A Horse's Gait? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-13-2013, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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A Horse's Gait?


I was wondering how you can tell your horse's movement while riding. For example, a walk. (Mainly what I'm asking is- how do you know when your horse is doing a certain gait, and what are all the types of different gaits are there?) If you could help me, that would be great!
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-13-2013, 05:04 PM
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You can tell by feel and speed.

The walk is a three-beat gait and slow. Often the rider feels a sway slightly to the right and left as the horse walks. The trot is a two-beat gait (think of the feel if you jog). The canter, or lope, is again a three-beat gait, but the horse rises higher and it is faster. Some say it is a rolling feeling.

Those are pretty much the basics.
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-13-2013, 11:37 PM
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It probably helps to learn the gaits to start with. The main horse gaits are walk, trot (a bouncy two-beat gait where the legs move in diagonal pairs), canter (a three-beat gait—if the trot is a "jog" then the canter is a "run" and the gallop is a "sprint", you could say) and gallop (basically a fast canter.)

In the saddle, they FEEL very different. A walk is very calm and fairly slow. A trot will be bouncier and usually faster. A canter is also fairly quick and has more of a swaying motion in the saddle; you should feel a moment of suspension in between each "set" of footfalls. As long as you are familiar with what the gaits are they should be fairly easy to distinguish between when you're riding.
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-14-2013, 09:35 PM
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-15-2013, 09:12 PM
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A walk (loose walk) can be really easy kind of a rocking from side to side. A working walk can be quicker and have more spring in the step. trots can be more bounce, when sitting the trot think about moving your hips with the gait. a canter can feel like riding a rocking horse--- a really big one-- assuming the horse is on the correct lead-- but those are the basics.
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-16-2013, 02:26 AM
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As others said - you can just feel it when you're on board. A walk is one that is calm, slow and easy to sit to. You'll find that when you start trotting and you're not used to it you'll be thrown upwards a bit, then come back down. It will be bouncy and not at all like the walk. Then next one up is a canter, and rather than throwing you up and down, it's more like backwards and forwards. They all feel very different and once you're riding generally you can pick them very easily.

There are other "gaits" but they are generally restricted to gaited breeds, and aren't something you'll probably encounter until you ride a bit.
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