Genetic Selection for Gaits in the Horse

Quality and cadence of various locomotion patterns are extremely valuable traits in horses. Breeds like the Tennessee Walking Horse, Florida Cracker Horse, Mangalarga marchador, and Icelandic Pony are prized and selected for unique intermediate-speed locomotion patterns. What if genetics could help us unravel and better select for the locomotion patterns of our horses? This 4-page fact sheet discusses the connection between locomotion patterns and genetics, DMRT3 and locomotion in the horse, improvement of understanding of the gene function of DMRT3, and current as well as future applications. Written by Laura Patterson Rosa, Carissa Wickens, and Samantha A. Brooks, and published by the UF Department of Animal Sciences, May 2017.