How Fast Does the Average Horse Walk?

Maybe you never lose sleep over this or maybe you like to have random facts underneath your belt to tell other people. No one ever thinks about this when they see a horse. They are either intrigued by the way a horse looks or too busy mesmerized by the way they run.

horse walking

So, how fast does the average horse walk? A horse on average walks about 7 kilometers per hour which is equivalent to 4.3 miles per hour. You should probably think about this because as do humans, horses have different ways of moving. This can give you a little bit more information about horses and what they can do.

I haven’t been around a horse in so long that I do not have the luxury of thinking about them as much as other people who probably take care of horses on a farm. If you love learning about different kinds of animals or you have a soft spot for horses, then knowing their speed will be beneficial to you.

There are Six Ways a Horse Moves

To understand the movements of horses, you first must know the ways that they do so. A horse’s movements cater to their walk, trot, canter, gallop, pace, and ambling gaits. Some of these movements are similar, but there are some things that make them different. Once you know what each of these means for a horse, then you will understand the different ways a horse can move. Each of these movements are different in which the horse’s speed increases with each one. It is much like how a human walk, speed walk, jog, or run.

Knowing this information will allow you to also know how the damage that can be done if you were ever standing in front of a horse as it does any of these movements while you are in front of it. The damage that a horse can do as it charges at a human or an object varies because it’s speed correlates with the damage that they do.

The Average a Horse Walks

As I mentioned above, a horse walks an average of 7 kilometers per hour which is equivalent to 4.3 mph. This walk is said to be a four-beat gait in which as a horse walk it moves in a motion where its legs to not move at the same time. The horse’s left hind leg will move first, then its left front leg follows, then it’s right front leg is followed by its left front leg.

A Horse’s Trot

A horse’s trot is different from its walk. The speed if a trot is about 13 kilometers which is equivalent to 8.1 miles per hour. Where its legs do not move at the same time as they walk, when they trot, a horse’s leg moves in pairs, but diagonally. A trot is a two-beat gait where the left front leg and the right hind leg of a horse move together, the front right leg and the left hind leg move together as the horse trots.


A Horse’s Canter

A horse’s canter is a little faster than its trot. The speed of a horse’s canter is 16-27 kilometers which is averaged to about 10-17 miles per hour. A horse’s canter is a three-beat gait which you will be able to hear as it performs a canter if you listen closely.

A Horse’s Gallop

Now, the gallop of a horse may be similar to the canter, but the difference is the gallop is much faster. At 40-48 kilometers which averages out to 25-30 miles per hour, a horse gallops when it senses it is in danger. Also, horses’ gallops when they are taking part in races.

A Horse’s Pace

The way that a horse’s legs move when it is pacing is vastly different to all of the other movements they do. When a horse paces both of their legs on each side is moving at the same time; left front and hind legs of the horse move together, and front and hind right leg moves together. However, the trot and the pace of a horse is similar since both of their legs are being lifted off of the ground and they move together.

A Horse’s Ambling Gait

An ambling gait is basically a group of four-beat horse gaits that is typically faster than the walk of a horse but slower than when a horse canter. Some horses do not know how to amble and the horses that do know how are called “gaited.” Ambling gaits are great if a rider has to spend a long time on a saddle.

Related Questions

Why Should You Know About Horses Movements?

If you are a horseback rider, it is great to know these things, so you do not hurt yourself. It also helps to be informed because some movements are better than others if you want to win a race. If you are not a horseback rider, it is great to inform yourself about anything you have an interest in.


Horses are not that different from humans if you think about it when it concerns their movements. They have six which are used for different things. There are multiple ways horses can benefit from their movements and one helps to make sure they are able to escape from their predators; to keep them alive.



I have owned over 50 horses and currently own a small horse farm with 8 horses. I have competed on and off for over 25 years while doing mostly trail riding and cow sorting these days. I write these articles to help anyone out there if you love this article pin it to your Pinterest or Share on other social media platform. Thanks for visiting.

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