Both the jog and the trot are two-beat, diagonal gaits. When the right front hoof hits the ground, the horse’s left hind hoof also hits the ground. But if you look at two horses in the ring and one is trotting and the other is jogging, you will notice several differences between the two.


The trot is a fast, two-beat walk that covers a lot of ground at a speed of about 8 miles per hour. The trot  is a fast, forward gait. The jog is noticeably slower than the trot. Some horses seem to almost shuffle along the trot with a bit of hock action.

Riding position

The rider’s position differs when a horse jogs or trots. At the jog, riders sit centered and still, allowing their bodies to absorb the movement. At the trot, the horse’s movement pushes up and down out of the saddle so that the riders use a different riding position. Riders typically post at the trot, rise up in the stirrup and roll the thighs during the upward movement of the trot and gently lower back down during the down phase. Riders can also take the two-point position during the trot, rising into the stirrup and sinking into the heels, leaning the torso forward and holding onto the mane. Finally, riders can also sit in a trot, but the forward movement is difficult to sit on until a rider is quite far forward.

Riding style

The jog is considered a western gait. It was developed by ranchers who wanted a slower, more comfortable gait. Since ranchers had to ride long distances during the day to check on their herds, they wanted a slow, comfortable gait that wouldn’t use up the horse’s energy. The trot is considered an English walk. Trotting uses more of the horse’s energy than jogging.


Trot is used in English style riding tests. You will be asked to sit and trot during equitation and chase seat riding tests. In dressage tests, a collected and extended trot as well as sitting and posting poles are part of many test patterns. The jog is used in western pleasure and other western equestrian events as well as for ranch work and trail riding.


You may also like...