Chapter 4. The Canter


The canter is a gait with three beats. It averages 10-17 mph and has a moment of suspension.

A western canter is called a lope.

What Are Canter Leads?

When you canter, there’s always a leading front leg that stretches out further than the other leg. This is usually the inside leg if you’re riding in an arena. If you’re going around the arena in the right direction, your horse’s right front leg should lead at the canter.

Right Lead Canter

Right Lead Canter Footfalls

1st Beat: Left Hind Leg

2nd Beat: Right Hind Leg/Left Fore Leg

3rd Beat: Right Fore Leg

Left Lead Canter

Left Lead Canter Footfalls

1st Beat: Right Hind Leg

2nd Beat: Left Hind Leg/Right Fore Leg

3rd Beat: Left Fore Leg