I was recently sent this question and thought is was such a good one I felt I would post my response here to share.
My goodness this is the first time that I have actually had a horse person ask this question. It's always been the non-horse folks asking this and the horse community should be asking this more often actually.
Ok here is my opinion on the definition, my explanation.
ALL horses are gaited to me, the walk is a gait , the trot is a gait, the canter is a gait, to me any forward movement due to and impulsion of the body and legs in varying amounts of energy of a horse is. But since we do have horses that do other kinds of forward movements beside the 3 basic gaits, the industry long ago pulled out the term " Gaited" to be applied to them specifically. So in the gaited horse world this means they can do other forward movements besides or in addition to what their other Non-gaited Breed counterparts can do.
So " Gaited " is a catch all term for theses horses and there are many characteristics that separate a lot of variations of these different movements besides the basic three. They are separated by variations in Lateral use of legs in pick up and /or set down, diagonal use of legs in pick up and/or set down, independent use of legs in pick up and/or set down, footfall sequences, support phase sequences and timings of foot falls. There are many terms for the varying gaits, to name a few would be the running walk, fox trot, saddle rack, rack. Lots of Breed Assoc.'s have their own terms for their breeds signature gaits, but many gaits can be the same in characteristics. An example would be the Rack is the same as the Icelandic Tolt.
Some other terms used also in trade for the word " Gaited" in the gaited horse industry can be, Soft Gaited, Smooth Gaited, Easy Gaited.
Hope this is of some help and I sure enjoyed answering this one!
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