When a horse is moving along a meadow, going a little bit faster than trotting but not quite running, the pace at which the horse is moving is an example of a canter.
When you move along riding on a horse going at mid-speed, a bit faster than trotting, this is an example of a time when you canter the horse.
Origin of canter
- Ultimately from phrases such as Canterbury gallop after Canterbury England, toward which pilgrims rode at an easy pace
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- Short for Canterbury pace, from the supposed easy pace of medieval pilgrims to Canterbury.
- cant + -er