Western riding and Icelandic horse riding

western_islandshastridning

If you feel that you don't want to do classic English riding and are instead keen to try something else, there are two other main disciplines that you can try – Western riding and Icelandic horse riding.

There are riding schools/training stables where you can try these styles; to get advice or contact one of these in your area, you can start by contacting the Western Riders  Association of Sweden, WRAS www.wras.se or the Swedish Icelandic Horse Federation (SIF) www.icelandichorse.se

Western riding

Western riding consists of various events – riding, cattle, ranch horse, timed and demonstration events – which means that there is always some event to suit you, regardless of whether you want calm and balanced riding or something with more speed. 

The most common breeds used in Western riding are Quarter and Paint, but there are no specific breed requirements so you are free to train yourself and any horse you want to try out in Western riding.

Icelandic horse riding

Starting to ride on Icelandic horses is something that appeals to a lot of people, partly the simple pleasure of getting out into the countryside on hacks and partly because the size of an Icelandic horse does not make them appear so frightening.

Icelandic horses are often calm, genial and stable, but they are certainly not lacking in power and speed. Icelandic horses are four or five-gaited, with the gaits walk, trot, canter, tölt and flying pace.

If you are interested in competing with an Icelandic horse, this will usually involve gait competitions. Competitions take place in either a straight or an oval arena and the horses have to show that they have command of all of the gaits, are capable of various tempos and the transitions are balanced. 

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