Originally Posted by sarah wood
I'd say any horse is capable of a gait, whether they're naturally gaited or not. Some of the naturally gaited horses gait in the field and others you only ever see gait under saddle. When I first started riding gaited horses, the folks I was riding with explained to me that I needed to get the horse to collect, and then they'd get in their gait. That meant that I needed to give a little pressure with my legs and a little pressure in their mouth, not much, and that would put them in their gait. I wouldn't want to go trail riding with a horse that had to be constantly convinced to gait, but the trick works when you're training them or getting them in the groove. You could try that with your horse to see if he'll do it at all.
Peacefully commenting on the other side of that coin:
I own three Tennessee Walkers who range in age from coming 13 to 21-1/2 and all with different blood lines. I have never had to collect any of them up to get them in their gaits.
I am sure breeds whose standards allow for trotting and gaiting need to be collected up, but breeds whose standards don't allow for trotting should not have to constantly be collected up to gait. Maybe when they are young, but again, I've owned two of my three since they were coming three year olds and neither ever had to be collected up to get them into their gait
They all gait at liberty in the pasture but two of them will mimic my trotting Arab if they happen to be behind him