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Icelandic Horse Connection

Footfall Sequence of the Tolt / Rack

Altho Icelandic Horses have varying conformation, and can have a wide variety of gaits (or not), including fox trot, running walk, stepping pace, the rack (tolt in Icelandic language) is a gait that some of them can do. Some can do it at liberty, some can not. Some only do it when held up by the rider, some offer it freely when ridden.

The tolt is the same gait as the rack. Sometimes the tolt is mistakenly claimed to be a runningwalk, but that is a different gait. The following pictures show the sequence of support phases of the tolt (rack), which are as follows:


We'll look at one full stride, starting from the horse's weight on the right hind foot only.

Right hind only
The horse's whole body is supported by one foot only.
The next foot down, the right front, will help to support
the weight in the second phase of the stride.
In this picture, the right front is not weight-bearing,
it is just starting to hit the ground with the heel
(not a good thing, but the only picture I could find at the moment).
Footfall of the Rack / Tolt

Right hind, right front
This is lateral support (both feet on the same side
supporting the weight).
Footfall of the Rack / Tolt

Right front only
The horse shifts his weight to the front foot only, and
unweights the hind foot, so that the transverse hind
can come in and take it's place in weight support.
Footfall of the Rack / Tolt

Right front, left hind
The horse is in diagonal support with left hind, right front.
Footfall of the Rack / Tolt

Left hind only
Back to a sole hind foot support.
Footfall of the Rack / Tolt

Left hind, left front
Lateral support.
Footfall of the Rack / Tolt

Left front only
Again, a front foot only support.
You can see why the gait of tolt / rack is very stressful to a horse.
Footfall of the Rack / Tolt

Left front, right hind
Diagonal support. From here, the footfall will
start over again for the next stride.
Footfall of the Rack / Tolt



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