Horse Gaits

Gaits are the different ways in which a horse can move, either naturally or as a result of specialized training. The “natural” gaits are walk, trot, canter, and gallop (in increasing order of speed)

The walk is a four-beat gait, the horse will always have one foot raised and the other three feet on the ground, save for a brief moment when weight is being transferred from one foot to another.

The trot

The trot is a two beat diagonal gait of the horse where the diagonal pairs of legs move forward at the same time.

The canter is a controlled, three-beat gait that usually is a bit faster than the average trot, but slower than the gallop. Listening to a horse canter, one can usually hear the three beats as though a drum had been struck three times in succession.

In motion

The gallop is very much like the canter, except that it is faster, more ground-covering, and the three-beat canter changes to a four-beat gait. It is the fastest gait of the horse, averaging about 25 to 30 miles per hour (40 to 50 km/h), and in the wild is used when the animal needs to flee from predators or simply cover short distances quickly.

Info from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Homeschool mom to 11, Marmee to 14 and author.

Comments (9)

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  1. Laura says:

    I like going down to the Exhibition still to see the horses. Nice to watch then run. Also try to get out for that show where they do all the fancy stepping. Can’t quite remember the name of it now.

    Laura’s last blog post..NaComLeavMo

  2. Sombra says:

    Ya, and if you’re on Sahara, the walking gait is bouncy and full of energy, if you’re walking on Aragorn, you’re plodding along in a lumbering fashion. To keep Aragorn and Sahara walking at the same speed is to make Sahara sweat from nervous energy that can’t be let out.. because you just can’t get Aragorn to walk faster!

    but the two of them sure love to race.. and so do the boys love to let them race!


    And if you’re the mama on either one of these horses.. you never get out of walking.. I’m just tooo scared! lol

    Robin, don’t you just love watching your children gain control over such big animals – doesn’t it give you such a thrill to see them master techniques, master animal behaviour, master little tricks. It’s always a thrill for me to see my boys ride their horses, especially when the horse is not behaving, and it’s a challenge to the child to get that horse to do what HE wants, not what the horse wants.

  3. Thank you for sharing. What a marvelous presentation!

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  5. Penny Raine says:

    I love the video illustrations! I wonder how that differs from “gaited” horses, hmm, like a walking horse or a saddle horse. Which reminds me we have a gaited pony/horse for sale. He “saddles” which means he is real smooth. He is 13 and 1/2 hands. His name is Trigger. I will be posting a pic on my blog later today hopefully.

    blessings, Penny Raine

    Penny Raine’s last blog post..use and reuse- making due with what ya got

  6. bahce says:

    This is very useful, thanks 😉

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