Gaited horse: What does it mean? Breeds of Gaited horses

The gaited horse breed: an introduction

General equestrians have consistently been drawn to gaited horses. During the time when horses were considered the only mode of transportation, they were the most famous horses. Their popularity is a result of their smooth gaits and easier rides, because people can ride for long distances without becoming tired, so they are ideal for people who suffer from joint pain issues. Read on to discover what exactly a gaited horse breed is. 

A horse which runs, trots, or lopes in a footfall style other than the standard walk, jog, run, or trot is gaited. Furthermore, if a horse single foots, strolls, paces, tolts, or does a running walk or rack, it is considered gaited. Gaiting is the action of the horse moving one foot forward while moving each leg independently, which is known as single-footing. As opposed to trotting, the horse can conserve energy when they remain on one foot on the ground.

A gaited horse actually moves as an ordinary horse does at a walk, putting each foot down independently. What matters, however, is at higher speeds, where a running horse trots, while a gaited horse only walks.

Some breeds of horses can be taught to gait, even though gaited horses are naturally gaited. It is possible that some breeds inherit the gaiting trait through their DNA, which results in naturally gaited babies. 


Their riders are strong and sensible, and they don’t expect too much of them. Gaited horses are extremely resilient and tolerable. Some gaited horses rest their heads on their shoulders instead of their backs. These horses are appraised for pleasure riding.

How do gaited horses differ from other horses?

The ambling gaits of these horses are caused by a dominant gene known as DMRT3, which was discovered in 2012. A gene involved in limb movement is involved in the circuits of neurons that run along the spinal cord. 

What do you know about gaited horse breeds?

Approximately 30 of the 350 horse breeds are naturally gaited, the rest are not. Below are some of the most popular gaited horse breeds;

The American Saddlebred is a horse breed indigenous to the United States. 

It is a great breed for beginners due to its elegant appearance and athletic ability. Short and strong backs characterize these horses, along with long arched necks. They also possess a high-stepping gait. Their appealing appearance brightens any environment. Styled American Saddlebreds are generally 15-17 hands tall and used for parades. Racking is a lateral gait among their five gaits. 

Horse of Peru: 

Peruvian Horses are saddle horses that are known for their hassle-free rides and distinguished carriages. Breeds of this breed are considered cultural heritage breeds of Peru. This breed has a low tail and a deep chest. They measure 14-15 inches tall. For those who are learning horse riding, they are docile and suitable. Peruvian Pasos are distinguished by their natural lateral gait, known as Paso llano. Horse shows and endurance rides are a popular use for these horses.  

Icelandic horses: 

This horse breed originated in Iceland. These small horses are often called ponies, though they are not at all ponies. They are just 12-14 hands tall compared to other horse breeds. Icelandic horses are beautiful animals. They are quite a strong breed that can cope with harsh weather conditions. These horses are also known for their longevity. Long backs and dense fur make them easy to groom. The distinguishing feature of this breed is its natural five gaits, which are found exclusively in this breed of horse.

Tennessee walking horse: 

Tennessee walking horses with their distinctive four-beat running walk are often called “walkers”. Officially, the state horse, they are also known as Tennessee walking horses. A Tennessee walking horse is said to be the most famous breed in North America. They have a calm temperament and a smooth gait that make them popular riding horses. Horses of this breed had been developed primarily for use on farms and for riding. They are long-headed and are elongated. 

An ancient breed of royal horses from the Marwar region in Rajasthan, 

India, the Marwari horse is a breed of ancient royal horses. The Malani horse is another name for the Marwari horse. This type of horse is utilized in wars today. These horses are known as “Polo Horses” and they are the best for competitive dressage. Featuring beautiful eyes with long lashes, long lashes on their ears, and small hooves, their ears resemble sickle shape. The species is relatively rare outside of India.

Originally called “Palouse horses”, 

the Appaloosa horse is an American breed of horse. This breed is known for its colorful and spotted coat. Walking like a Tennessee walking horse is one of its characteristics. Due to the impact of different breeds in its history, this breed has an extensive range of body types. It stands 14.2-16 hands tall.

Paso Fino: 

A naturally gaited horse breed with a passive temperament. Imported from Spain to the Caribbean, these horses were naturally gaited. Trail riding is a popular activity for this breed, as they have a smooth gait. The breed is not recommended for beginners because of the forward motion. Paso Finos have a strong attachment to their masters. With a lifespan of about 30 years, they live long lives. It is important to know that some Fine Step horses live up to 40 years.

The Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse is a breed of horse that originated in Kentucky, a state in the United States. They are also known as “kids horses” because of their gentle personalities. Their faces are flat and they have even temperaments. Rack is a four-beat gait that is the natural gait of these creatures. A rider can be seated on it at any time even at the fastest speed, making it very convenient for those who have to travel long distances. Riders can live up to 40 years riding them.

Morgan horses: 

Morgan horses are known as one of the oldest horse breeds in the United States. They are very intelligent and kind with outstanding compatibility and structure. Beginner riders will appreciate them. Their manes are thick, their heads are short, and their tails are thick, and yet they are considered stylish horses. The life span of Morgans can be extended if they are well cared for.


This breed of gaited horses was developed in North America and is known throughout the world. Harness racing uses these horses as leading horses. Although they are very adaptable, this breed is also ideal for riding. Compared to other kinds of horses, American Standardbred horses are remarkably fit, efficient, and capable of running for a long time. This breed’s unique gaits are the pace and trot. 

Horses of this breed were developed in the Appalachian Mountains rather than the Rocky Mountains in the US. Horses of this breed are known for their gentle temperaments and easygoing personalities. They are generally solid colored. With a four-beat gait, they are sure-footed. Competitive riders prefer Rocky Mountain horses. However, they cannot be trained to trot or canter. 

Facts about gaited horse breed

  • Gaited horses are more competent than non-gaited horses because non-gaited horses spend most of their energy fighting gravity. 
  • Due to their efficiency, these horses provide a smooth ride. 
  • Gaited horses have distinct gaits for which they are renowned. 
  • At different gaits, each horse breed has a different speed. Their walking speed, for instance, is 15 mph.
  • In general, gaited horses have a calm temperament and are very comfortable to rideGaiting horses are genetically predisposed to ambling gaits.. 
  • Gaiting horses are genetically predisposed to ambling gaits. 

How do hoof boots benefit a gaited horse?

Gaited horses are well protected by hoof boots. However, before choosing a hoof boot, you need to make sure your horse is relaxed, active, and comfortable at the same time. Additionally, these shoes have shock-absorbing pads to prevent friction and rubbing. The flexible material they are made from provides protection and comfort on all kinds of terrain. 

Numerous brands make hoof boots, among which scoot boots are most suitable for horses with gait. Their low weight and excellent resistance make them suitable for horses with gait. This means that they don’t interrupt any type of gait. This makes them perfect for trail riding.


The gaits of gaited horses are natural and unique to the breed. Ambling gaits are faster than walking, but slower and more steady than cantering. Although gaited horse trainers may train non-gaited horses, there are obvious differences between naturally and artificially trained gaits. In this article, we have tried to include some information about all popular gaited horse breeds. You may find more gaited breeds around the world if you enjoy this informative article. 

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