The aim of this study was to compare an inertial motion system (IMS) to an optical based locomotion analysis system measuring limb sagittal segment angles in horses at the walk and trot. The metatarsal/metacarpal bones of two horses (20 trials) were fitted with optical system markers and an IMS. Between the systems, measuring range of motion (ROM) of the sagittal metatarsal/metacarpal bone angles, the IMS measured higher ROM than the optical system (bias 1.6°; precision at 1.96 standard deviation 1.9°). The same angle data were used to assess inter-limb symmetry by calculating phase shift between the limbs within a stride. This showed essentially no bias and the precision was 0.025%. The IMS has potential for quantification of ROM and phase shift of equine distal limb movement.