About the Missouri Foxtrotter
The Missouri Foxtrotter is a very special gaited horse and America’s trailhorse No. 1.
In the beginning of the 19th century during the settlement in the Ozarc Mountains the pioneers needed surefooted, frugal and easy horses.
When people moved from the plantations in the South to the West they brought some of their best horses with them. The Foxtrotter developed out of different breeds such as Arab, Morgan and other breeds of the south. Later American Standardbreds and Tennessee Walking Horses were mixed into the breed to give them a more elegant look and more spectacular gaits for the show.
The ability to cover huge distances in a high speed with a comfortable gait for the rider made the Foxtrotter a popular horse for doctors, sheriffs, accountants and cattle breeders.
Until today the Missouri Foxtrotter is the favored horse for the hard job of forest rangers and cowboys. Therefore they are also called “Cowboys Cadillac” or “Cowboys Rolls Royce”.
The special advantages through gait and character were also discovered by trail and hobby riders. The Foxtrotter is a calm, surefooted, frugal horse for the whole family and love to work and cooperate with their humans.
Gaits of the Missouri Foxtrotter
The walk is a flat, natural 4-beat gait.
The flat foot walk is also a 4-beat and a little bit faster than the walk. In this gait the Foxtrotter often shows a headshake in the rhythm of the movement. The intensity of the headshake can be different on every horse.
The foxtrot gave the breed its name. It is a diagonal 4-beat gait in the following order: right hind, left front -short break- left hind, right front. The horse gives the impression to walk in front and trot in the hind. Here also the headshake and a wave like tail movement is typical for the gait. A well trained horse can do many miles in the foxtrot without showing any signs of debility.
The canter is a smooth gallop (3-beat movement) with upward motion in the forehand. He reminds of a rocking horse.
The lope should be smooth and relaxed in its movements.