Posted originally to Equestrian, and reposted here for me - apologies if anyone is seeing this twice!
So, I know that there are a few people on this community who ride Icelandic horses and I would be grateful if anyone has any thoughts/tips to add!
I share an 18 year old Icelandic gelding called Myrkyr (or Marco for us English types who can't pronounce his proper name!) and I am having some confusions with reliably getting trot from him rather than pace.
He is five gaited - though I haven't yet ridden him in tolt! - and he has a tendency to offer pace when asked for trot, which I think feels to him like the less energetic option! He has had some issues with hockstiffness and is on a joint supplement to support this.
I've tried two different approaches when he offers pace and I want trot - first option is to halt and ask again, second option is to just hang on in there and kick on and eventually he will usually then switch to trot. I've worked out that, for him, head carriage is important and that he trots with a much lower head-carriage than he will pace, and I've had some success with releasing the reins forward when I ask for trot, but this does not always seem to be the answer.
Does anybody have any tips for how to cue the trot and make it clear that this is distinct from pace?
Pics from my lesson in Jan - excuse the go faster blurs - the photos were taken by my instructor's 9 year old daughter!
Marco and I in trot
Happy horse and rider!
A head-shot of the gorgeous boy!