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More than a century and a half ago the urgent need for a sure-footed, easy-traveling horse was recognized by the settlers and pioneers of the Ozarks. As people migrated west from the hills and plantations of Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia they brought with them their finest possessions, including their best saddle stock. The breeding of this stock was largely Arabian, Morgan and plantation horses from the deep South. Later more American Saddle bred, Tennessee Walker and Standard breeding were added to give the Fox Trotting Horse a more pleasing appearance and disposition. The ability to travel long distances at a comfortable speed of five to eight miles an hour made the Fox Trotting Horse a favorite of the country doctor, sheriff, assessor, and stock raiser. Today the breed is in demand as a pleasure horse, show horse and for cross-country trail riding. It is often described as the common man's pleasure horse because of its gentle disposition. Many famous families of the Fox Trotting Horse have been known throughout the Ozarks and even to this day, the names of Copper Bottoms, Diamonds, Trimmers, Red Bucks, Chiefs, Steel Dusts, Cold Decks and many others are recognized by horse breeders everywhere.


The Missouri Fox Trot gait is basically a diagonal gait. The horse will perform this gait by walking in front and trotting behind with reach in each stride He may disfigure or overstep his track, provided he travels straight on all four legs and does a true Fox Trot. The Fox Trotting Horse is not a high stepping horse, but an extremely sure-footed one; and, because of the sliding action of the rear feet, rather than the hard step of other breeds, the rider experiences little jarring action and is quite comfortable in the saddle for long periods a time. The head and tail are slightly elevated, giving the animal a graceful carriage; and the rhythmic beat of the hooves, along with the nodding action of the head, give the animal an appearance of relaxation and poise. The ideal characteristics of the Fox Trot shall be that the animal will travel with animation, Fox Trot rhythm, and style. The horse will travel in a collected manner.


 The Fox Trot http://www.mfthba.com/

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Last updated 5-4-00