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types of movements of a horse. There are natural and artificial gaits.

Natural gaits The walk is a slow gait in which the horse successively lifts and puts down all four legs, which are shifted along a diagonal line. The length of the step is 1.4–1.8 m, and the speed is 5–7 km/hr for fast horses and 3.5–4.5 km/hr for workhorses. The trot is a faster, two-beat gait in which the horse moves two legs simultaneously in diagonal pairs. The step in the slow trot is about 2 m long, and the speed is 13–15 km/hr. The regular (field) trot has a period of suspension. The step is 2.2 m long, with speeds of up to 20 km/hr. In the sweeping trot the horse puts its hind legs in front of the tracks of the corresponding front legs. The step is up to 6 m long. The maximum short-distance speed of trotters (1.6–3.2 km) is up to 50 km/hr. The pace is a two-beat gait in which the horse lifts and puts down first both left legs, then both right legs. It is brisker than the trot. The gallop is a jump-like three-beat gait with a period of suspension. The length of the step (stride) is 1.5–2 m in a short gallop, 3 m in an ordinary gallop (canter), and 5–7 m in a fast gallop (career). The speed is about 20 km/hr for the ordinary gallop and up to 60 km/hr for the fast gallop. In the jump the horse pushes itself from the ground simultaneously with the hindquarters. The jumping record of horses is 2.47 m high and 8.3 m long.

Artificial gaits During the parade walk the horse trots, raising high and stretching its legs. The passage is a short, collected trot; the piaffe is a passage executed in place. In the pirouette the horse keeps its hind legs in place and traces a full circle with the front legs.

The proper utilization of natural gaits is very important for preserving the resistance and work capacity of horses. Artificial gaits are specifically used in the circus.


Kniga o loshadi,vol. 1. Compiled under the direction of S. M. Budennyi. Moscow, 1952.
References in classic literature ?
Once or twice she thought there was a stature or a gait that she recollected; but thc person who owned it instantly disappeared behind one of those enormous piles of wood that lay before most of the doors, It was only as they turned from the main street into another that intersected it at right angles, and which led directly to the place of meeting, that she recognized a face and building that she knew.
The Manila she'd struck her gait, and she hild ut, an' prisintly along come a tramp, an' Counahan spoke her.
But, as he had said, he had pushed the regulator up as far as it would go, and the watch was "on its best gait," and so nothing was left him but to fold his hands and see the ship beat the race.
I might have known thee by that pretty maiden air of thine--that dainty, finicking manner of gait.
Above them Ska still circled, and it seemed to the ape-man that the ill-omened bird hovered ever lower and lower as though reading in that failing gait the nearing of the end, and through cracked lips Tarzan growled out his defiance.
His shoulders were as square as ever but something had gone from the springiness of his gait.
A Fox asked him, "How can you pretend to prescribe for others, when you are unable to heal your own lame gait and wrinkled skin?
For several miles Worson went on very well, at an easy gait, without apparent fatigue, for he had really great powers of endurance and was not sufficiently intoxicated to enfeeble them.
This said, he took the path at so swift a gait that he seemed to fly, and at every small sound he heard, he turned in fear to see whether the Terrible Shark, five stories high and with a train in his mouth, was following him.
And the wise beast in the shafts, knowing his ground, struck into his by-the-hour gait and kept to the right of the road.
It saddens me and gladdens me, the gait with which we are leaving San Francisco behind and with which we are foaming down upon the tropics.
A dry-looking Englishman, in high boots and a short jacket, clean-shaven, except for a tuft below his chin, came to meet him, walking with the uncouth gait of jockey, turning his elbows out and swaying from side to side.