Fact 4the day: Types of ambling gaits
All ambling gaits have four beats. Some ambling gaits are lateral gaits, meaning that the feet on the same side of the horse move forward, but one after the other, usually in a footfall pattern of right rear, right front, left rear, left front. Others are diagonal, meaning that the feet on opposite sides of the horse move forward in sequence, usually right rea...r, left front, left rear, right front. A common trait of the ambling gaits is that usually only one foot is completely off the ground at any one time. Ambling gaits are further distinguished by whether the footfall rhythm is isochronous, four equal beats in a 1-2-3-4 rhythm; or a non isochronous 1-2, 3-4 rhythm created by a slight pause between the groundstrike of the forefoot of one side to the rear of the other.
Not all horses can naturally perform an ambling gait. However, many breeds can be trained to produce them, and there are several breeds of horses who inherit the ability to perform these gaits either from birth or with a minimal amount of training. Some, though not all horses without natural gaited ability can be taught an ambling gait by being slightly restrained at a trot or pace. The length of the stride is kept long, but the rider asks the horse to alter its balance to break up the two strides in such a manner to produce a four-beat gait.
An ambling gait considered desirable in one breed is often penalized in another. For example, the Missouri Foxtrotter is specifically bred to perform the fox trot, a diagonal gait, while the Paso Fino is bred to perform lateral gaits and can be penalized for a diagonal gait, which in that breed is called Trocha.
Lateral ambling gaits
Tennessee Walking Horse at the running walk
Lateral gaits fall in the sequence right hind, right front, left hind, left front. They can be distinguished by whether the footfall rhythm is "even" or isochronous, four equal beats in a 1-2-3-4 rhythm; or non-isochronous, a slightly uneven 1-2, 3-4 rhythm created because the horse picks up and sets down its feet on each individual side slightly faster, creating a slight pause when switching to the opposite lateral pair of footfalls. While lateral gaits are generally all very smooth, some gaited horse breeders argue that the even lateral gaits are somewhat smoother than the uneven lateral gaits.
The Running Walk is an even four-beat lateral gait with footfalls in the same sequence as the regular walk, but characterized by greater speed and smoothness. The horse retains a regular 4-beat cadence but the running walk is characterized by an extreme overreach of the hind foot (often being placed as far as 24 inches ahead of where the front foot landed) and speeds of up to 10 mph. It is a distinctive natural gait of the Tennessee Walking Horse.
The slow gait is a general term for the slower forms of the classic amble and several slightly different gaits that follow the same general footfall pattern as the walk, in that lateral pairs of legs move forward in sequence, but the rhythm and collection of the movements are different. The common thread is that all are smooth gaits, comfortable to the rider. Terms for various slow gaits include the stepping pace and singlefoot. Some slow gaits are natural to some horses, while others are developed from the pace. All are very smooth; in particular, the stepping pace is said to have been used at times to transport wounded soldiers from battlefields. The stepping pace, sometimes called an "amble," is a slightly uneven lateral gait, with a 1-2, 3-4 sequence, while the singlefoot has an even 1-2-3-4 rhythm.
Quote 4the day: Things are never the same twice there is always a reason behind everything ... just look and listen and understand to find it :o)
Thought 4the day:Horses are very intune to all that goes on or has been going on. You may think you can hide things from them but your body, mood is an instant read for them. You can never hide anything truely from them. Your tone of voice is another give away. They may not understand all words but they know how to read us by our tone of voice, posture, movement just about anything we do. Horses never lie they are true animals and why should they lie. They always say it as it is and in trust so should we. Why would we want to hide anything from them? When we are astride them they sense us even more so for a better partnership just be open and honest and true and watch how things improve :o)