Friday, November 16, 2012

Judging That Icelandic Gait

This video pulls together clips of the F1 Five Gait Finals from the Nordic Championships for Icelandic horses.  You get to see some world class examples of the gaits described in yesterday's post.  This is also a great opportunity to test your eye to see if you see what the judges
are seeing for each horse-rider combination. The beginning of the video identifies each rider. You then see brief clips of each horse-rider showing the specified gait. The scores for all riders at that gait are shown. The end of the video shows slow motion video of selected gaits.

Of course we aren't seeing exactly what the judges are seeing so we may be missing a horse/rider breaking gait or some action that influenced the judges.  However, this is a great exercise to try and determine why one rider scored a total of two points higher than another rider at a walk for instance.

Sanctioned Icelandic horse competitions are judged according to international standards set by FEIF (International Federation of Icelandic Horse Associations).  Criteria are spelled out in the FEIF Sports Judges Guidelines found at:

Here are the guidelines for judging fast tolt:
"9 to 10 (Ideal performance)
Absolutely correct beat.
absolutely sure and even tölt at very high speed; high action with long strides; a supple,
fluent and powerful, yet effortless performance

8 and 8.5

Correct beat.

extremely fast and sure tölt, with good but not excellent action and length of stride;

average carriage, good riding

good speed, high action and long strides, good carriage, supple and harmonious

performance, good riding

good speed, impressive high action and long strides, spectacular, but not always


 7 and 7.5

Correct beat, fast speed, medium action and length of stride, nice carriage. Good


good speed with long strides, but single slight faults in beat and shape

correct beat, just enough speed, with good high action and long strides; nice shape

Average section

6 and 6.5

correct beat, acceptable speed, medium action and strides, nice shape

slight faults in beat or shape, good speed and good action with long strides

correct beat, very fast and sure, but little action

correct beat, just acceptable speed, high action with long strides

very fast speed, medium to good action and strides; single clear faults

5 and 5.5

generally correct beat, at least medium speed, medium action and strides, acceptable

carriage occasional beat faults (slightly pacey/trotty/rolling), high action with long strides but

little more than medium speed

correct beat, good speed, but little action with short strides

correct beat, little more than medium speed, high action with long strides, slight faults
in carriage

single major faults in beat or shape with good speed and good action and strides

Transition to average section

4 and 4.5

constant or frequently beat faults with acceptable speed

correct beat but less than medium speed

more or less correct beat, acceptable speed, but ugly shape

speed just acceptable, little action and short strides

speed just acceptable, tense

speed just acceptable, good action and strides, but many faults (e.g. beat or carriage)

Fault section

1 to 3.5

constant major beat problems (e.g. trotty, pacey, rolling)

correct beat but too slow

more or less correct beat, acceptable speed, but poor carriage

many beat faults with acceptable speed

far behind the bit

rough riding (yellow card)


Test not carried out.

no tölt

slow tölt"

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