How Fast Do Horses Walk?

Last Updated on February 22, 2022 by Allison Price

Have you ever felt like you were flying when riding a horse, only to find out that the horse is slowing down? It’s not uncommon! You’ll feel a lot faster in the saddle than you do on your feet or in a car. But how fast can horses walk?

You may feel like your horse is speeding down the trail or around the arena, but how fast are they actually going? It all depends on the horse and the horse’s gait. Horses can have many gaits, and each one is accompanied with a different average speed.

This article will discuss the differences between horses’ gaits and the average horse’s walking speed.

Table of Contents

Horse gaits Horse speed

normal horse can walk, trot, canter, and gallop. Some horses are called gaited horses and have different gaits. These gaits include the rack, tolt, etc.

These four basic gaits can be distinguished by their speed but, more importantly, by their movement pattern. They are also distinguished by the position of the horse’s feet.

Let’s take the trot as an example. At the trot, the horse moves diagonal pairs simultaneously with its legs. The horse moves its right hind and its front simultaneously, then switches to its left hind and front. This is why the trot can be considered a two-beated gait.

How Fast Do Horses Walk?

The canter, on the other hand, is a three-beated gait. The horse starts with one of its hind legs, then moves to the left with the diagonal pair. Finally, the horse will move to the front with the remaining two feet. This is how it goes.

The trot and canter may be equal depending on how much collection or extension there is in the gaits. The trot can be slowed down by the canter in extreme cases. The trot is usually slower than the canter.

Consider the walk. Now, consider the walk. It is a four-beated gait with each horse moving one foot independently. This is the pattern: opposite hind and opposite front; opposite hind and opposite front.

Although the walk is the slowest gait it can sometimes be faster than the trot, trot, or canter in extreme cases of collection. The walk is most common, followed closely by the trot and canter, then the gallop.

Horses walk at a speed of Walking speed

Now that we have the order of the gaits’ speeds, we can start to look at the numbers. What is the speed of horses? A horse can walk at an average speedof four miles per hour.

Horses can vary in this number. Large horses may move slower than smaller horses. However, smaller horses might be able to move faster than larger horses. This can depend on the horse’s energy level and whether the rider asks for extension, collection or both.

You’re probably only running about four miles an hour when you run around the arena. There are many factors that can make you feel faster than you really are.

Horses’ height is one of these factors. Horses are tall, especially if you don’t know how to ride them or be around them.

Bounciness is another factor. Even trail and lesson horses are not always the most comfortable. You may feel slower if you feel like you are being jostled in the tack by the bounciness and speed of your horse.

The fourth factor is the four-beat factor. I have already discussed the various beats and patterns that each gait has. The walk has four beats. This is the most common gait. It feels like the horse is walking fast and putting his feet on the ground. This can give the impression that the horse is moving at a quicker pace.

Horses walk at a speed of Human walking speed

Humans can walk at an average speedof 3.1 miles per hour – which is not much faster than horses! Walking is a way to move from one place to another.

Horses are herd animals and often walk to rest or eat. Horses walking under saddle move very slowly.

When they walk together, it is usually not difficult for a person or horse to keep up with them. When they are walking together, it is usually not difficult for a person to keep up with a horse.

Speeds for Other Horse Gaits

Horses walk at the same speed and pace as humans. But what about their other gaits. Horses can trot between eight and twelve miles an hour. The canter can travel between nineteen and twenty-four miles an hour. The gallop can travel up to fifty-five miles an hour.

There will always be exceptions to these averages. Top dressage horses and harness horses can run faster than twelve miles an hour. A show jumper will be able to canter faster than 24 miles an hour while a dressage horse cantering a pirouette is only able to go one mile an hour.


Horses can walk as fast as us! However, a track star will not be able to keep up with a horse running at full speed. This article should have helped you to understand the horse’s walking style and how it compares with other gaits.

If you are, please share the article and tell us about your riding experiences, including whether or not you think you are going fast.


It is so much quicker to ride a horse than to walk.

A horse can averagely walk at 4 mph. The average person can walk at a speed of 3-4 mph. Horses can walk at speeds of between 3 and 4 mph, depending on their level of collection. They can also trot at around 4 to 10 mph, and canter at 8 mph or faster.
Horses can run at an average speed of 28 mph. Horses can run at speeds up to 50 mph in short periods, but they are not capable of running for long distances.
It’s seven times faster to ride a horse than a walk horse, and nine times faster to walk the same distance.
You can go further on horses than you can walking. If not pushed too hard, the average person can travel 15 to 20 miles each day. A person who rides a horse at a slow pace will be able to cover approximately 40-50 miles per day. A moderate trot will take the horse 60-70 miles per day. A canter will allow the person to travel between 80 and 90 miles per day.

What distance can a horse travel in eight hours?

Can a man walk with a horse?

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!