A thoroughbred's quickest recorded racing time is 44 mph. The typical equine gallop is roughly 27 mph. A sprint can reach speeds up to 40 mph or more.
A trot is a horse-drawn carriage that moves at a slow, steady pace. Trotting was originally used by farmers as a way to move large amounts of grain from one place to another. Today, spectators enjoy seeing horses demonstrate their skills by performing a quick trot between the ropes during show events.
The canter is a gentle, flowing movement used to maintain a straight line over long distances or while traveling at high speeds. It is the most efficient gait for a horse traveling over long distances. A cowboy can ride out into his pasture and call the horses to be brought back for riding purposes by using his voice. This is called "calling the herd."
The walk is the simplest of all gaits and is used to traverse short distances quickly with little effort. Horses use their legs in a coordinated fashion when walking so that they take steps about every two seconds.
The jump is the highest form of entertainment for horses and riders alike.
Timeform ratings were established in England in 1984, and Beyer Speed Figures in the United States in 1992. At 70.76 kilometers per hour, the Thoroughbred holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest speed. As previously stated, this is the breed that holds the record for the quickest horse in the world. The Thoroughbred's peak speed is about 75 miles per hour.
Of all the horses that have been trained to run fast, none has reached the same level of perfection as the Thoroughbred. However, there are several other breeds that have been clocked at near-Thoroughbred speeds. They include:
The Indian Racehorse - (50-55 MPH) This classic racehorse comes from India where they are used for racing around the country. Their coats usually come in various colors including brown, black, gray, and roan. The Indian Racehorse was developed over many generations for running long distances at a fast rate of speed. They are very strong and brave and do not fear other horses or people.
The Japanese Riding Horse - (50-55 MPH) These powerful animals are used for riding both indoors and out. They are known for their endurance and ability to maintain their speed for long periods of time. Although they were originally bred for work on farms, today they are kept by individuals who use them as pets too!
Secretariat, Man o' War, Seabiscuit, Black Caviar, Valiant Pete, and Winning Brew are among the fastest racehorses ever. The fastest recorded racing speed in history, over two furlongs, is 70.76 km/h. (43.22 mph) by Flying Spur in a World Record time of 0:59.7. Faster times have since been equaled or broken.
The fastest human-powered vehicle on land is the Land Rover 90 Series Watchdog, built by engineer Malcolm Scott. It set a world record of 199.5 km/h (120.9 mph) on a closed public road in England in 1996. This was also the first production car to break the 200 km/h (124 mph) barrier as well as the first to do so without using a turbocharger or other external assistance devices.
Seabiscuit reached speeds of up to 180 km/h (112 mph) during races. Secretariat topped out at around 160 km/h (100 mph). Modern thoroughbreds can reach speeds of up to 190 km/h (118 mph), with some reaching 200 km/h (124 mph).
Secretariat and Seabiscuit were both born in North America, but they had very different personalities. Secretariat was calm and quiet while Seabiscuit was aggressive and hard to handle.
Winning Brew, a Thoroughbred, holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest horse in the world, clocking in at 43.97 mph. He broke this record in 2004.
The record was set when he raced against humans driving cars. Today, human drivers are still used to race Winning Brew and several other horses. They complete about five or six circles around the track before stopping to change drivers. The race itself usually lasts from ten to fifteen minutes.
Horses are very efficient machines for moving their bodies forward over ground. This means that they tend to be good runners but poor walkers. This is why racing dogs are used in most horse races today instead of real-life hunting dogs. Racing dogs can run for hundreds of miles without rest while being chased by their opponents!
Racing dogs were first used in 1872 when they were trained to help hunters find game trails in the woods. They would smell out the trail with their noses and then follow it with their masters. Sometimes they would lead their owners right to big game like antelope or deer. In fact, one dog named Apollo found a way into a cave and led its owner all the way inside!