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Missouri Fox Trotting Horse
The Missouri Fox Trotting Horse was developed primarily from saddle horses and light harness horses in the  rugged Ozark hills during the 19th century.   Early settlers coming into the Missouri Ozarks from neighboring states of Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee, and Arkansas. needed easy riding, durable mounts that could travel long distances at a sure-footed, ground consuming gait. The pioneers brought along  with them their finest possessions, including their best saddle stock, saddle horses popular in those areas. 

Ramblin' Lemon Twist
shown winning
World Champion Jr. Stallions & Geldings

These horses were depended upon for their surefootedness in this mountainous region and their ability to do whatever was needed around the homestead, such as plowing, hauling logs, and working cattle, while at the same time able to double as a stylish buggy horse or riding horse for the family. Easy gaited stock  left their genetic imprint on the Fox Trotting Horses of the Ozarks, the American Saddle Horses of Kentucky,  Walking Horses of Tennessee, Arabian, Morgan Thoroughbreds, horses of the initial Spanish-Barb ancestry, and plantation horses from the deep South also "curly coated" horses appear relativey frequently in Fox Trotters. These breeds were combined to give the Fox Trotting Horse a smooth gait along with a pleasing appearance and disposition.

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Prime Time Murphy Brown 
Missouri Fox Trotter Mare 

Whatever the need this horse  which eventually became known as the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse proved capable and adaptable. 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. It soon became apparent that horse able to perform the easy, broken gait called the Fox Trot were the most useful in the rocky, forest covered hills of the Ozarks and selective breeding for the Fox Trot gait began. A studbook for the breed was opened in 1948 by fifteen men concerned with preserving this unique breed.. In 1958 what is now known as the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association, located at Ava, MO was reorganized and reincorporated. The Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association is now an international association with affiliate charters throughout the United States as well as many countries throughout the world.

Apache's Knight Tyme Story
NATRC and Endurance Horse.

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. 

Missouri Fox Trotting Horses are historically tied to the grazing cattle industry of the Ozarks. When automobiles made horses almost obsolete in the everyday lives of most Ozarkians, Missouri Fox Trotting Horses survived largely because the cattlemen of the region continued to use and breed them.

 The Fox Trotting Horse is not a high stepping horse, but an extremely sure-footed one. The distinguished characteristic of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse is the Fox Trot gait;  comfortable, sure-footed, sliding gait that produces very little movement in the back. The Missouri Fox Trot gait is basically a diagonal gait. The horse walks with spirited action in front while trotting with the hindlegs. The hind hooves reach well forward and touch down with a sliding movement. Over short distances, the famous Fox Trot gait produces speeds of 10 mph (16 km/h). This extremely sure footed gait gives the rider little jar since the hind feet slide into place. The Fox Trot is a rhythm gait and the horse can maintain it for long periods of time with little fatigue. 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 Missouri Fox Trotter also performs a rapid flat foot walk and canter.  No special shoeing or training is required for the Fox Trotting Horse to perform the gaits and their good disposition and trainability are among their many desirable characteristics.

The Missouri Fox Trotting Horse ranges from14 to 16 hands in height, and able to carry weight.  The neck is graceful, in proportion to length of body, and well-joined to body. The Fox Trotting Horse has a neat, clean, intelligently-shaped head; pointed ears that are well-shaped; good, large, bright eyes; and a tapered muzzle. The come in all colors, with pinto paterns common in the breed.

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Rio(de Blanco) 
Missouri Fox Trotter/Spotted Saddle Horse Fillie

Since the beginning of the breed association breeders have worked to develop the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse into the much sought after pleasure horse and show horse of today. Ninety percent of these MFTHBA registered horses are owned by people who use them for trail riding, competition and endurance riding, and pleasure riding. The Missouri Fox Trotting Horse is also acclaimed as a show horse and is recognized for its beauty and style in the show ring. Today there are more an 43,000 registered Missouri Fox Trotters located in the United States and Canada.

M.F.T.H.B.A 
PO BOX 1027 
AVA, MO 65608 
PHONE-417-683-2468 
FAX 417-683-6144 

MFTH Breed Standard


 
 
 

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