Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Provo, Utah. About 40 miles south of Salt Lake City
• Horses: 0
I'm not an expert, but I do have 4 gaited horses, one of which is a two time reserve world champion in western and English pleasure.
While gaited horses are born with the ability and disposition to perform all of the lateral gaits, most still have to be "trained" to gait on a consistent basis. I checked with some other very knowledgeable TWH people and they all seemed to feel that the ability to gait can come from either the sire or mare. They've seen it work both ways and seen it not work both ways as well. It seems to depend more on the horse with the most dominant genes.
You get a "gaited" mule by breeding a male donkey to a gaited horse. The resulting mule will have the ability to gait to a degree, but seldom if ever to the degree of a true gaited horse. Like the gaited horses, it will usually take a fair amount of training to get the mule to approach the gait of a truly gaited horse.
I hope this helps a little.
BTW, I grew up out west where quarter horses and Arabians rule the land, and rode one or the other until I was in my 50s. Then I discovered the TWH trail horse and I'll never go back. You really have to experience the ride to appreciate how different it is. Then you can make a decision for yourself.