The Missouri Foxtrotting Horse
In 1948, the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association was formed to preserve this all-American horse following the scramble to discard saddle horses for automobiles as the main means of transportation. Today, there are more than 80,000 registered Fox Trotting Horses found across the United States, Canada, and many foreign countries. As pleasure riding continues its rise in popularity, so does the Missouri Fox Trotter!
The Missouri Fox Trotting Horse is proud of its American heritage and proud to be an American favorite trail riding horse. Approximately 90% of registered Missouri Fox Trotting Horses are used for family pleasure riding. Because of their stamina and smooth ground-covering gaits, they have also become very popular with field trial competitors and those involved in the sport of long distance trail riding. Missouri Fox Trotting Horses are naturally gaited. No special shoeing or training is required to make them perform their smooth flat foot walk, fox trot or rocking chair canter. They are easy to handle, easy to train and easy riding. All you have to do is ride one... and soon you will own one!
The Missouri Fox Trotting Horse was developed because early Ozark Mountain settlers needed a smooth, quick riding horse that was also sure-footed enough to handle rocky, hazardous terrain. The laterally gaited horses-those who running walk, pace, stepping pace or rack were all smooth to ride, but couldn't perform their gaits as well under rough riding conditions like the saddle horses that could perform a fox trot. Thus, Ozark horsemen developed the ultimate sure-footed smooth riding saddle horse from the laterally-gaited breeds such as the American Saddle Horse, Standardbred, and Tennessee Walking Horse, and crossed them with good hard trotting breeds such as the Morgan, Thoroughbred, and Arabian horse breeds. These efforts resulted in an extremely comfortable, intelligent, and beautiful horse that was hardy enough for the cattle rancher, yet stylish enough to go to town with pride! The Missouri Fox Trotter travels with his head and tail slightly elevated giving the animal a graceful carriage. The rhythmic beat of their hooves, along with the nodding action of the head, give these horses an appearance of relaxation and poise.
Old timers call the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse a "people horse" that was bred to be gentle, loving and willing to please. Missouri Fox Trotting Horses are extremely intelligent and have the heart and stamina to attempt any task asked of them. Their versatility and conformation allows them to drive a surrey, work cattle or travel miles and miles. And they can do all of these things with true Fox Trot rhythm and style!