Introduction: What are Racking Horses?
Racking horses are a unique breed of horses that originated in the southern United States. They are known for their smooth and fast four-beat gait, called the rack, which is faster than a walk but slower than a canter. The breed was developed for their ability to travel long distances quickly and comfortably, making them popular for transportation and work in the past. However, over time, they have evolved to become popular in the show ring, especially in the southern states.
Understanding the Racking Gait
The racking gait is a fast, smooth, and evenly spaced four-beat gait. It is distinctive from other gaits, such as the trot or the canter, as it involves the horse moving both legs on one side of its body forward, followed by the legs on the other side. This motion creates a lateral movement that is smoother than the traditional trot. The racking gait is comfortable for riders, allowing them to cover long distances quickly without experiencing the bouncing or jarring motion that can occur in other gaits. It is also visually impressive, making it popular in the show ring.