Definition of piaffe in English:



  • A movement performed in advanced dressage and classical riding, in which the horse executes a slow elevated trot without moving forward.

    ‘a piaffe calls for more collection than a measured trot’
    mass noun ‘he showed a lot of potential in passage and piaffe’
    • ‘Changes were cleaner, piaffe had more power, and pirouettes were more brilliant.’
    • ‘Stopping in the center of the arena they performed a piaffe worthy of international competition.’
    • ‘The horse is taken through a series of tests, such as the pirouette, piaffe and passage, in a walk, trot and canter.’
    • ‘It was a joy to watch her in perfect fluid movement with her horse, performing moves like the half pass, flying change, piaffe and many others.’
    • ‘She recently worked with a clinician to teach her horse half-steps, which precede training the piaffe.’


[no object]
  • (of a horse) perform a piaffe.

    • ‘The stallion piaffed, cantered, did shoulders-in and half-passes.’
    • ‘"My daughter once saw a professional whose horse piaffed backward out of the ring," she says.’
    • ‘German champions along with young talented riders jumped, piaffed, went across country, drove carriages, vaulted, reined or went endurance riding to the joyful rhythm of music.’
    • ‘Milo obediently piaffed and passaged, and I was very proud of him and keen to show his talent for the difficult work.’


Mid 18th century: from French piaffer ‘to strut’.