Missouri Fox Trotter
One of the oldest and probably least known American breeds is the Missouri Fox Trotter. When settlers moved west across the Mississippi in 1820 and settled on the Ozark Plateau in Missouri, the foundations of this breed were already being laid. It was not until 1948 that a studbook was established for this breed and within 30 years contained more than 30,000 registrations.
From the hills and plantations in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, the settlers moved west across the Mississippi in 1820. They settled on the Ozark Plateau in Missouri. The settlers were people who were very fond of equestrian sports. During their trek west they had English Thoroughbreds, Morgans and Arabs with them. The mares of these breeds were crossed with the best and fastest stallions. The Missouri Fox Trotter was bred to be a riding horse with smooth gaits. With these corridors one could comfortably cover long distances over uneven terrain.
An extra hallway
The settlers wanted a strong horse that could cover long distances over uneven terrain. Such a horse must have great stamina and smooth gaits so that it does not exhaust itself and the rider. The unique and characteristic foxtrot is the result of expert inbreeding and line breeding and the addition of Saddlebred blood. It is a broken trot that provides great security. It is actually an active step from the front and a trot from behind. The back hooves come over the prints of the front hooves. The back remains virtually still because the sliding, straight movement absorbs shocks in the lower legs and reduces the movement in the back. In this way the rider can sit quietly in the saddle. This extra corridor can reach a speed of 16 km / h over short distances and 8-12 km / h over long distances. The horse’s head makes a nodding movement during the foxtrot and the slightly raised tail moves rhythmically.
The Missouri Fox Trotter has many variations in the walk. These include the trot walk, flat foot walk, pace and pace walk. At the pace, a clean 2-stroke gait, the left and right legs move alternately. Left front leg and left rear leg are lifted and put down at the same time. The head moves alternately from left to right. The pace walk is a 4-stroke. The forefoot and rear foot are lifted at the same time, but the rear foot is put down earlier. This is very similar to the flat foot walk, which can be compared to a 4-stroke step. The hindquarters must be clearly placed over the prints of the forefeet. It is important that it is done in a sliding motion.
The trot-walk is a 4-stroke gait, the horse appears to be trotting in slow motion and the head clearly moves. The canter of the Missouri Fox Trotter has a 3-stroke, this gait is ridden with a high carried tail and head. The Missouri Fox Trotter also has the faster and flatter canter, this is called the lope and is a 4-stroke canter.
The Missouri Fox Trotter has an average height of 1.40m to 1.65m. All coat colors are allowed, but the most common is fox of all shades. To do the foxtrot properly, the Missouri Fox Trotter needs a fairly long back. Furthermore, it is a compact and well-built horse.
It has a fine head with well-formed, pointed ears and a narrow mouth. The chest is deep and broad. The sloping, strong shoulders and the rounded withers provide the flat movements. They have good hooves that can withstand a variety of gaits. The body is well muscled, rather deep and noticeably spacious. The back legs have a fairly heavy build and longer legs are normal for this breed. The hindquarters are quite broad seen from behind and the croup is sloping and very muscular.