I've been curious about this for awhile. Anyways, we have a six or seven year old quarter horse mutt that we bought a few years ago. He was brought in from Mexico, or the US border near mexico and bought at a ranch horse auction where he was then carted up here to NJ when we found him. He has a lot of issues and was supposed to be my horse. He's not a bad horse, but became my dad's project. He's come a long way. One thing I noticed right after purchasing him was this funny little gait he has. I've been told it is a running walk and it looks very similar. It consists of much head swaying (Back and forth, back and forth) and has four beats like a walk, but is the same speed as a trot. I was told that ranch horses are often taught this gait because it is more comfortable than a trot all day when riding. They are right! It is much more comfortable when I am trail riding! Its very easy to get him to do the gait. He walks, I kiss, he does the running walk, and then I kiss again and he goes into a trot. My question is...is it true that most ranch horses are taught this gait? How do they teach horses to do this? Is this something that quarter horses do, or is it possible he has something else in him? He has no papers, so he could have dog in him for all I know! I do enjoy showing off this gait on the trails though...he looks ridiculous doing it, but it is very unusual and very comfortable!