Horse Canter

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

The canter is a three beat gait where one pair of feet strike the ground simultaneously and the other two feet land independently. The canter/lope will either be on what is referred to as a right or left lead. If the horse is on the right lead then the hoof pattern is left hind, right hind and left front simultaneously, then right front. The opposite foot pattern represents the left lead as follows: right …

Horse Gaits – Effects of Balance

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

Contents


Long Stride

The stride is the distance between successive imprints of the same foot. From the side view a horse should place their hind foot in the spot that the front foot left the ground. The more balanced a horse is the more likely that they will travel …

Horse Gallop

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

Although the gallop or run appears to only be a faster canter, it is in fact a different gait containing four beats. Like the canter, the gallop also has a right and left lead. The footfall pattern of the gallop on the left lead is the right hind, left hind, right front, left front. Likewise, the right lead footfall would be left hind, right hind, left front, right front.

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Horse Trot

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

The trot is a two beat diagonal gait where the horse’s legs work in paired diagonals. The pattern of this two beat diagonal gait may be as follows: right hind and left front then left hind and right front or left hind and right front then right hind and left front.

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Trot

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Horse Walk

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

The walk is four beat gait where each foot hits the ground independently. The pattern of this four beat walk may be as follows: right front, left hind, left front, right hind or right hind, right front, left hind, left front.

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Walk

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Equine Epiphysitis

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

Epiphysitis is an inflammation of the epiphysial cartilage plate of the long bones. It occurs mostly on the front legs and is associated with growth in young horses. The cause is excessive pressure from either too much weight or concussion on an inmature skeletal system. The swelling can be painful and can result in lameness. Prognosis is good for the young horse, provided the foal gets rest until the swelling resides or the epiphyses …

Horse Gaits – Effects of Structure and Hoof Flight Pattern

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

Correct Structure and Travel

A horse standing straight on their front and rear column of bone will travel in the most correct manner. As the normal foot travels in the straight line there is little chance of interference among the horse’s legs or hooves. Thus reducing the horse’s risk of injury.

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Walking Straight –

Horse Movement and Way of Going

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

Type of Gaits

Understanding how a horse moves is the first step in identifying a horse’s quality of movement. The orderly hoof fall pattern of movement is considered a gait. Gaits of a horse are classified into natural and artificial gaits. In many cases, the breed of the horse dictates the gaits that it performs.

There are over 167 symmetrical gaits described for the horse. Symmetrical gaits such as the walk, trot, and pace …

Horse Natural Gaits

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

There are five natural gaits of horses. These natural gaits include the walk, trot, canter/lope, gallop and back. Many breeds perform these gaits. They include stock horse breeds like the Quarter Horse, Paint Horse, Appaloosa, etc. and hunter or english type horses such as the Thoroughbred, Arabian, Saddlebred, Morgan, etc.

Watch the following video to learn more about the natural gaits of the horse.

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Permanent Identification using Lip Tattoos in horses

Equine Lip Tattoo

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

A lip tattoo is just what its name implies–a tattoo on a horse’s lip. It is comprised of letters and numbers and is placed on the inside of the horse’s upper lip. A majority of state racing commissions have enacted rules requiring a horse to be tattoo-branded prior to entry in a race. As a service to all Thoroughbred racetracks to enable their compliance with these rules, the Thoroughbred Racing and Protective Bureau applies …