Gaits

Gaits of Naturally Gaited Horses

Below are videos of naturally gaited horses that are ridden barefoot, without abusive gait altering substances, and in mild snaffle bits without mechanical devices. Among the gaits shown are the flat-footed walk, free walk, medium walk, counted walk, flat walk, running walk, rack, fox trot, trot, canter, and counter canter. Many of the videos are shown in regular and slow motion so that it is easier for you to see the sequence of foot falls.

Tennessee Walking Horse Flat-footed Walk

Free Walk

Medium Walk

Flat Walk

The Counted Walk

The counted walk is more of a balancing exercise than a gait. Each time my naturally gaited Tennessee walking horse feels like she is on the forehand or getting out of balance, I ask for a few steps of the counted walk to get her engaged from behind, lighter in front, and soft in the jaw before resuming the medium walk, flat walk or canter.

I have seen some videos demonstrate the counted walk as a mini piaffe which is a trot sequence of diagonal pairs instead of a walk sequence of four even steps. In either case, a counted walk or mini-piaffe (or piaffe) are all excellent exercises to help with balance and engagement.

Rack

Fox trot

Trot

Canter

Counter Canter

A Collection of Walks by a Naturally Gaited Tennessee Walking Horse 

The following video shows a naturally gaited and barefoot Tennessee walking horse performing the free walk, medium walk, flat walk and running walk in regular and slow motion. All four of these walks display a regular four-beat sequence with a head nod and over track. Over track refers to the hind hoof stepping in front of the fore hoof print. (If you have one to two feet of over track in a Tennessee walking horse walk, give your horse a really big pat!)

A Collection of Gaits in Snow by a Naturally Gaited Tennessee Walking Horse 

Be thankful if you don’t have up to six months of below freezing weather and no arena! This is how me and my naturally gaited Tennessee walking horse try to stay in shape during winter. Shown is medium walk, flat walk, running walk, trot, and canter on cue in the snow.

Tennessee Walking Horse Medium Walk or Flat Walk?

This video explains the difference between the medium walk and flat walk.

Gaited Dressage: First Level Gaits

Video shot in 2011 shows the free walk, flat walk, running walk, canter, canter lengthening and halt.

Dressage is more than trot and the saddle you ride in!

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