Originally Posted by Carina
"A gallop can be performed in two different ways: either on the left hand or on the right hand. Generally both vary in the position of the horse’s legs while galloping. In case of a left foreleg being the most extended, thus leading, it is usually referred to as a left gallop. The same applies to the right gallop, albeit with the right foreleg. "
You could use this same description to explain the canter/lope. You may want to include the points that Lauren made (4 beats, fastest pace, moment of suspension) to differentiate it from the canter/lope.
I never really realized that the gallop was performed on the left/right lead (and had possible flying changes). Do race horses always gallop on their left lead? You'd think they'd build off-balance muscles that way!