The passage requires a horse to spring forward in a slow, rhythmic trot with a moment of elevation/suspension created by high, prolonged steps. The horse slowly moves forward.


The piaffe is similar to passage, but lacks any forward, backward or sideways movement. It requires a lot of impulsion to create this springy, cadenced trot. The leg joints are flexed so the hoof of the lifted leg is above the fetlock (the joint located in the middle of the front legs, equivalent to a human's elbow) of the opposite leg.

The passage and piaffe and the transitions from one to the other are the ultimate exercise in collection, submission and obedience. The rhythm should remain steady and consistent, although this is difficult to achieve. Few horses have the natural ability to perform these two movements.