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horse movement and gaitsShifting Gears

Nature’s 4-Speed Machines

As humans, we’re bound to bipedal (a fancy word for walking on two legs) movement. That means we generally move with just our two feet, one foot in front of the other. We walk, skip and run on two feet. But with four legs (a.k.a. quadrupedal), horses move in more ways than we do.

Depending how fast a horse wants to go, or are asked to go by their rider, most breeds of horses have four natural gaits. They walk, trot, canter and gallop.

To learn more about a horses locomotion. Read  Shifting Gears from Issue 56.


  • Horses’ hooves hit the ground heel first, then toe.
  • A horse gets its propulsion from its back legs.