CADENCE: (Cadence refers to the timing and placement of the horse’s feet in any gait or, put another way, it’s the pattern and rhythm of the hoofbeats. This is not a word that Bill uses, but because the word is sometimes misunderstood, we thought these pictures would be helpful.
In a single stride of the lope, or canter, the horse’s feet land in a different pattern than they do at the trot. As he moves up from the trot to this faster gait, nature has fixed it so he loses one diagonal in exchange for the extra speed and greater reach of the lope stride. He departs in each stride with a hind foot, uses one supporting diagonal for balance in the second beat of the lope, and then lands on a single front foot. There’s more written about this in Chapter 5.)