Originally Posted by Celeste
If your mare carries a gene for gaiting, you have a 50% chance of getting a gaited foal. If she comes totally from nongaited lines, she has no chance of having a gaited foal. It is most likely a straight recessive gene. I did breed a TWH to an Arab, and the foal, though nongaited, was a very nice horse with a smooth trot.
This presumes that there is a single gene for gaiting. I'm not sure that has been proven at this point.
Gait exists on a continuum. It is a series of positions on a line between the true trot and the true pace. Put another way, it's a "non trot." So maybe the scientists should look for a trotting gene vice a "gait" gene?
To visualize gait, draw a line on a piece of paper, maybe eight inches long. On the right end of the line make a mark and label it “trot.” On the left end make a mark and label it “pace.” In the center make a mark and label it “center gait.” Now we have a “template” where we can place the different ways of going of the different types of gaited horses. This will allow a comparison without getting lost in breed-specific terminology. It also calls into question the existence of a "gait" gene.
We North Americans are mostly familiar with laterally gaited horses. That may skew a lot of thinking. In reality there are also soft diagonal
gaits. Does the same gene cause these? Is there a different gene? Or is there no gene at all for gait but rather one for the trot? Personally, I don't know. But the questions are valid.