Horse Speed in MPH - How fast is your horse going?

Horses speed varies with their stride length, body build, and other factors, but here is a basic idea of how fast-- in miles per hour-- horses move at their various gaits:


Walk: Roughly 3-4 MPH. A pleasure show horse can go as slow as 2 mph. Gaited horses-- who do not trot-- can do a 'running walk' as fast as 15 mph.

Trot: The trot is roughly 8-10 MPH. Again, a shorter striding horse could trot slower, and a horse with a long stride could move faster.

Canter/Lope: 10-17 MPH.

Gallop: This depends on the horse's condition and athletic ability. Some horses are not built to run fast an may only do a fast canter at their best; however, the gallop is about 30 mph. Thoroughbreds, which are bred for running distance but not speed, have been clocked at over 40 MPH. Quarter horses, bred and raced for short distances at speed, can reach 50 MPH in short bursts according to the AQHA's website.

How fast does your horse move?
Measure a mile's distance and time your horse's walk and trot to see how many MPH your horse goes. If you have a road that has miles measured, you can use this (be careful of traffic and the footing so your horse doesn't get sore or go lame):

Minutes to go 1 mile
Speed in MPH
30 2 MPH
20 3 MPH
17 3.5 MPH
15 4 MPH
13 4.5 MPH
12 5 MPH
11 5.5 MPH
10 6 MPH
9 6.5 MPH
8.5 7 MPH
8 7.5 MPH
7.5 8 MPH
6 10 MPH
5 12 MPH

 

For more information on horse speed and distance, see the "Far and Fast" page.

 

 

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