How to saddle the Icelandic horse?

Saddling the Icelandic horse can be a bit different than saddling other breeds. The Icelandic Horse has the special gait tölt so we need to consider that when we saddle the horses.

  1. We use noseband to prevent the bit from sliding out of the horse’s mouth while we are riding.
  2. We need to make sure to brush the horse really well so the sand or dirt does not create any wounds under the saddle. And the horse loves it when they are brushed of course so it is a good way to connect a little bit with the horse before riding him.
  3. When we saddle the Icelandic horse we put the saddle further back than in most breeds, because we don´t want to tamper with the movement of the special gait tölt. The horse moves his shoulder blades in a certain way when tölting so it is best to lean a bit backward when we want the horse to tölt. To help the saddle to stay in place it is good to use rubber pads under the saddle. For most horses the best place to put the saddle is where the mane stops growing and the girth a hand length from the front legs.
  4. In Iceland, we usually gauge the length of the stirrup by holding it in our armpits and measure the length by placing our fingers on the saddle. If the fingers touch the saddle then it is the perfect length.
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