Varieties of horse running

Horse running (the professional name for gait) is a manner of movement in accordance with a certain style. The allure of horses includes stages with support, step length and radius. Depending on these parameters, there are several types of gait. A correctly crafted gait is one of the most important qualities of a riding horse.

Horse run

Technical aspects of gait

We will examine in more detail what a gait is and how a horse should run. In front of the torso, the horses are much heavier than the rear, the center of the torso is indicated by a mark at the armpit level. During movement, the balance is shifted, as the hind limbs are shifted forward, after which the running horse moves the front limbs forward, which restores a stable position. In addition, the head and neck are involved in running and walking, this can be seen by observing the horse while running.

Gait characteristic

As mentioned earlier, a horse can move in two ways: with the presence of a support and without its presence. There are several characteristics that are usually evaluated during the gait of a horse, we list them:

  • Rhythm. The rhythm of a gait is the amount of time that elapses between a horse’s hooves touching the ground.
  • Temporation is an indicator of the number of strokes during a move. It is customary to distinguish 3 types of gait depending on the pace: with 2, 3 and 4 pace.
  • Support. Depending on the method of support, four types of running are distinguished: support on one, two, three or four hooves.
  • Step. The length of each step is important here, the distance between the previous track and the next is measured.
  • Frequency. This characteristic describes how many steps a horse takes in one minute.

It is worth saying that the riding and gait of a horse will largely depend not only on the training of the animal, but also on the state of its nervous system. If the running horse is tense or overexcited, then there is no need to talk about its productivity: its gait will always be high. If the horse is full of strength and energy, receives maximum care and nutrition, then the gait will be appropriate.

Types of gait

Depending on the characteristics described above, several types of running are distinguished, that is, a gait. The first version of the gait is the one that is most acceptable for the horse, that is, its natural manner of running. All the others are accumulated in the process of hard training and break-in. We list the most famous types of natural gait with which you can ride:

  • step (easiest gait);
  • lynx;
  • gallop;
  • amble (the most difficult to learn).

Now let's move on to what horse gait was developed with the help of a person, that is, a horse riding trainer:

  • gallop with three fulcrum, or gallop on three legs;
  • Piaffre's allure;
  • gallop with a backward gallop;
  • gait passage;
  • short walk (short walk or ride).

In addition to these varieties, each of the above styles can be of a different pace: slow or fast. If the horse moves at a leisurely pace, it has the ability to cover long distances, without spending a lot of effort. If you choose a faster pace, then the animal will get tired much faster.

View allure - step

This type of move is considered the slowest and unhurried, is the easiest for the horse. A characteristic feature of this type of horse gait is that the limbs do not hang in the air for a long time, while during the movement the support is made alternately, first on 2 legs, then on 3, legs change obliquely. If you listen, you can hear a clear four hits of the foot on the surface of the earth, while the average speed will be no more than 2-2.5 m / s.

The horse’s running method is divided into the following subspecies:

  • Assembled step. With this style, the limbs of the animal rise high enough, which makes it possible to quickly change the style of the gait.
  • Short step. A characteristic feature of this option is that the animal moves with an elongated neck.
  • Step with the addition. This is the fastest change of hoofs without pauses.
  • Paso Fino. This type of horse running is inherent in the breed with the same name, while the horse moves with the help of many small steps.

Usually, the step allure style is used as a warm-up before the main training, as well as at its completion, giving the horse a break after exercise. Also, the style is used for horses making horseback riding.

Type of running - lynx

This style is designed so that the horse moves with its help in a harness. If the horse is well trained, it will be able to trot for quite some time. A peculiarity of the style is the nature of the movement: the limbs are raised in pairs, first the right one in front and the left one in the back, and then the pairs change. As in a horse’s gait, a step trotting moves obliquely, that is, in an oblique direction.

In the characterization of the style, trotting is mentioned that the horse must necessarily hover above the ground during the change of legs. To check the correctness of the gait, you need to listen to the sounds that make hooves. If everything is correct, then it will be possible to hear the simultaneous blow of two hoofs. When a horse runs at a trot, on average it develops a speed of about 40-45 km / h. You can rush at a maximum trot on a horse at a speed of 55 km / h (a car can ride at the same speed), this is a record in the career of a rider.

Typical trot differences:

  • Allure trot trot. This is the shortest and slowest lynx, with this style the length of one step is approximately 2 m. On average, 1 km of a level road is covered in 3 minutes. Most often, such gaiters are used as a warm-up after a step.
  • Swing. This lynx can still be called calm, albeit with a stretch. The animal overcomes the same kilometer in 2.5 minutes already.
  • Mach In this case, all movements become more defined and clear, in 2 minutes the running horse moves 1 km.
  • Frisky or fast trot. This is the fastest type of lynx, which is used as an option for horse racing gait. Here 1000 m is already run in 1.2 - 1.45 minutes.

Note that a horse does not trot for a long time, usually after a trot a gallop follows or all the same step from which it all began. The success of a horse’s jogging will depend on how long it can trot, without slowing down or moving to a different style. It is worth saying that only an experienced rider will be able to control a horse during a lynx, taking the correct landing.


A horse gallop is the fastest way to move a horse, while outwardly the animal moves in jumps through one, hanging for a short time in space. The movement begins with the fact that the horse raises one hind leg, then the second, and only after that the forelimbs are connected, still moving along the oblique line.

In horse riding, the left and right gallop are distinguished, depending on which leg the movement began with. Most often, there is a left gallop, it is this foot that appears on the ground first after the jump.

In addition to the obvious division, there are standard subspecies of the gallop:

  • Manege short. In this style there are multiple turns, in speed it can not be called the fastest gallop.
  • Field gallop, or Canter. This is the most common type of gallop, it is also called field. Riders use it more often than others during training.
  • Frisky gallop, it is also called swift. In this style, the horse gallops with maximum front grip, developing a record speed. Since a lot of energy is consumed during such a gait, the animal cannot be in this state for a long time, it is extremely important to take this into account in training.

While the horse gallops, its correct step is equal to the length of the hull, multiplied by three. If a gallop is used in races, then the maximum speed with which a horse moves along a hippodrome is about 60 km / h.

Original amble style

This particular style is really quite original, it is not used for all horses, when judging an allure, the presence of amble is highly appreciated by the judges. It may seem to an inexperienced observer that amble is a variation of a lynx, but it is not. During the pace of the amble, the horse simultaneously carries out the left hind and left front legs, then I pair on the right side. At the same time, it can be noted that the horse's body is not in the most stable position, so the rider must be careful when passing uneven terrain, running with obstacles and during turning.

At the time of the amble, the correct stride length is much shorter than the trot, but the pace is higher, that is, more steps are taken per minute. As for speed, the average performance when moving amble is 1 km in two minutes. The pacers, this is the name of the horses that are inherent in this type of gait, can walk about 100 km in 1 day in this style. At the same time, changing the style to another is almost an impossible task for them. It is also worth mentioning that amblers are not used in heavy work, for example, they do not transport carts with cargo.

A distinctive feature of the amble is that it is extremely difficult to develop it, only the most experienced and skillful riders who have already built their careers in equestrian sports can do it.

Artificial Horse Running Styles

In equestrian sport, there are many styles, some of which are occupied by artificially created types of gait, we learn about them in more detail:

  • Passage style. This is a variation of the lynx, but it looks more elegant, because of this it is also called a soaring lynx or a gait with hanging. With this type of gait, the hind limbs are clearly and simultaneously repelled from the ground, and do so strictly simultaneously. It is worth saying that the passage does not lend itself to all riders, while the horse also needs maximum training and a well-developed muscular system.
  • Piaffe. Another variety of trot trout. In this embodiment, the horse freezes for a while in one place while moving. With piaffe style, the rider’s experience, his ability to sit in the saddle and the correct fit are important.
  • Gallop on three legs. Here you can see how the horse moves only with the help of 3 limbs, while the front leg, which is not used in the gait, is extended and should not touch the surface of the earth.
  • Reverse gallop. In this embodiment, the gait horse moves in the opposite direction. Such a gallop is used in a circus.
  • Spanish step. Spanish gait belongs to the types of circus gait, in this style the horse raises his forelimbs as high as possible, putting them in parallel with the ground.
  • Telp is a cross between a traditional trot and a simple step. An animal with such a gait raises its hind limbs high, abruptly throwing them forward.

It is worth saying that all artificially created gaiters for the most part remain incomprehensible to the average horses. Here you will need both the genetic predisposition of the horse and the skill of the rider, including landing. You can evaluate how master these styles are, having read numerous photos, videos and master classes.


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