, they are a thing of beauty to watch them "hot-footin' it" across the pasture aren't they
TWH's do have three basic gaits, but the intermediate gait can vary.
The breed standard intermediate gait is the running walk. An irony as one of the earliest breeds that played a part in the founding of the Walking Horse breed was the Narangansett Pacer, which is now extinct - lol lol
I do not know of any Walking Horses (that are purebreds) that perform the Foxtrot, but I may have to stand corrected on that thought
I have seen four intermediate gaits on Walking Horses.
They can be the running walk (breed standard), stepping pace (big no-no for those that are sticklers), the rack (also a no-no unless you're into speed racking) and the hard lateral pace (the largest and most aggravating no-no of all when the horse is under saddle, as it will jar your teeth out and you'll be making an appointment with YOUR chiropractor from out on the trail - lol)
My eldest Walker is a Step-Pacer. He is every bit as smooth as the two that perform the running walk. I am glad I was gait-stupid when I bought him 18 years ago, elst I would have missed out on the horse & companion of a life time. I call him my Stepford Horse because he's never made a mistake.
Other than learning and listening for the footfall of these three intermediate gaits (which they are all distinct), which direction the head bobs is a dead giveaway.
Bobbing up and down = running walk.
Bobbing side-to-side = stepping pace, rack, or hard lateral pace.
Also the hard lateral pace means that the front and hind legs are moving together at the same time on the same side of the body.
I have posted this link so many times, that I am sure people think I am related to the Grave Digger's owners but I'm not -- I don't even know them from that proverbial "load of hay".
I just LOVE this horse - plain and simple. I have the link saved at work for when I need a break -lol.
He is a TWH speed racker and something to behold; watch the entire show as he really gets going out on the road. If you have sound on your PC, be sure to turn it on and even UP if you like the music
When you get to about 3:41 seconds on the video, look at Grave Digger's head and you will notice the slight side-to-side head bob that is indicative of the rack, stepping pace or lateral pace.
Also, there is no pressure on his mouth, no froth, nothing. He is loving what he is doing