What IS a hand-gallop?
I saw a thread that talked about it a bit, and a video that said it was a hand-gallop... but it looked like a canter. o_O Is it just a fast canter? Or am I missing something? A canter is a canter, a gallop is a gallop. I just don't see how they can be one in the same? :?
Good question I was wondering the exact same thing!
Yes, a hand gallop is a fast but controlled canter. It's basically the last gear you can hit before your horse lowers and goes into an all out 4 beat run. Some people also call it a high canter. If you watch horse racing, when the race ends, and the jockey stands up in the irons, the resulting slower gait is a hand gallop.
A hand gallop should be a 'controlled' gallop. The horse should lengthen its stide and speed up and change its stides to four beats, as if galloping. Generally the rider goes into a more forward seat and shortens the reins as you would when galloping. Though ive seen sometimes in shows just a fast canter is shown, sometimes due to space restrictions
Oops, Ninja's right. My first sentence should end with the word gallop, not canter.
I've been wondering about this too... but now I am more confused as we seem to have gotten two contradicting answers...?
Nevermind, we posted at the same time.
If it helps add to the confusion at all, I just googled hand gallop and got 50/50 answers, some saying it's a 3 beat gait and other saying it's 4. It pretty much is as fast as you can get without breaking into an all out run.
Basically the hand gallop differs from the true gallop in that your horse shouldn't speed up enough to lose the three-beat of a canter. It's meant to show a horse's manners & training (for ex; ina jumping/hunter class)
Don't forget to add that a Hand Gallop is a gait where the horse works off of their hind end, without allowing your horse to go flat and heavy on the forehand.
Hand Gallop, you also want to get up off of your horses back to free the back. A Hand Gallop is not a seated gait, it is where the rider is up in a functional two point position.
You see Eventers doing a Hand Gallop between fences.
Here is a video of my horse and I out on CC, and you can see a Hand Gallop:
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