Useful Tips

Gallop - horse gait

The main errors of the rider when galloping and their correction.


1. Rocking shoulders. This is a very common mistake when the rider swings his shoulders or the entire upper part back and forth to the beat of the horse when it is galloping. However, if you do this, you lose your balance than unbalance the horse. In addition, you do not have the basics of riding, which means you cannot steer the horse correctly.

Solution: Imagine an invisible rope pulling you from the top of your head up. Imagine that you are a puppet doll, and someone is pulling you up. As soon as you reach up from the crown of your head, then automatically stop swinging.

2. Swinging (swinging) the lower part of the leg. Some riders, together in the movement of the hips, begin to advance the lower part of the leg, swinging it. This produces too many mixed actions and the horse does not understand what actions you want to achieve from her.

Solution: Pull the heel down, then the movement of the legs back and forth will be impossible.

3. Clamping with knees. When a horse rushes gallop or picks up, then you naturally try to stay, than is possible. And lap clamping seems like a good idea until you realize that it pinches your ride in the saddle, and can also provoke a horse to go faster. Tightening the knees prevents the hips from moving along with the horse, which leads to loss of balance and tossing out of the saddle. This is a very bad idea.

Solution: Relax. Most people clamp their knees because they are tense in the saddle. Nervousness can cause stress, which makes it difficult to sit deep in the saddle. Practice and experience, even deep breathing will help to cope with nervousness. Remember that a deep and tight fit in the saddle is provided by the transfer of your weight into it, and not from the force of compression of the knees. See also paragraph 8!

4. Excessive movement of the hips. It is true that you want your hips to move with the movement of the horse, but what happens sometimes, especially with phlegmatic horses, you start to swing your hips more often than they should naturally move. Trying to make the horse move faster in this way usually results in you outstripping the horse's rhythm of movement, disrupting its sequence.

Solution: Open the hip movement. If your horse moves too slowly and does not push enough at a gallop, just slightly increase the circular amplitude of the hips. This naturally stimulates your horse to lengthen his stride and capture more space when moving. And do not forget to relax!

5. Swing your arms up and down. Your body moves up and down at a gallop, at least 15 cm, at every pace of the horse. It is so simple to leave your hands a little behind for their natural movement.

Solution: Take a lock of mane. With perfect riding, your hands remain just above the horse’s withers, even when moving up and down. To help you feel the correct movement of your hands, you need to take a strand of mane with your little finger. Mane pulling will help you keep your hands above the withers below.

6. Lifting (lifting the heel up). You heard this many times and you will hear more than once - heel down. Lift of the heel most often occurs when the knees hold it (point No. 3) and when the saddle is not deep enough (point No. 8).

Solution: Increase the tension down. Remember that you really have to transfer most of your weight through the middle of the foot (located on the stirrup) to the heel. If you can increase the stretching of the leg down with the transfer of weight to your heels, then training will go much faster and you can correctly hold the heels down and back. In practice, all this can be simulated if you are standing on a step, and the heels hang down from the edge of the stairs.

7. Filling forward. People often lean forward for a number of reasons. Sometimes the horseman is nervous and curls up, sometimes he wants his horse to go faster and lean forward for this, sometimes it is just hard for him to keep a little behind in the saddle. Unfortunately, none of these reasons is justified. Remember, a perfect fit has a straight line from the shoulders through the hips and down to the heels.

Solution: Lean back. Strange, but some people think that they are sitting further back than they actually are. If you feel that you are leaning too far back, then most likely you are close to the vertical.

8. No deep landing. You only feel the top of the saddle when landing, instead of actually sitting deep in the saddle with the weight down. This is good for jumping, but not suitable for galloping.

Solution: Imagine that you are a big heavy bag of potatoes. This is not a very nice comparison, but visualizing something big and heavy flopping into the saddle can really help you sit deeper and shift your body weight down to your heels that stretch down beautifully.

9. Raised (not rounded) shoulders. It’s like a heel situation. Just drop them. In addition, raised shoulders deprive you of the ability to do half-supports.

Solution: Exercise with a whip. Fix the whip behind your back under the elbows and grab the reins, in this position you will not be able to raise your shoulders. Do this exercise five minutes a day until they begin to remain in the correct position.

10. Dough-like muscles, weak rod (body base). No matter how you try to move your hips freely, sit relaxed and deep in the saddle, and your hands carefully follow the horse’s head, you may find that your abdominal muscles are too flabby. Unfortunately, you have to figure out how to relax and move freely without losing the strength and elasticity of the base of your body, because this is the force on which everything else is built.

Solution: Think about strengthening your abs and buttocks. You want your muscles to be tight, but not stiff. How to strengthen the base of the body without losing elasticity? You can do the plank exercise when you are at home. Accept the lying position. Your hips, shoulders and heels (again!) Should be in a straight line. Keep this position, using all the major muscles to stay straight and fit. Keep this position for a minute every day several times. Gradually, your muscles will become stronger.

Description of the gallop as an allure

The specialists of horse breeding and equestrian sports canter is also called a gallop. Namet is a three-stroke method of gait with an unsupported phase and three tempos. Gallop is recognized as the fastest way to move horses, the maximum speed of the best horses reaches more than 60 km / h. During such a gait, the horse makes spasmodic movements with its limbs and torso, respectively, uniformly and alternately tearing the forelimbs first, then the hind limbs from the ground.

Maneuver landing

Gallop cannot be called a symmetrical gait, since the horse performs it with either the left or right limb. Comparing the gallop with the trot, both gait suggest the same phase of unsupported movement, after which the horse will first land the hind limb, immediately the second limb at the back and one in the front, and after taking both limbs from the back, the second front leg will firmly lower. Moreover, the front leg descending at the end must necessarily be opposite diagonally to the descending priority leg at the back. This forelimb performs a repulsive effect in the phase of the accompanying flight. And it is this foot that decides in which direction the gallop will move the animal.

According to experiments, it was found that the length of one step during a gallop will be about 8 meters, while the traces of the front legs coincide with the traces of subsequent hind limbs. Per minute, the speed of steps reaches a frequency of 140 times. History has recorded that only during a gallop a horse can accelerate to such a crazy speed - over 60 seconds overcoming up to 900 meters of distance. The set record was 1 km of the path in just 53 seconds allotted for this time, that is, the speed of this gallop was 68 km / h.

Gallop horse bottom view

But not always during a gallop the horse accelerates to such sharp speed indicators, sometimes slow walking can be performed at a speed of 7-8 km / h, specially trained horses can perform such a gait, standing still. At the same time, the gallop is divided into several subspecies according to the beat of movement: the right hind limb, the right diagonal and the right front diagonal, as well as a specific hover.

In the wild without a gallop, horses probably would have died out long ago. Only due to such a gait many individuals escape from predators and quickly overcome distances. But, as a rule, galloping a horse will be no more than 3 km long. You can increase the gallop distance if you reduce its speed. A slow gallop can easily overcome races on the territory of 20 km. All other types of gait assume approximately the same load on all legs, but a gallop will become tiring for one side of the limbs, given the fact with which limb the horse begins its movement.

Therefore, due to the leg with which the gallop begins, it is divided into several subspecies:

  • Right-handed gallop, in the process of running the horse turns easily to the right side.
  • Left-handed gallop, during which the horse usually makes turns exclusively to the left side. Gallop suggests the first pace of lowering the right hind limb, after which the front foot descends from the same side along with the hind left, and at the same time it is the second pace. The final stage is the setting and support of the forelimb from the left side. The uniqueness of the left-handed gallop lies in the fact that, switching to the repeated first pace of such an assault, the horse freezes for some time above ground level.

How to learn to gallop on a horse

Most specialists in the field of horse breeding are inclined to the theory that the gallop is the most comfortable gait for riders. But in order for him to be such, the rider needs to learn how to properly ride in the saddle, relax and gently control his horse. Thanks to the neck and head of the animal, you can maintain a balance of movements that are associated with a swing wave. You can only learn galloping if the rider can easily cope with the arena step, as well as trot with the help of stirrups and without them.

Correct galloping

If the rider has complied with all the requirements for landing, during the gallop he will freely and smoothly move the pelvis back and forth, according to the rhythm of the horse's movement. How to quench the tremors given from the horse can, if properly used relaxed lower back. At the same time, the legs should be in a natural position along the line of the saddle, they are controlled by the horse, and the rider should be relaxed as much as possible so that horse impulses are transmitted through the ankles and knees of the person to the feet. In this case, you need to properly deploy your shoulders, straightening your posture. No need to shorten the occasion, just rest your feet on pre-equipped stirrups. A short reason will make the animal jump even faster or, conversely, stop.

Improper gallop landing

How to gallop a horse

This step involves training in horse management. The rider already knows how to withstand the body well in the saddle, observing that the pendants are in place and can reach up. Only an experienced trainer can demonstrate a gallop technique to a student:

  • the rider is looking forward, his shoulders are straightened back, and the center of gravity is focused in the middle of the saddle,
  • then half-support is performed, when the rider moves the weight only to his hind legs, saying to the horse in this way “attention!”,
  • withstanding indestructible contact with the external cause and soft with the internal, it is as if to make a weak resolution to the side of the potential movement,
  • the rider controls the inner shankel strictly at the girth, and the outer one is slightly behind her, while the rider sends the horse stronger with the inner foot than the outer one,
  • then leans slightly forward and deflects the inner thigh below.

The rider must understand that any pace of such a gait is a slight climb to the gallop itself. At the same time, typical mistakes of novice riders in a gallop are:

  • when the rider pulls his leg from the hip down
  • during movements, a person holds his posture and does not move to the beat with his body,
  • during the transitions, the rider throws the horse out of the saddle.

Set the pace

After the horse has entered a gallop, the rider needs to learn how to keep the horse under control and properly manage it. The rider should already be able to raise his animal to the beginning of the gallop, support him and sit harmoniously in the saddle, not grabbing his horse by the leashes.

Setting a certain gallop rhythm, one must understand that the horse does not have “on” and “off” buttons, so it can go astray without the accompanying help of a rider. You can withstand a certain rhythm of the gait with the help of shankels. For example, in order to change the legs at a gallop, the rider must steadily keep his balance in the saddle, as well as coordinate and smoothly operate his legs and reins.

To turn the horse to the right side, the rider must put his right hand out to his right knee and vice versa. During turns, the horse needs to be pushed, as if it would lose its speed. In this case, it is forbidden to pump on it with a body. It is dangerous to lean excessively during such a gait, because the horse can stop, and the rider cannot resist and fly out through the animal’s neck. The rider must keep the reason so that the horse does not bend his head down and keep it straight in front of him all the time. For a smooth transition from a gallop to a lynx, you need to gradually pick up the reins, lean back with your body and let the horse trot.