Missouri Fox Trotter or Fox Trotter horse is a gaited American horse breed that originated in the Ozark mountain areas of Missouri. The horse is characterized by an unsteady gait ‘fox trotting’ the horse walks briskly with the front feet and trotting with the hind feet. The settlers developed the horse in the 19th century from some gaited and light horse breeds. The horse breed was developed for work initially but is now widely used for riding.
Origin and History of Missouri Fox Trotter Horse
Missouri Fox Trotter was developed in 1824 in Ozark mountain areas of Missouri by settlers. The horse was developed initially from a few hard-working and gaited horse breeds like Kentucky Mountain Saddle, Tennessee Walking, and Virginia. Later the horse was crossbred with Morgan, Arabian, American Saddlebred, and Thoroughbred horse. The horse became popular with cattlemen due to its smooth gait in undulating terrain.
The Missouri Fox Trotting horse Breed Association (MFTHBA) was formed in 1948 in Ava, Missouri. The associated registered the horses with fox trotting gaits. The horse was imported to Europe in 1950 when Queen Elizabeth brought some Palomino hoses to England. The horse is the official state horse of Missouri horses. The horses were distributed throughout the United States of America, Canada, and some European countries. The MFTHBA had more than 97,000 horses in 2012 and more than 8,000 members in their society.
Physical Characteristics of Missouri Fox Trotter Horse
The face of the horse is straight, the body is muscular, and the back is short. The shoulders of Fox Trotter are powerful and sloppy, the neck is medium in length, the chest is complete, and the legs are sturdy. The horse kept their head and tail consistently high and kept its ears pointed, giving the horse a regal look.
How Big is a Missouri Fox Trotter?
The Fox Trotter horse is a medium-sized horse breed, and the average height of the horse is about 14 to 16 hands (56 to 64 inches). The horses also have a pony version whose height is 11 to 14 hands (44 to 56 inches). The average body weight of the horse is from 900 to 1200 pounds.
Color and Markings Fox Trotter
The Fox Trotter horse breed found all solid colors of the horses like bay, brown, chestnut, black, grey, and Pinto. The horse is well known for its white marking on the face and legs. The color pattern of the horse breed is broad.
Behavior and Temperament of Fox Trotting Horse
The horses were bred initially from working horse breeds, and they are even temperament. They are sturdy, calm, well-behaved, easily trainable, and sure-footed. The horse had exceptionally smooth gaits that gave super comfort to its rider. The usual lifespan of the horse is between 20 to 30 years.
Health and Care of Missouri Trotting
The horse is generally healthy and affected by only general horse diseases. There is no specific disease for this breed. The horse is developed in mountainous areas and can adjust itself in any environment easily. They require minimum food and care. If you groom your horse daily, it will keep your horse healthy and free from many diseases. The horse must be vaccinated against equine diseases.
Gaits of Trotting Horse Breed
The horse is famous for its fox trotting gait. The horse gives comfort and smooth riding to its rider. The horses have the following unique gaits:
- Flat Foot Walk. It is a four-beat lateral succession with low speed. The smoothness of the gait is more critical than the speed.
- Fox Trotting Gait. In this gait, the horse walks with the front foot and trots with the hind feet. It is a four-footed diagonal gait.
- Lope or Canter. It is a three-beat gait of Fox Trotter with a rounded beat and speed. This is the most common gait of all gaited horse breeds.
- Show Canter. It is a three-beat gaited canter where the horse show more height of the head than the desirable level.
- Tail Walk. This is a relaxed walk on a longer rein of the horse. The horse keeps its head down.
What is Missouri Fox Trotting used for?
The Fox Trotter horse is one of the most versatile and popular gaited-horse breeds. The uses of the horses are:
- The horse is widely used for trail riding due to its excessive stamina and smooth gaits.
- They are used for amateur riders, kids, and ladies.
- The horse is used for therapeutic horse riding.
- The horse is used for breeding gaited mules.
- The United States Forest Service utilizes the horse for its stamina, speed, and smooth gaits.
- The horse participated yearly Missouri Fox Trotting Horse show, and around 1400 horses participated in this show.
Final Advice on Fox Trotter Horse
The Fox Trotter is a well-behaved and gentle horse breed of America. Though the horse developed in Missouri due to its exceptional qualities, it spread throughout the United States and Canada. The horses were also famous in European countries, especially in Germany. The horse has unbelievable strength and stamina. You can choose the horse as your family pack.