The canter is a three-beat gait, in which the diagonal feet hit the ground at the same time. In the canter, there is a time where all the feet are in the air before the beginning of the next stride. The ideal canter has a clear beat and shows balance. The stride should be a medium length and land lightly.

While cantering, a horse naturally leads with one leg, meaning that one front leg extends out further than the other. The correct lead is considered to be the inside front leg. Thus, if a horse is moving counter-clockwise in an arena, it should be on the left lead. A horse may intentionally use the opposite lead, which is known as the counter-canter.

This video animation illustrates the canter.

The Flying Change

A flying change is a move in which sort of jumps in the canter, changing its lead foot. Watch the video for an example of a flying change. Many flying changes can be performed in a row to the effect that it seems like the horse is "skipping."

This video shows a flying change. Watch closely as the horse begins on its left lead. As it approaches and passes the camera, you'll notice it switch mid-stride, ending the video leading with its right front foot.