Under natural conditions, the horse moves in four main ways (gait): step, trot, amble and gallop. The amble is considered rare and not natural, but most often acquired by a gait.
In the process of movement, the phases of suspension, repulsion and work of the limbs alternate during suspension.
The number of hoof hits on the ground in one call is called the pace. Depending on the number of tempos, two, three and four temporal allusions are distinguished. Another characteristic is the stride length - this is the distance between the limbs of one side. The frequency of this step itself is measured by the number of steps per minute.
According to the speed of movement of the horse, the paces are divided into slow (step and move) and fast (lynx, golop and amble). There is also another division into natural and artificial gaits. Natural are called the paces characteristic of horses by nature, this is a step, move, lynx, amble and gallop. Artificial ones are those that are developed in animals by humans on the basis of reflexes. These methods of transportation include the Spanish step and lynx, piaffe, passage, pirouettes, coubet, capriole, etc. (mainly used on dressage).
Any gait can be "decomposed" according to the scheme: assembled, medium, added and free.
A step is the slowest gait in which there is no hanging phase. is done at 4 paces (the number of hoof hits on the ground to move the whole body one step forward) with two or three hoofed supports.
The horse raises and carries forward the front right leg, and when it lowers it, then the back left leg goes up and forward. This leg movement is called diagonal: first, the right front, and then the left back, then the left front and, finally, the right back. At the same time, four successive blows of hooves to the ground are clearly audible. On average, with such movement, a horse runs 5 kilometers per hour.
With the assembled step, the horse is assembled, higher and sharper raises its legs. Gathering is considered such a condition when the horse is ready, with the right easy sending, to go to any gait, even a gallop, or to one of those that exist in dressage. With a short step, the horse walks quietly, freely (for this reason, a short step may be free), the reason hangs, the horse is free to keep his head as he likes (most often - the neck extends parallel to the ground). The added step is the fastest, the rider's hand must maintain strong contact with the horse's mouth. Usually they give the horse a free step to go at the end of the training so that she can relax, dry and rest before returning to the stable.
Step is a very important gait, it is for them that they begin training to give the horse a little warm up, and they also finish so that the muscles gradually move away from tension. Also, the first time that a horse has just toured the basis of its training is a step, and all training is carried out on a step.
Lynx is a fast two-pace gait. The horse raises the right front and left hind legs at the same time, then the left front and right hind legs. The movement of the hind and front legs occurs diagonally.
On the run, trotters reach speeds of about 55 km. at one o'clock. This is speed at the world record level. On average, 45 - 48 km / h in our country and 50 in the USA, where the tracks differ in their "structure". The dressage uses a lynx in place - piaffe and a high, highly collected lynx - passage. The passage is a beautiful sight, the horse seems to soar in the air, clearly fingering with hooves and fixing each raising of the diagonal pairs of legs.
Gallop - the fastest spasmodic gait at three paces. If at a step, trot or amble the load on all the legs of the horse is distributed more or less evenly, then at the gallop the load depends on whether this gait is started from the right or left foot. Depending on this, a gallop from the left foot and a gallop from the right foot are distinguished. When the horse is galloping from the left foot, it first rests on the right front foot, then puts the left hind and right front on the ground and, after lifting the right hind from the ground, the left front. When changing a leg, when the right front leg will be leading, then everything happens the other way around. With the added gallop, there is a fourth phase - suspension.
Gallop in the direction of increasing speed is divided into: arena gallop, canter (shortened field gallop), field gallop and quarry.
Thoroughbred horses galloping at a speed of over 60 km. at one o'clock. When riding a gallop, speed may be slower than trotting. The gallop is considered correct if all phases are clearly expressed even at slow speed. Previously, in high school riding there was a gallop on the spot.
The amble is a fast gait, also at two paces, but the simultaneous movement of the front and hind legs does not occur diagonally: when the right front and right hind legs are in the air, the left front and left hind legs are on the ground, then the right legs are on the ground and the left legs are in the air .
The amble is a little faster than trotting. Horses that roam amble are called amblers. This is an innate ability. The rider gets tired less on amble: there are no such tangible jolts as on a lynx. But the amble is less stable. On sharp turns and on rough roads, amblers can lose their balance.
There are horses that successfully run both trot and amble - here it is all about forging. If you clear the front more and the front horseshoes are lighter than the rear, the horse runs amble, and if you grow the front hooks and the front horseshoes are heavier than the rear, the horse runs at a trot.
There are very few native amblers, the story of one of them is described in his story "Mustang - ambler" by Seton Thompson. Many amblers are specially retrained for trot, for greater stability, however, there are special races where amblers take part who show higher agility than trotters. In the United States, approximately 70% of arrivals are conducted on amblers, and only about 30% on trotters. Pacers run faster than trotters.
Types of gait
Distinguish between natural and artificial gaits. The first group includes methods of movement inherent in absolutely all horses. These are the stroke styles that are given to the mount from birth. These include:
Attention! Some horses are born amblers, others are instilled with the ability to move amble.
Artificial types of gait animals master with the help of training. They are used in circus art, as well as in dressage competitions. This group includes the following styles of movement:
- spanish step
- gallop on three legs
- reverse gallop.
The slowest gait of a horse is called a step. This is a four-stroke gait, which is characterized by the absence of a suspension phase, that is, moving in steps, the horse sequentially rearranges the hooves.
Attention! Horse step speed ranges from 7.5-8 km / h.
There are 3 types of steps:
These species differ in the distance between the front and rear limbs of a walking horse. With a short step, the traces left by the rear hooves are located at a considerable distance from the traces of the front legs. When the horse walks at an average pace, its hind legs catch up with the front and are approximately at the same level with them. When it comes to the added step, the footprints from the hooves of the hind legs are several centimeters ahead of the tracks from the front.
Lynx - a horse gait related to push-pull, beginners master it after a step. It has a higher speed of movement. Beginner riders consider this type of running the most difficult, because there is a phase in it when the horse freezes in the air. All her hooves at this moment come off the ground.
A horse trotting at the same time lowers the left front and right hind legs, then freezes in the air, after which it steps on the remaining two legs. In this case, you can hear 2 clear blows. In order to feel comfortable in the saddle with this type of run, the rider needs to move in time with the steed, rising during the suspension phase.
Horsemen divide the lynx into 4 types according to principles similar to the classification of step species:
Attention! Trotting speed - 16 km / h. The breeds specially developed for fast running in a team, called trotters, move faster, in an hour they cover a distance of 20 km.
The fastest running of a horse is called a gallop, it refers to three-stroke gait. This type of movement is frightening for beginners, because an animal rushing at great speed seems uncontrollable. In fact, the rider is easier to tolerate galloping than trotting, the main thing is to learn to stay in the saddle.
When galloping, 3 blows of hoofs to the ground are heard. The running horse first carries forward one hind limb, then the second along with the front hind parallel to it, then lowers the second front hoof. Then comes the short phase of suspension, and then the cycle repeats.
Gallop is divided into several types:
- collected (the slowest three-stroke run) - 200 m / min,
- manege - the horse runs 300 meters per minute,
- average - from 400 to 700 m / min,
- swing - the horse develops a speed of up to 800 m / min,
- quarry (the most frisky type of gallop) - about 1 km / min.
Attention! Purebred riding horses are considered the fastest in the world. The speed of their gallop is 66–69 km / h.
Amble is another way of moving, representing something in between a gallop and a trot. The peculiarity of this “gait” is that the animal rearranges alternately the legs located on one side of the body, and not diagonally.
Pacers are highly regarded, as their mobility is comfortable for the rider. During running, shaking is almost not felt. The amble is peculiar to some breeds and is inherited by the foal from the parents. Such a way of moving can be developed artificially by training a horse.
Reference. Amblers easily overcome long distances, but it is more difficult for them to maneuver.
Natural paces also include:
- Tölt - peculiar to Icelandic horses. The animal rearranges its legs in the same way as when striding, but moves much faster, and for a rider such a “walk” is very comfortable, it does not cause shaking.
- Paso Fino is a frisky small step.
- Marsha is a type of amble that some Brazilian horse breeds demonstrate. For them, this is a natural gait transmitted at the genetic level. The allures of the march of the picad, the cambric and the triotad are characterized by smooth movements, for which they are appreciated.
The passage is a kind of gait created on the basis of a lynx, only the movements of the horse in this case are clear and graceful. Demonstrating this method of movement, the horse is simultaneously repelled from the ground by the hind hooves, lifting them high. To teach the horse passage, you need to train hard for a long time. Good physical fitness is very important.
The allure of piaffe differs from the passage in a longer phase of suspension. During the demonstration, the hind legs of the horse are bent under the body, the croup is slightly lowered, and the back muscles are very tense, which makes the rider feel vibration.
This variety of gait is the main element in high school riding. The Spanish step involves an alternate high rise of the horse's straight forelegs, while the hind legs move in the usual way. The level of skill of a rider and a horse is evaluated not only by external criteria, but also by the level of noise - a skillful horse walks quietly in Spanish.
Artificial gallop species
A gallop on three legs is an interesting form of running. In this case, the animal runs using only 3 legs, one front while moving remains uplifted and should not touch the ground. There is also a reverse gallop, in which the animal moves backward. Such a gait can be seen in the circus.
Learning to ride a horse, and even more so master all kinds of horse gait, is not easy. Novice riders are encouraged to hone their riding skills gradually - first a step, and then a lynx and a gallop. When the rider has mastered the basic types of running, you can begin to practice complex elements and hone your riding skills. All this is done under the guidance of an experienced instructor in compliance with security measures.
Step - Natural Slow Allure
A horse's step is the slowest gait, as well as the only one that does not have a free jump phase, resting on 2 or 3 hooves. During the step, four beats are clearly audible over irregular intervals. Alternating legs:
- one-sided with the previous front,
- diagonal pelvic
- last limb.
The limb support phase on the ground is three times longer than the hovering, therefore it is generally accepted that the movement of hooves is three times faster than the movement of the horse’s body. At a slow pace, the horse gets tired less, showing better traction. But the accelerated step is much worse in efficiency than the lynx, on which the movement of the hooves is only 2 times faster than the movement of the body.
- normal - the pelvic limbs follow the front,
- shortened (quiet) in heavy vehicles in the load, while the hooves of the hind legs do not reach the chest. Also observed when driving uphill,
- elongated (fast) - unstable movement with alternating support on two diagonal and adjacent limbs. Horses are specially trained for the fast pace, as it is better for the rider than a slow trot.
At a gallop, horses can reach maximum speed. The recorded record at the moment is 71 km / h. Of course, a horse can keep such indicators only at short distances, but a gallop is intended only for a sharp set of speed, for example, to avoid pursuit of predators in natural conditions.
When galloping, the leading leg is distinguished - this is the front limb, towards which a turn is made, it also completes the run cycle.
Previously, it was believed that it was with the lead (that is, the front leg starts galloping) that many owners and horse breeders also continue to think so. But studies have shown that at this stage of the gallop, the front foot only completes the support phase, after which a push is made.
Tact - alternating movements at a gallop:
- gallop begins with reliance on the pelvic outer leg,
- further, the internal pelvic and diagonal chest limbs are added to the support,
- the last leg lands on the ground,
- now the push phase occurs - the pelvic and external forelimbs are the first to come off,
- the step completes tearing off the inner front leg - the leading one,
- there follows a period of jump without resting on the surface.
Gallop is usually distinguished by the speed and manner of horse movements. The fastest subtype is the quarry - it is a run with large frequent sweeping steps and a long period of unsupported jump. The quarry is accompanied by great physical exertion, so the horse can run at such a pace only at a short distance - no more than 5 km, but at this distance it can show the maximum of its capabilities.
A quick gallop is also called a “three cross gait”. This name is associated with army designations in the Russian cavalry. There was a division of riding on speed into three types - from one to three crosses. If the order was given to go “in three crosses”, then this meant that you need to get to your destination as quickly as possible.
Canter is the main type of movement, also called a field or "gallop in the hands." Moving such a gait, a horse runs 1 km in an average of 2.5 minutes. It is used for horse racing, racing over obstacles. But for the quarry and dressage used arena gallop.In this case, the horse is “assembled”, that is, the center of gravity is significantly transferred back. This allows you to increase maneuverability and quickly move from jumps to taking a barrier of various configurations.
Trotting is natural for most horses. Wild horses use lynx more often for movement. A small percentage of horses have been running amblers since birth, but this is a less stable gait and often when the animal is out of balance, the animal again goes to trot. Moving at a trot, the horse cannot develop a great speed - 30 km / h, but this gait is needed for long-term movement. Rysakov is used for both horse riding and horse-drawn riding.
Lynx is a symmetrical, diagonal gait - the left thoracic moves simultaneously with the right pelvic limb, and the right thoracic with the left pelvic. On each side there is an alternate approach and distance of the hooves - often horses can be chained when the rear hooves hit the front legs.
Between supports on the ground there is a hovering phase - the faster the lynx, the longer the horse is without support.
Lynx is considered the worst gait for the rider because of the large pitching. In this case, the fluctuations are much stronger at the withers than at the croup, which further complicates the riding. Because of this, the practice of retraining horses is common. So, an ambler is used for running, and instead of a trot - an accelerated step.
There are several types of lynx:
- trot is a slow type for demonstration runs,
- the collected lynx is also a leisurely gait, but with the transfer of mass to the croup,
- swing - a faster exercise with increased stride length and a small hanging phase, more often than others used for training,
- max - accelerated gait, characterized by a large step. For this purpose horses are specially trained,
- frisky lynx - the fastest type, differs from the Mach in frequent steps.
In addition to speedy types of lynx, a number of irregular species are distinguished. So, if the horse's limbs do not move synchronously - the rear ones are late, then such a lynx is called a move. When a horse gallops with its hind limbs, it turns out to be a magpie lynx, and when jumping with chest legs - a cloak. And with an intensified push of any of the pelvic limbs - a clipping.
Allure with side support
The amble is an inborn gait among a number of horses. Another amble can be developed artificially by training with paired limbs. Pacers have advantages and disadvantages over trotters. On the one hand, they move faster and create less shake for the rider, and on the other hand, one-sided support and lateral pumping lead to a loss of balance. Because of this, the amble is considered an unstable gait - stumbling, the horse quickly goes to a trot or gallop. Also the amble is more tiresome than the lynx - the stride length is shorter, and the speed is reached by the frequency of exhaustive search.
The amble is common among other animals. Tall, wide-chested animals with a center of gravity displaced upwards, long limbs and a short body are prone to it. This is how a giraffe, a bear, an elk, a camel move.
To amblers always and everyone treated differently. Such a gait was considered both a defect and an innate gift. Therefore, there were schools that retrained trotters as amblers and vice versa. But if a rover accustomed to trotting could show good results, because both gait were natural for him, then the trotter on the rovers suffered greatly. Such animals did not achieve much success and were early rejected due to deformations of the skeleton and hooves.
Artificial types of movements
In addition to congenital gait there are a number of acquired, developed by riders and trainers in the learning process. There are a number of riding schools in which they hone a certain type of horse movement. Usually these are indicative paces for various kinds of performances and demonstrations. Although training of this kind makes horses submissive and executive, which has a positive effect on work under the rider.
Types of artificial gait:
- passage - movement occurs in the collection. The steps take place in one quiet rhythm, on the rise the limb is somewhat delayed,
- piaffe - the movements are identical to the previous ones, but the legs rise higher, and the horse does not move,
- Spanish (school) step - the horse moves with the pelvic limbs selected under the body, and the chest ones, when thrown forward, straighten in the elbow joint and stretch forward,
- Spanish lynx - the movements are similar to the previous gait, but the horse at the same time runs a slow throt,
- pirouette - a galloping horse is forced to turn around on the pelvic limbs,
- gallop on three legs - horse racing with a raised thoracic leg, straightened in the elbow joint.
The greatest successes in training horses in artificial gait were made by the Spaniards, who created a higher riding school. Bred in due time breeds trained in a special way were the most demanded in the whole world. The Spanish school is distinguished by the rigor of following all the orders of the rider.
Horses must move assembled and at any time follow the instructions of the rider. Trained horses can easily move from one gait to another, perform a jump or a sharp turn. Such training was necessary for fighting during the time of the knights, after horses began to be used in bullfighting. And now these horses are used in show jumping and dressage.