Gaits are the ways in a horse or pony can move, either naturally or through training.

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.

Horse Walk Animation

Walk Hoof Beats

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.

Trot Hoof Beats

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

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

Canter Animation

Right Lead Canter Hoof Beats

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

Left Lead Canter

Canter Animation Left Lead

Left Lead Canter Hoof Beats

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

Right Lead Gallop Hoof Beats

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

Left Lead Gallop

Left Lead Gallop Hoof Beats

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

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Horse & Pony Gaits Quiz

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 the Gaits Quiz

1. Nicole: 87%
2. d: 87%
3. Cali Cybulski: 87%
4. Kaitlyn: 87%
5. Liz: 87%