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.

Take the Gaits quiz at the bottom of the page to test your knowledge!

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

Activity Book On Horsemanship For Kids

A Reader’s Favorite 5 Star award winner and Academics’ Choice Smart Book award winner, this fun and educational activity book teaches horsemanship skills with mazes, puzzles, crafts & activities that instruct and entertain.

Learn about horse & pony markings, grooming tools, types of tack, breeds, gaits, how to measure horses and more! Makes a great gift for horse-loving kids!

Horse & Pony Gaits Quiz

Take the Horse & Pony Gaits Quiz

Welcome to the Gaits Quiz! Enter your name and answer the questions below.

Name
How many beats are in the walk?
True or False: There is a moment of suspension in the walk
The trot averages how many miles per hour?
True or False: The trot is a diagonal gait
What is the name of a western trot?
True or False: There is a moment of suspension in the canter
True or False: The canter is a diagonal gait
How many beats are in the gallop?

Leaderboard for Gaits Quiz

1. Eva - 87%
2. Brooke Pittman - 87%
3. Brooke Pittman - 87%
4. Amber McCormick - 87%
5. Heather - 75%