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 Various horse (and other animals) gaits

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boba_jagoda

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PostSubject: Various horse (and other animals) gaits    Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:25 am

I've had a special little project of my own lately where I tried to understand the variety of gaits, especially ambling.
I think I got it, but recognizing gaits in real-life (especially in real-time) is not so easy.
So the horse/quadruped gaits between trot and pace could be shortly be depicted as:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

were the gaits can vary in its form:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

and the two "end-point" gates are, of course:
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I also have the working moving 3D model, but it's not public

The gaits can be of various speed, producing additional gait forms,
which also varies the number of supporting feet (ones on the ground).
Canter is a 3-beat gait, gallop 4 beat.
The nomenclature varies a bit from place to place, so rack=toelt for e.g. Island horses.

Gaits were very highly valued in e.g. middle ages where palfreys (amblers) were only for the very rich (as opposed to non-gaited "bone-shakers") and as valued as destriers.
Spanish jennet was also a gaited horse.
In time, amblers were replaced with faster, larger and stronger horses (usually trotters, fast at gallop) who were required for carriages, and later for light calvary or horse racing. The amblers were mostly preserved in both Americas as descendants of Spanish horses.

This graph (not mine) also shows some "interpolated" gaits of Island horses:
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Last edited by boba_jagoda on Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:25 pm; edited 2 times in total
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boba_jagoda

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PostSubject: Re: Various horse (and other animals) gaits    Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:39 am

Just to recapture:
Ambling is a group of smooth four-beat gaits faster than walking, but slower than cantering (so between trot and pace).
Smooth in the sense of vertical oscillations of the center of mass being dramatically reduced with such gaits which makes them comfortable for the rider.
Unlike trotting or pacing, ambling has no whole-body aerial phase.
Some ambling gait have the feature that one foot is always on the ground (from there comes the name - single-footer).

Trying to collect an ambling horse results in trotting:
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Various gaits are, of course, not exclusive to horses.
Several animal species like camels, giraffes, cats, dogs, bears etc. use pace and/or amble.

For example, dogs trot, amble and pace. Pacing is a relaxation gait or a change of pace gait for a dog. With dogs, amble usually looks similar to pace to a human i.e. it is too fast to distinguish whether it is a two or four beat movement as the leg lag can be extremely small. At dog shows, dogs are judged at a trot. At AKC (American Kennel Club) shows, three breeds can by their standards pace in the show ring: Old English Sheepdog (Bobtail), Polish Lowland Sheepdog and Neapolitan Mastiff.

Elephants tend to amble, thus avoiding the in-air phase of the body when traveling at middle speeds.
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LeeAnn
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PostSubject: Re: Various horse (and other animals) gaits    Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:23 pm

This is very interesting, it definitely looks like you've been catching on! cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Various horse (and other animals) gaits    Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:01 pm

That's interesting and shows how deeply you are into the subject. I confess I need to read again once I am already with my four limbs crossed. geek
Maybe, it could be a good idea to enrich it with examples based on real animal figures. cheers

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LeeAnn
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PostSubject: Re: Various horse (and other animals) gaits    Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:17 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:

Maybe, it could be a good idea to enrich it with examples based on real animal figures. cheers

This is one thing that is very difficult and also very controversial within the model horse hobby.

For example, is Make a Wish/Oaisis (abbreviated MAW) trotting or walking?
(Sorry for the watermark, I took this off my blog)
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Many say trotting, but then compare the model to this real horse, that is walking:
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It's a very complicated topic which makes the performance division at shows very confusing, so I stick with halter.  Laughing 


Another thing to think about is the pose of the model/figure might be hard to replicate without a base and/or acrylic rods.

The Andalusian Stallion by Kathleen Moody is a good example of this:
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This mold was sculpted to be cantering, but this was back in the days when Breyer wasn't too keen on making bases for models like they are now. (Children don't like to play with models with a base as much as ones without.)
In order for this model to be realistic, it would need to have the front extended hoof in the air. So it would require a base or an acrylic rod in this front hoof.



And then you have the molds that the poses make no sense at all in terms of realism, take Espirit (also by Mood) for example:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]



Most times it's easier to figure out what molds like Bouncer are doing:
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Simply standing!  Laughing 

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boba_jagoda

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PostSubject: Re: Various horse (and other animals) gaits    Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:11 am

I agree, it is sometimes difficult to see what is going on, especially on a "frozen" pose.
The main clues should be:
- the leg pose
- what is the estimated body momentum (quantity of motion that an object has), especially what direction it has
(or is it just the wind in its hair Wink )

Animal_Figures_4U wrote:

For example, is Make a Wish/Oaisis (abbreviated MAW) trotting or walking?
(Sorry for the watermark, I took this off my blog)
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

If you look at the legs of this guy, three feet are on the ground which matches the walking gait nicely, but people still see it as a trot? That is probably because its body seems to be moving at, let's say, middle speed,
so, it looks too dynamic for a walk.
Trot (and a slower jog) would be a 2-beat gait, which doesn't seem to be happening here.
Let's look at the footprint of a slower amble (also walk if two-legs-on-the-ground frames are skipped):
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

this is a time sequence of a gait
the 4 dots represent the four feet of a horse (white means off the ground, green on the gorund, red touchdown)
remember, that my horse here is moving to the right

Just check the first two frames, it seems that the right hind foot is off the ground, 3 of the others on the ground, which matches the situation on the model.
It also seems that the front right is just about to take of which would than be the second frame.
So the horse seems to be ambling, i.e. doing some kind of a middle speed 4 beat gait.

One cannot be more specific because we don't have the actual timing. We can't see (or hear) whether the gait is even or more pacey (same sided, lateral legs sounding off more closely), or trottier (diagonal legs touching down closely), so we can just say that he is ambling.



I suppose real experts could recognise some additional detail on the body, like the back position and the positioning of individual muscles, but that's beyond me...
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boba_jagoda

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PostSubject: Re: Various horse (and other animals) gaits    Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:50 am

Note that he could also be cantering:
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