Tölt and Snæfellsjökul

by wjw on June 13, 2019

IMG_3398Behold the stratovolcano Snæfellsjökull, used by Jules Verne to send Professor Lidenbrock & Company toward (but not to) the Center of the Earth.

Unfortunately M Verne never actually went to Iceland, else he might have learned that Snæfellsjökull’s crater is completely sealed by ice.

(Do your research! I tell my students.)

IMG_3453Here we see one of Iceland’s celebrated horses performing its singular four-beat gait, the tölt, in which either one or two feet meet the ground at each stride.  (There is no translation of  tölt, apparently, because other horses can’t do this.)

There is a slow tölt, and a fast tölt.  The fast one is really quite speedy.  The tölt is also extremely smooth, as the rider demonstrated by tölting at full tölt while holding a glass of beer and not spilling it.  When she switched to a trot, the beer went all over both her and the horse.  I hope she gets hazard pay.

The Icelandic horse is an ancient breed, and I wonder if it is related to the medieval palfrey, which was also known for its smooth, speedy gait, and which is now extinct.  I’m guessing all those medieval jongleurs could dash around and drink all the wine they wanted without spilling any, which may have something to do with the whole extinction issue.

The Icelandic horse is quite small, and it was amusing to see them dashing around, legs furiously pumping, while their big lanky riders sat calmly atop.

Warning: You may not call an Icelandic horse a pony, or the Icelanders might decide to get all medieval on your ass.

Etaoin Shrdlu June 14, 2019 at 12:18 pm

Their plump little bodies always remind me of that horse Bugs “Brunhilde” Bunny rode around on in “What’s Opera, Doc?”

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post:

Contact Us | Terms of User | Trademarks | Privacy Statement

Copyright © 2010 WJW. All Rights Reserved.