse is either very lazy, or ridden
very relaxed that it is halfway falling asleep, it has a tendency to
pacy tölt. The horse has to be a bit energetic, not sloppy,
to tölt in
The saddle. If the saddle pinches the horse, or lies on it's wither,
thereby inhibiting total freedom in movement in the shoulder blades,
tölt has a tendency to get pacy.
Hard mouth. If the horse is unresponsive to the reins, it is more
difficult to aid the horse with the reins. Do exercises to soften
mouth and the neck of the horse before starting tölt-training.
a horse puts its tongue over the bit, it can avoid the clues from the
Starting. A trotty horse that is learning to tölt can often
for a while, maybe for a month or so. Correct the horse if it
for long distances. But if it is just for a few steps, remember
this is just a phase, and the horse will get more balance later, and
more relaxation, and then tölt better.
What can be done to clean pacy tölt in icelandics, or teach piggy-pacers
to tölt? The first things we usually need are time and patience.
the horse has been ridden in pacy tölt for a long time, it has
retrained. Sometimes you find that by riding the horse right,
fix this in a few rides, but more often you need longer time.
might be a natural tölter, but if it has been ridden pacy for
time, the muscles and the mind of the horse are used to the pacy tölt,
and need to be retrained to tölt clean again. Do not allow
horse you are starting to pig-pace, teach it immediately to trot and
walk, or it can get stuck in the pig-pace.
Collection. Teach the horse to walk collected. When it does
a soft mouth, try encouraging more speed (voice and legs), until the
horse can carry the collection up to the tölt. You even
have to train
this separately, just the transition from walk to tölt in collection.
Remember that collection in tölt does not mean the same as collection
dressage, look at pictures of a good tölter, the horse is moving
and keeping it's balance, carrying it's head itself (you shouldn't
carrying the head with the reins). The head should not be vertical,
that is too much collection. You collect the horse to engage
end, and get it to power itself forward and upwards. The
be on the bit. If you loose the collection, sometimes it is enough
to do fluffy movements with the legs and the hands, to engage the horse
into proper carriage again. Sometimes you have to stop and do
collection at the walk again. Teaching the horse to back, and
collected and then go directly up to tölt also helps. Seek
collection, so that the horse is subtle to your aids.
Trot. If possible, a horse that does pacy tölt all the time,
first to learn to trot. Then their movements become more relaxed
free. When they are getting rather secure in the trot, and easy
trot, they can learn to tölt. Trotting them for months on
end does not
help them though, in the end the horse starts to stiffen in the back
carry it's neck very low, and get so overly relaxed and dull that it
looses all animation. So teach the horse to trot for a few rides,
start tölttraining, trotting them a bit every ride.
Ride tölt for short distances at the beginning of tölt-training
horse. Sometimes, even just a few meters at a time.
It is far, far
better that the horse goes in clean tölt for 10 meters in a whole
rather than 5 miles in pacy tölt, if you are training it to tölt
Exercises. A pacy horse is like an unathletic person, it's muscles
often stiff and need softening exercises. Ride the horse in circles,
both at walk and later tölt, and in figure eights. Also
ride slaloms at
walk and later tölt. Teach your horse to sidepass, do haunces
other exercises you know to soften the body of the horse. Stopping
horse collected also improves the engagement of the hind end of the
Ride downhill. Most pacy tölters clean the tölt going
downhill. A pigpacer going down a rather steep hill has to go
tölt, or he will simply stumble, so that can be used as a last
Take care, think of the feet of the horses, use all available hills
ride, but not steep hills. Few pacy tölters get better going
some of them even get more sloppy in the movements (they do not have
lift their front feet as high to go uphill). So, again, do not
uphill if you want to improve the tölt.
Speed. Try many speeds in the tölt, and when the tölt
Train your horse to begin with at the speed that is best for it.
the tölt is secure and satisfying at that speed, try going a bit
and a bit slower, to teach the horse to tölt in a wider range.
the whole range that the horse can manage, but not where the horse
starts to fail. You want to teach the horse success, not failure.
Medium speed is usually easiest for pacy tölters.
Training youngsters. Do not start tölttraining in a youngster
starting until it knows the most important aids (reins, legs, voice
etc.) and has gotten good balance in walk, trot and canter. It
is a big
change for a youngster to carry a man, and it needs a month or two
develop muscles to carry the man in good balance. And it needs
balance to be able to tölt. Ride the youngster only for
in tölt (even just a few meters at a time) while it is learning,
is straining while the youngster doesn't have balance.
Force. Never use force, that will just result in a tense and stiff
hard-mouthed horse. To ride in a soft tölt, you have to
Shoes. If nothing else works, you can use 10 mm thick shoes or
ounce boots to help you and the horse for a short while. It is
resort, and should be avoided.