All horses are beautiful and graceful in our minds. In fact, no horse is more graceful than our own. But, have you ever thought about different breeds that are known and bought specifically for their graceful gaits?
Keep reading to find out the top five on the list...
The Icelandic Horse
The horses that were left in Iceland by the Vikings, the Icelandic horse can cover tough terrain while keeping their rider comfortable. They are versatile, hardy, and easy keepers. Icelandic horses are born to naturally have 5 different gaits. In addition to the walk, trot, and canter, they also have a four-beat running walk and a gait called a pace, which allows them to cover 30 miles an hour! (Learn all about the Icelandic horse here on iHeartHorses.com!)
Standardbreds were also found in America. You may recognize their breed from that usually used in harness racing. However, that is not what these horses are limited to. They are loyal and willing, smooth, and quick. Their name comes from the standard for the breed which is being able to trot a mile in 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Standardbreds have a two-beat lateral gait called the pace allowing them to smoothly trot so quick.
The Paso Fino
The Paso Fino is a horse from the Caribbean. This breed of horse is so smooth, so graceful, that it has been said that a rider can hold a glass of wine during their ride, and not a drop will hit the ground. The Paso Fino has a four-beat lateral gait as well as three other natural gaits called the Classic Fino, the Paso Corto, and the fastest of the gaits, the Paso Largo. These horses are known as “Los Cabellos de Paso Fino” or “the horses with the fine walk.” (Learn all about the Paso Fino here on iHeartHorses.com!)
The American Saddlebred
Known as “the horse America made,” the American Saddlebred is the horse of choice for many that find their home in the show ring. This horse looks and plays the part of an ultimate show horse, from their confirmation to their movement. The American Saddlebred is known for a high-stepping slow gate and racking in addition to a walk, trot, canter. Flashy and smooth, how does one ask for a better graceful horse?
The Tennessee Walking Horse
The more well known for their graceful gait, the Tennessee Walking Horse was founded in the middle of Tennessee. These horses are also extremely versatile and used from the show ring to the trails. Docile, calm, and a favorite for long distance trail riding, Tennessee Walkers are a great choice for any rider. They have a four-beat gait and 3 distinct gaits called the flat foot walk, running walk, and canter. Tennessee Walkers also come in just about every color you can think of, patterns too. (Learn all about the Tennessee Walking Horse here on iHeartHorses.com!)
These five horses all have their own unique qualities that land them in the top five for a graceful gait. Have you ever had the opportunity to ride one of these horses? If so, let us know your thoughts on their graceful gaits!
Did you learn anything new and interesting about our equine friends? Share this article with other horse lovers that you know so that they can learn something, too!
Horse Courses by Elaine Heney
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