7 Words For The Sound Of Horse Hooves (Onomatopoeia)

Horse hooves are commonly given words to refer to the sound they make. It would be helpful to understand some of those words, so we’ve put them together for you. It’s up to you to choose your favorite, but there are plenty of great ways to describe horse hooves.

Which Words Can Describe The Sound Of Horse Hooves?

Why not check out one of the following to see which you like best:

  • Clip clop
  • Clippity-clip
  • Clip chip
  • Click-clack
  • Clink clink
  • Tip tap
  • Thunder
horse hooves sound words

“Clip clop” is the preferred version, and it’s the one you’re most likely to come across. Anyone who wants to recreate the sound of a horse hoof will use “clip clop” in their writing. It best demonstrates the echoing noise and shows that it is split into two sounds.

Clip Clop

“Clip clop” allows us to demonstrate that horse hooves are a repeating sound. Since multiple hooves hit the floor together, the noises often overlap and create multiple “clip-clop” sounds that people like to listen to.

We can use “clip” with an “I” and “clop” with an “O” to change the vowel sounds. This helps us to be more specific when identifying the individual sounds we can hear.

  • Clip clop, clip clop! That’s all we ever hear in the morning. The horse is the first one to wake up.
  • The clip-clop noise from his hooves is great to fall asleep to. I suppose that’s what happens when you get used to life on the farm.
  • I love that clip-clop sound. It’s great to listen to, and it means the horses are galloping around.


“Clippity-clip” allows us to repeat a similar word to show that multiple hooves hit the floor at the same time (since horses have four legs). This creates a rhythmic clicking sound that we can relate to when we want to show that horses are trotting.

Unlike “clip clop,” “clippity-clip” uses the same vowel (“I”) in both parts of the sound.

  • The clippity-clip of the hooves always makes me think they love life! That’s what makes me so happy.
  • Clippity-clip! The hooves were coming up the drive now, and I knew it was time to meet my horse.
  • Clippity-clip! The sound was like a chorus on the horizon.

Clip Chip

“Clip chip” is a good way to alternate sounds if you use “clip clop” a lot. Some horse enthusiasts also note that “clip chip” is more reasonable to use as the sound for the front hooves as there is less required power in these hooves while galloping or trotting.

The noises aren’t easily distinguishable to many, so you can use “clip chip” to talk about the overall sound of hooves if you would prefer.

Not many people will know that “clip chip” is better suited to horses’ front hooves. Even the people that do aren’t likely to call you out on your mistake because it’s not that drastic.

  • The front hooves tend to make a clip-chip noise, which I think is relevant when you want to describe them.
  • Clip-chip! The hooves were very obvious to make out! I really liked listening to that sound.
  • Clip-chip! I’m sure that horse was moving much faster than it was a second ago!


“Click-clack” allows us to use two different vowel sounds to refer to the sound again. Like “clip clop,” we can use this sound to show that two separate noises happen when the different hooves hit the floor at different times.

The “click” is the first trot that most people hear. The “clack” refers to the second step, which is often done by the opposing hooves, which creates a slightly lower noise.

  • Click-clack went the hooves. I didn’t know where they were coming from, though.
  • Click-clack! Click-clack! My horses love it when the sun is out, and they can prance around.
  • The click-clack of the hooves was like music to my ears. I’ll never tire of that sound.

Clink Clink

“Clink clink” works well to recreate the sound of hooves. However, it mainly works when referring to horses running across harder surfaces like gravel or cement. You won’t often hear the “clink clink” of a hoof that’s on grass.

While some of the other noises work well on hard grass, “clink clink” isn’t as suitable. You need to make sure you know this difference before using it.

  • I heard it clink clink as it took every step. I wasn’t sure if I was the only one watching, though.
  • The clink clink of the hooves was amazing to listen to. You could make out every horse on that track.
  • The hooves were clinking. I love it when I can hear that sound!

Tip Tap

“Tip tap” is another good way to refer to the repeated sound of horse hooves. We can use “tip” to refer to the first, lighter sound and “tap” to refer to the second, heavier sound.

It’s not as common to use “T’s” instead of “C’s” when referring to thick horse hooves, but it’s still possible.

  • The tip tap of his hooves was all I needed to hear. I knew my boy was coming back to me at long last.
  • Tip tap! Tip tap! I heard her hooves from a mile off. I love that horse with every fiber of my body.
  • The tip tap of the hooves was fast approaching. I needed to find somewhere to hide quickly.


“Thunder” only works in very specific situations. We don’t often refer to horse hooves as “thundering” because they are on harder surfaces (where it’s more common to hear “clip clop”). However, “thunder” refers to a horde of horses running at the same time.

It’s common for “thunder” to be used when many horses are running at once. Imagine a horse race, for example. That’s a great place to hear the thundering of horse hooves.

  • The thunder of the hooves was enough to send shivers down any man’s spine.
  • The hooves were thundering underfoot. I didn’t like listening to it, but I could hear them approaching!
  • The thunder of their hooves was on the horizon. We knew the battle was about to commence.