Are Arabian Horses Gaited

Arabian horses are renowned for their elegance, agility, and spirited nature. Their distinct beauty and historical significance have captivated horse enthusiasts for centuries. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the fascinating world of Arabian horses and delve into the intriguing topic of their natural gaits.

From understanding what makes a horse “gaited” to unraveling the unique characteristics of Arabian horse gaits, we will uncover the allure and intricacies of these magnificent creatures. Whether you are a seasoned equestrian or simply curious about the enchanting world of Arabian horses, this article will provide valuable insights into the natural gaits, benefits, and challenges of owning a gaited Arabian horse.

We will discuss the various gaits of Arabian horses, the differences between gaited and non-gaited Arabians, and the training methods for developing a smooth and rhythmic gait in these majestic animals.

Key Takeaways:

  • Arabian horses have a natural gait that sets them apart from other breeds, making them unique and sought after by riders.
  • Gaited Arabian horses offer a smooth and comfortable ride, making them ideal for long distances and endurance rides.
  • Proper training and conditioning can enhance an Arabian horse’s natural gait, making them even more impressive and desirable.

What Is a Gaited Horse?

A gaited horse is a breed known for its unique and smooth gait, allowing for a comfortable and elegant ride.

Gaited horses are acclaimed for their ability to perform a range of smooth, four-beat gaits, making them popular among riders seeking a comfortable and enjoyable experience. For instance, the Tennessee Walking Horse is renowned for its trademark running walk, known for its gliding motion that provides an exceptionally smooth ride. Similarly, Mustangs also exhibit unique gaited abilities, showing smooth, intermediate-speed gaits that set them apart from other breeds. These distinctive gaits make gaited horses stand out among equestrians, combining elegance with functionality.

What Are Arabian Horses?

Arabian horses are a distinguished breed known for their elegant appearance, endurance riding capabilities, and purebred lineage.

This ancient and noble breed has a rich history that dates back to Bedouin tribes in the deserts of the Middle East.

Skowronek, an influential Arabian stallion from Poland, has significantly contributed to the breed’s refinement and athleticism. Arabian horses are valued for their agility, intelligence, and remarkable stamina, making them exceptional partners for endurance riding competitions. Their distinctive dished faces, arched necks, and high tail carriage reflect their unique Arabian heritage, while their purity of bloodline is meticulously preserved to maintain their exceptional qualities.

What Is the Natural Gait of Arabian Horses?

The natural gait of Arabian horses is characterized by its graceful and rhythmic movements, reflecting the breed’s exceptional pedigree and unique traits.

These horses are renowned for their poise and elegance, with a distinctive style that has captivated enthusiasts for centuries. Their fluid strides and elevated trot embody the legacy of renowned figures in Arabian horse history, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, who marveled at their natural beauty. The Renaissance painters also frequently depicted Arabian horses in their works, showcasing their regal presence and fine form. Their movement exudes a regal charm that sets them apart from other breeds, making them a symbol of grace and beauty in the equestrian world.

How Does the Arabian Horse’s Natural Gait Differ from Other Breeds?

The Arabian horse’s natural gait sets it apart from other breeds, showcasing a unique blend of elegance and efficiency that has captivated riders and breeders for centuries.

Renowned for their distinctive high tail carriage and floating motion, Arabian horses possess a remarkably smooth gait that provides an incredibly comfortable ride for equestrians. Their inherent athleticism and agility make them well-suited for a variety of disciplines, from endurance riding to dressage. This remarkable gait, coupled with their enduring stamina and superior intelligence, sets them apart from other equine breeds.

The Arabian’s contributions to influencing other breeds such as Thoroughbreds are well-documented. Their graceful movement and refined silhouette have left an indelible mark in breeding programs, enhancing the performance and elegance of other horse breeds globally.

Are Arabian Horses Gaited?

Arabian horses are indeed gaited, a trait that has been carefully preserved throughout their history, including their desert-bred bloodlines.

This unique gait, known as the ‘running walk’, allows these majestic creatures to cover long distances with remarkable smoothness and endurance. The Arabian’s distinctive elevated tail carriage and high-stepping action are traits that reflect their desert-bred origins, where agility and stamina were crucial for survival.

Preservation of these gaited characteristics is a priority for Arabian horse breeders, as they not only showcase the breed’s historical significance but also enhance their performance and versatility in various equestrian disciplines.

What Is the Difference Between a Gaited Arabian and a Non-Gaited Arabian?

The difference between a gaited Arabian and a non-gaited Arabian lies in their distinct traits and breeding, which influence their natural gait and overall characteristics.

Gaited Arabians, known for their smooth, four-beat ambling gait, are selectively bred for this unique trait. They possess a genetic predisposition for a lateral gait, such as the famous “running walk” or “rack.” In contrast, non-gaited Arabians exhibit the traditional walk, trot, and canter like other horse breeds.

Breeding practices and bloodlines play a crucial role in shaping these gait tendencies, with certain lines prioritizing the refinement of gaited traits, while others focusing on preserving the classic Arabian conformation and athleticism.

What Are the Different Gaits of Arabian Horses?

Arabian horses exhibit a range of distinctive gaits, reflecting their exceptional pedigree and Susan G’s influential contribution to the breed’s gaited characteristics.

These horses are known for their elegant and buoyant movements, such as the flowing cadence of the trot and the smooth, ground-covering canter.

The development of such distinct gaits can be attributed to the meticulous breeding practices and selection implemented by renowned breeders over centuries.

Susan G’s commitment to preserving and enhancing the gaited traits of Arabian horses has ensured the continuation of these exceptional movement patterns across pedigrees.


The walk is a graceful and deliberate gait displayed by Arabian horses, reflecting the elegance and refinement associated with breeds like those from Stardust Arabians.

Arabian horses are known for their natural head carriage and high tail carriage, contributing to their distinctive and regal appearance. Their fluid and smooth movement, with a high-stepping action, further accentuates their grace and poise during the walk.

Renowned breeders like Stardust Arabians have been influential in preserving the pure bloodlines and promoting the exceptional Arabian horse breed standards, which include the characteristic walk that sets them apart from other equine breeds.


The trot is a lively and animated gait commonly seen in Arabian horses, reflecting their distinguished pedigree and influential bloodlines.

Arabian horses are known for their high-stepping, flashy trot, which is characterized by a strong impulsion and elevated knee action. This distinctive gait reflects the breed’s exceptional athleticism and endurance. One of the key characteristics of the Arabian trot is its floating quality, creating a visually captivating display of grace and power. This remarkable trot is often attributed to the influence of prominent bloodlines, such as the legendary Saklawi and Skowronek, known for passing on their exceptional trotting traits to future generations of Arabian horses.


The canter is a smooth and elegant gait showcased by purebred Arabian horses, exemplifying the breed’s grace and athleticism, as recognized by experts like Karen Page.

This distinguished gait is characterized by three beats – the leading leg, followed by both hind legs, and a moment of suspension where all four legs are off the ground. The Arabian horse’s natural agility and stamina enable them to perform the canter in a fluid and effortless manner, reflecting their exceptional athleticism. Notably, Karen Page, an esteemed equestrian expert, has highlighted the canter as an integral part of the Arabian horse’s allure, citing its rhythmic cadence and expressiveness.


The gallop is a powerful and resilient gait seen in Arabian horses, reflecting their endurance riding capabilities and the influence of breeds like the Morofic Egyptian Arabian.

Arabian horses are renowned for their distinct galloping style, characterized by graceful yet powerful strides that showcase their remarkable strength and stamina. The Morofic Egyptian Arabian, known for its exceptional athleticism and agility, has played a significant role in shaping the galloping abilities of modern Arabian horses. This gait allows for impressive speed and endurance, making them ideal for long-distance riding and competitive events. Their innate elegance and gentle nature further enhance their appeal as versatile equine athletes.


The pacing gait, although less common, can be found in Arabian horses and reflects specific breeding influences, such as those seen in the lineage of the revered mare, Tara.

Arabian horses are renowned for their distinctive gaits, which include the more commonly seen trot and canter. The pacing gait stands out as a rare and unique characteristic in this breed. It is a lateral gait, where the horse moves the legs on the same side of its body forward at the same time, creating a smooth and gliding motion that is quite uncommon in the equine world.

The presence of the pacing gait in Arabian horses can be attributed to the careful and selective breeding practices that have been followed for generations. Historical figures such as the legendary mare, Tara, and influential sires have contributed to the perpetuation of this unique gait within the Arabian breed.


The rack, known for its smooth and rapid motion, is a gait that showcases the athleticism and agility of Arabian horses, influenced by breeds like the Spanish/Egyptian Arabian and the stallion, Mr. Seilie Monster.

This distinctive gait is characterized by the horse moving its legs in a lateral motion, creating a gliding effect that appears effortless. This rapid pace makes the rack an enigmatic and remarkable gait, drawing awe and admiration from equestrian enthusiasts worldwide.

Arabian horses, particularly those with Spanish or Egyptian lineage, have been known for their ability to execute the rack with exceptional grace and speed. The Spanish and Egyptian Arabian influence has contributed to refining and perfecting this gait, showcasing the breed’s remarkable agility and natural athleticism.

The renowned stallion Mr. Seilie Monster was an influential figure in the development and preservation of the rack gait. His exceptional genetic lineage and talent for performing the rack have added to the historical significance of this gait within the Arabian horse community. His legacy continues to inspire breeders and enthusiasts, emphasizing the importance of maintaining and appreciating this timeless gait.

Running Walk

The running walk, characterized by its smooth and ground-covering stride, is a gait that exemplifies the sophistication and expertise seen in Arabian horses, as acknowledged by experts like Karen Page and breeders like Brightonwood.

This refined gait is often considered one of the most visually striking movements in the Arabian breed, as it showcases an effortless elegance combined with remarkable efficiency. Karen Page, a renowned authority in gaited horse training, has emphasized the unique ability of Arabian horses to perform the running walk with exceptional balance and fluidity. Brightonwood, a distinguished breeder of Arabian horses, has consistently highlighted the breed’s natural aptitude for ground-covering gaits, with the running walk standing out as a prime example of their exceptional athleticism.

What Are the Benefits of Gaited Arabian Horses?

Gaited Arabian horses offer several advantages, including their suitability for endurance riding and their adaptability for disciplines like dressage, as exemplified by breeds from Stardust Arabians.

These horses are known for their smooth, unique four-beat ambling gait, providing riders with a comfortable and efficient ride over long distances. Their natural athleticism and stamina also make them well-suited for the rigorous demands of endurance riding, where their ability to maintain a consistent pace for extended periods stands out. Their graceful movements and willingness to learn make them ideal candidates for excelling in disciplines like dressage, showcasing the breed’s versatility and trainability.

What Are the Challenges of Owning a Gaited Arabian Horse?

While owning a gaited Arabian horse can be rewarding, it also presents certain challenges, particularly in training and care, as acknowledged by experts like Dave Nicholson.

One of the primary challenges associated with gaited Arabian horses is the complexity of their training. Their unique gait requires specific techniques and understanding to fully develop and maintain. Their sensitive nature calls for a gentle yet firm approach to training, making it crucial to find a balance that suits their individual temperament.

In terms of care, gaited Arabians may require meticulous attention to their hoof care and shoeing due to the nature of their movements. This specialized care adds an additional layer of responsibility for horse owners.

Understanding these challenges is essential for prospective or current owners, enabling them to provide the best possible care for their gaited Arabian companions.

How Can You Train an Arabian Horse to Have a Gait?

Training an Arabian horse to exhibit a gait involves a combination of patience, expertise, and understanding of the breed’s unique traits, as advocated by experts like Susan G and notable breeders like HH Rafazon.

Arabian horses are known for their elegant movement and distinctive gaits, such as the floating trot and high-stepping action. Achieving these graceful gaits requires a deep understanding of the horse’s physical and mental capabilities. Susan G, a renowned horse trainer, emphasizes the importance of establishing a strong bond with the Arabian horse and gradually introducing gait-specific exercises to enhance their natural abilities. HH Rafazon, a respected breeder, underscores the significance of selecting Arabian horses with excellent conformation and predisposition for smooth gaits, which can be further improved through expert training techniques.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Arabian Horses Gaited?

Yes, Arabian horses are considered to be naturally gaited horses.

What does it mean for a horse to be gaited?

Being gaited means that a horse has a unique way of moving their legs, resulting in a smooth and comfortable ride for the rider.

Are all Arabian horses gaited?

While most Arabian horses are naturally gaited, not all of them possess this trait. It largely depends on the individual horse’s genetics and breeding.

What are the different gaits of Arabian horses?

The two main gaits of Arabian horses are the flat walk, which is a relaxed and rhythmic walk, and the running walk, which is a faster and more energetic gait.

Can non-gaited Arabian horses be trained to gait?

Yes, with proper training and conditioning, non-gaited Arabian horses can be taught to gait. However, it may not come as naturally to them as it does to naturally gaited Arabian horses.

Is gaitedness a desirable trait in Arabian horses?

It depends on personal preference and intended use. For pleasure riding, having a gaited Arabian horse can provide a smoother and more comfortable ride. However, for horse shows and competitions, it may not be considered as important.

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