There are three forms of trotting recognized by horsemen, and described as the slow or short, the common or ordinary, and the fast or flying trot. In the first the prints of the hind-feet respectively are found in rear of those made by the corresponding front ones; in the second they cover or slightly overlap; and in the third there is a period of suspension intervening between the right and left diagonal movement. The movements concerned in this pace may be described as alighting, support, leaving, suspension, and coming down on opposite diagonals.
The same amount of work being required of both front and hind limbs in the trot, a horse can maintain a comparatively fast rate of speed for a longer time at this pace than at any other. The diagonal supports of the trot facilitate the maintenance of equilibrium, and for this reason give the trot an advantage over the amble and canter, in both of which it is more considerably displaced (Plate LVIII).