Hi, this is a little longer reply than I usually send, but it has a good point, which I will have to add to the article. Here is what I have to say:

    You were not using the wrong terminology, most people in this country do, and English is very poor language when it comes to equine industry and the translations of the European literature.

    The so-called four-beat canter (gallop) is not a gait, but it is a movement of a horse in the gallop leg-interchange that was either forced on the horse or learned by the horse when loafing while ridden. The four beat canter is definitely not a gait but a fault in the gait of gallop.

    People here are confusing the term speed with the term gait; hence they come to conclusion that slower gallop like canter is a different gait. A gait is determined by the leg interchange and not by speed, let alone hoof-beats. A gait can be compared to a gear in a car, when a car can move faster or slower in the same gear depending on the energy input, same way as by the horse that can go faster or slower in a particular gait, again depending on the energy input, the stride and speed of interchange.

    There are three basic gaits in horse's movement, walk, trot and gallop. The words like lope or canter merely refer to a particular speed in gallop just as in the same way in the western pleasure lingo the word jog actually means very slow trot, while elsewhere it is just another word for trot. This is again a problem of the English language that actually causes much of misunderstanding within the various equine industries. What we basically have here is people misinterpretations of various terms, which mainly depends on the equine industry they are in. Another example of confusion similar to the case of gallop is the term stallion, which most people call any male horse that is not castrated, while in reality the word stallion is used primarily for a stallion that is standing at stud while for a mature male horse the correct term “full horse” should be used or just plain "horse". The English language actually does not have a word for a stallion that is breeding (In many countries in Europe is used the French term for seedbed “pepiniere” as a slang word for breeding stallion). The English language uses a combination of word to refer to a breeding stallion which is a "stallion at stud", and the word stud is just another amateur backyard term for the same.
    Check the thoroughbred racing form for correct terminology of the equine language, because you will never see the word stallion in the racing form, the correct term for a mature male horse in this case is “horse”, but who is using it? Another ridiculous term is colt, which many people use instead of the word foal, where I have heard the following, “My mare had a colt and it’s filly”, or another backyard term the stud-colt. These misunderstandings of terminology these days just show the influx of amateurs that are corrupting and destroying the works and knowledge of the horsemen of the times when horse meant to people more than just some toy to play with, or some romanticized by "modern" (corrupted) females illusion. Now even the word colt or filly is scarcely used and is being replaced by these debilitated female minds with the word "baby". "My mare had a baby". (God help us all. No I do not hate women I just strongly dislike the modern "horse bitches" bullshit and their justification of abusing and misusing horses).

    As you can see, there are also no two specific terms for a trot recognizing the moment when all four are in the air and when not, though the western pleasure folks have the jog, while the same word jog means something else for the Standardbred people, who jog their horses faster than most people gallop.

   The word gallop is the official name for that particular gait because of the leg exchange frequency and has nothing to do whether the horse is above the ground or not, or how fast he is going, but that is again a problem with the English language when it comes to horses. This specific article is a translation from a foreign literature, a college book for veterinarians and horse breeders, I did not invent it.

   All the other terms like lope, canter and such merely refer to the speed in that gait and the below dictionary terms are down outright ridiculous, confusing and contradictory, because I can ride a horse in gallop slower than most people canter according to the below dictionary terms, because in a well collected school gallop (very slow) the horse spends plenty of time in the air on account of the cadence (sufficient impulsion).  So, if we look at the unprofessional terms of the dictionary, we will see that the terms canter and lope actually referring to a horse that is dragging his ass during the gallop.
   Gallop is a gait; canter and lope are terms for the slower versions of it. When we are speaking of gait we are speaking of leg interchange and not speed. The term school gallop is almost unknown in the dressage world here, the fools call it collected gallop while horse should be collected in all gaits regardless the speed.
   The school gallop refers to the very slow and very highly collected gallop in which time the horse should spend significant time in the air due to a strong impulsion and cadence. When a horse four-beats it is because the horse lacks sufficient collection, impulsion (driving force) and cadence and it happens to people that do not know how to ride, who then go and invent some stupid justification for their incompetence and we have a "English Pleasure" or even worse the "Western Pleasure", which is hardly a pleasurable for the horse, since the latter industry produces a large count of injured horses.

    I am including some dictionary term to show you the confusion in the English language where it completely lacks professionalism regarding the equine industry. The irony of it all is that the horse owners of the gaited horse claim that their horse has five gaits, and now when you add things like jog, canter, lope and such we can have horses that have more than a dozen gaits. Now you can see how easy it is to misunderstand various publication, especially those written by genuine horsemen, because the amateur public lives in some lala land of confused terminology, which even the dictionary reflects.

 Noun: lope

 1. a slow pace of running (This should say slow pace of gallop, running in the horse world refers to full run. Racehorses run in the race and gallop in the morning. Slow pace in running is a slow pace in the race or slow pace by very slow racehorse).

 2. an smooth 3-beat gait; between a trot and a gallop (What kind of hogwash is this?)

Noun: canter

 1. An smooth 3-beat gait; between a trot and a gallop

Different Dictionary (They do not quite agree)

Gallop: A natural three-beat gait of a horse, faster than a canter, in which all four feet are off the ground at the same time during each stride.

Canter: A smooth gait, especially of a horse, that is slower than a gallop but faster than a trot. (Note how stupid it is, because it refers to the speed and not to the leg interchange)

Lope: To run or ride with a steady, easy gait. (Completely different from the above term for lope. Just how confusing is the English language?)

   "In Norway we only have one word for canter and gallop, and it is "gallop".
I do not speak your language but this is how it is everywhere else in the world, one word “gallop”, except in the English speaking countries.

   I hope this was helpful and I thank you for you kind feedback.


Written by Ludvik K Stanek a.k.a Lee Stanek