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Gaited Horse Movement

Gaited Horse Movement

Gaited Horse Movement





Temporal variables of four-beat, stepping gaits of gaited horses

Gaited horse breeds perform a variety of four-beat stepping gaits that are recognized and distinguished by the sequence and timing of the footfalls and by the limb support sequences during the stride.

The popularity of the gaited horse breeds is increasing and accurate descriptions of limb kinematics are needed both to define the performance characteristics of the different gaits and to assist in identifying gait pathologies. The objective of this study was to measure the temporal stride variables of 16 four-beat stepping gaits using frame-by-frame analysis.

The gait sequences used for analysis were selected by the breed associations as being representative of correct performance of each gait. The results showed that all gaits were classified as symmetrical.

A regular four-beat rhythm was present in the classic fino, coon rack, marcha picada, mountain pleasure rack, paso llano, rocky mountain rack, style rack, road gait, and toelt. An irregular rhythm with diagonal couplets characterized the fox trot, marcha batida, paso corto, and paso largo, while lateral couplets were found in the running walk, curly rack, and sobreandando.

Three distinct limb support sequences were identified, with only the marcha batida demonstrating a period of quadrupedal support. Hind limb stance was longer than forelimb stance in the paso corto, paso largo, style rack, and running walk.


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