Wisconsin Kentuckey Mountain Horse riden in english and western saddle by beginner.

Question: Could you tell me the gaits of a Kentucky Mountain Horse... do they have 3 or 4 gaits?

Thanks you, Lori Calvert



From Panelist Lee

As with any gaited horse, what an individual horse is *supposed* to have and what he *actually* has may not be the same thing.  Ideally, Kentucky Mountain horses walk (ordinary walk, like any other non-gaited horse) and do a couple of speeds of a pleasure gait that is termed variously as an "amble" or a "saddle rack" ... an even in set down, uneven in pick up, four beat, lateral sequence (right hind, right front, left hind, left front)  gait. 

This pleasure gait may also be an even in pick up, even in set down four beat gait, (a running walk).  The canter is not usually done by these horses.  Now, what they may do, in place of this ideal gait, is: 

pace (lateral pick up, lateral set down, 2 beat gait) 
stepping or broken pace (lateral pick up, lateral set down, uneven 4 beat (1-2--3-4) gait, fox trot (diagonal pick up, diagonal set down, uneven 4 beat gait) and/ or 
hard trot (diagonal pick up, diagonal set down 2 beat gait).  


So, to answer your question, ideally they are 2 gaited (walk, pleasure gait at various speeds) but in reality they may have as many as 8 or 9 different gaits, especially if you count the canter or gallop which some do perform. 

To me, this variety of possibilities is part of what makes gaited horses of any breed so interesting.

Good luck with this horse.

Lee Ziegler

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