If you want to talk about "unnatural" gaits, you have plenty to choose from at the other end of the horse riding spectrum, dressage. I'm afraid I must disagree with you, drsteik84; that is a lope, just as every 3-beat stride that Toto does here is a "canter," even when he pirouettes and loses all forward motion, and everything from the piaffe to that amazing extended trot is a trot:
The gaits of the "Western Pleasure" horse were supposed to be comfortable and easy on both horse and rider, so low and slow strides were what was wanted. But as seems to happen in show rings, what was preferred has been exaggerated to such a degree that the original purpose has been completely lost, and as canesisters said, the gait (and maybe the horse) is useless outside of the show ring.
Edited by Bunnylady - 10/14/15 at 5:08pm