Batida means to hit in Portuguese and describes the gait considered to be a broken trot. It is characterized by the movements of the legs in a diagonal pattern, also with moments of triple support and a four beat sequence. This gait, unlike a trot, should have very little suspension as the horses are always in contact with the ground. This creates stability and smoothness. The longer and more frequent the moments of triple hooves support are, the more comfortable the gait. On flat ground, performing the batida at a normal speed, the hind foot overreaches the track of the forefoot on the same side, adding to the smoothness of the ride.
Though the gait is natural for the horse, it is more difficult to perform than a trot. Therefore, if you would like for the horse to perform in its marcha, the horse occasionally needs encouragement to engage and remain in gait. You will find that many Marchadors prefer the marcha even in free movement, especially those that possess an exceptional gait. This gait is quite different from that of other gaited horses, presenting with an eye-alluring, graceful “C-shaped” knee movement with medium to low action. It is a forward reaching movement that covers an extensive amount of ground. In fact, it is such an onward stride that many Marchadors can gait as fast as other horses canter. Both gaited and non-gaited riders find the smoothness of the Marchador to be quite pleasing to ride. For more on gait and a diagram of the gait scale, please read my section called Breeding For Gait.