Horse Gaits - Effects of Structure and Hoof Flight Pattern

Horses September 23, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

Correct Structure and Travel

A horse standing straight on their front and rear column of bone will travel in the most correct manner. As the normal foot travels in the straight line there is little chance of interference among the horse’s legs or hooves. Thus reducing the horse’s risk of injury.

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Walking Straight - no audio

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Deviations in Structure and Travel

Deviations of bone structure can predispose horses to less than perfect travel. Horses that stand base wide or toed out travel in inward arcs called “Winging or Dishing”.

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Winging-in at a Trot - no audio

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When horses stand base-narrow or toed-in they generally travel in wide outward arcs referred to as “Paddling”

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Paddling Out at a Trot - no audio

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Although winging and paddling are common deviations in horse travel, winging is the more serious fault. If the condition is severe enough, interference between the supporting and striding legs and feet may occur.




Horse Gaits

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USDA / NIFA

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.