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Horse & Pony Gaits

Gaits are the way a horse or pony can move, either naturally or through training

Horse & Pony Gaits Explained

Review the animations and graphics below to better understand the walk, trot, canter, and gallop.

Walk

The walk is a gait with four beats. It does not have a moment of suspension and it averages 4 mph.

1st Beat: Right Hind Leg
2nd Beat: Right Fore Leg
3rd Beat: Left Hind Leg
4th Beat: Left Fore Leg

Trot

The trot has two beats, averages 6 mph and has a moment of suspension. The legs move in diagonal pairs.

1st Beat: Left Fore Leg/Right Hind Leg
2nd Beat: Right Fore Leg/Left Hind Leg

Canter

The canter is a gait with three beats. It averages 8 mph and has a moment of suspension. A western canter is called a lope.

Right Lead Canter

1st Beat: Left Hind Leg
2nd Beat: Right Hind Leg/Left Fore Leg
3rd Beat: Right Fore Leg

Left Lead Canter

1st Beat: Right Hind Leg
2nd Beat: Left Hind Leg/Right Fore Leg
3rd Beat: Left Fore Leg

Gallop

The gallop has four beats, averages 15 mph and has a moment of suspension. A hand gallop isn’t actually a gallop, but a faster canter.

Right Lead Gallop

1st Beat: Left Hind Leg
2nd Beat: Right Hind Leg
3rd Beat: Left Fore Leg
4th Beat: Right Fore Leg

Left Lead Gallop

1st Beat: Right Hind Leg
2nd Beat: Left Hind Leg
3rd Beat: Right Fore Leg
4th Beat: Left Fore Leg

Welcome to the Horse Gaits Quiz!

Name
How many beats are in a horse's walk?
True or False: There is a moment of suspension when all four legs are off the ground when a horse walks.
The trot averages how many miles per hour?
True or False: The trot is a diagonal gait, meaning the legs move in diagonal pairs.
What is the name of a western trot?
True or False: There is a moment of suspension in when a horse canters.
True or False: The canter is a diagonal gait which means the horse's legs move in diagonal pairs.
How many beats are in a gallop?

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Horse Gaits Image Pairing

 

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