Horseback riding basics 101: gaits and equipment

If horseback riding is one of newfound love, you may want to dive deeper into it to know more about different aspects. This can help develop as you look forward to enacting whatever you’ve learned [in theory] on the go. There are many things to learn about horseback riding, but the intention behind putting this article forward is not to dwell on the whole in its broad array. The aim, however, is to explore the different types of gaits – that is, the way a horse moves – of horse and the equipment you will need for your horseback riding in Austin.

Types of gaits

Let’s now see the different ways a horse can move around. It’s important to state here that the different gaits have varying patterns. Again, while horses can execute some movements naturally, it is also possible to train them to move in a particular way.


This simply describes the horse at a bursting speed – it is the fastest type of gait. For this move, it is one foot hitting the ground after the other, and it is a four-beat gait. Expectedly, this type of gait requires a good skill level from the rider to execute.


Walking describes when a horse moves at its slowest speed, with 2 – 3 hooves touching the ground. When walking, the pattern is such that the left foreleg comes in contact with the ground first, and then the right hind leg, right foreleg, and left hind leg in that sequence.


Trotting is a two-beat movement, with the horse bringing a pair of diagonal feet in contact with the ground at a time. In this diagonal foot pair, the right hind leg and left foreleg first touch the ground while the left hind legs and right foreleg follow suit.


For this type of gait, the horse first moves a single foot forward, landing it on the ground, after which the two diagonal feet are made to hit the ground, and then the remaining foot follows through. It is against this backdrop that canter is regarded as having three beats.


This simply entails the horse moving in a backward direction. It is more or less about the horse trotting in reverse. The right foreleg and left hind leg come in contact with the ground first, and then the right hind leg and left foreleg come next.


The equipment you will require for your horseback riding is in two different categories – those on the horse and then the ones for the rider.

For the horse; we have:

  • Stirrups
  • Saddles
  • Bridle
  • Reins and bit
  • Grooming tools
  • Horse blanket
  • First aid kit
  • Fly spray

For the rider; we have:

  • Helmet
  • Riding pants
  • Tall boots
  • Riding vest
  • Breathable shirt


Putting first things first is undoubtedly the best way to go if you wish to have a swell time while riding your horseback. So, you should invest some time and money into putting things in order before hitting the trail path.  

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