Learn the equestrian sport of polo

Polo Riding

Polo riding

Four Gaits

There are four basic paces (or gaits) for equine motion. Watch the legs of a horse. Pay attention to how a horse moves in:

The Gallop

A horse's back works as two separate halves. As a horse picks up a hind leg and brings it under his body, his back and hindquarters will lower on that side. As his hind foot steps onto the ground again, his hindquarters and back rise on that side as his foot pushes against the ground.

Sit the Horse

The next time you get on a horse, try to feel these movements of the horse's back in the walk. Feel one side of the horse's back dropping under your saddle as the other side is rising. Feel the horse's belly sway from side to side between your legs.

Collected and Extended Paces

If you compare a horse's body to a metal spring, a collected pace is like compressing the spring. The hind legs come well underneath and the neck comes back. The strides are short and less ground is covered.

An extended pace is like stretching a spring. The body of the horse is elongated and more ground is covered with each stride.