Missouri Fox Trotter
Descended from Thoroughbred, Arab and Morgan, this compact horse takes its
name from its unusual broken gait, and the area where it was produced. The
horse was originally bred by the settlers in the Ozarc hill region of
Missouri as an all-purpose saddle horse. The 'Fox Trot' is a gait of a walk
with the forelegs and a trot with the hinds, an apparently comfortable pace
over a long distance and quite fast, up to 16km/h - 10mph. The hind feet
glide over the ground, unlike the normal jarring action of a trot, in a
smooth, comfortable and less tiring fashion, giving the horse the ability
for extended periods of travel.
The breed may be any colour though chestnut and sorrel and sorrel with white
markings are most common. The height is between 14 and 16 h.h. The Missouri
Fox Trotter has an intelligent head with large, bright eyes, a tapered
muzzle and well shaped ears; the neck is graceful and well proportioned; it
has sloping well muscled shoulders; a short strong back; a deep, full chest
and deep girth and body; the limbs are strong and muscular; the feet are
well shaped and strong.
In recent years American Saddle Horse and Tennessee Walking Horse blood has
been introduced to the breed. Today the breed is used for pleasure, trail or
long distance riding and in the show ring. Show classes are judged on 40%
for the fox trot, 20% for the flat walk, 20% for the canter and 20% for
conformation. There is a different marking system for two year olds; they
are judged 50% for the fox trot, 25% for walk and 25% for conformation.