CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FOXTROTTING HORSE
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 should carry with it rhythm. The head should nod, the ears should indicate the step and the tail should be part of the rhythm. The step should be springy, consistent and smooth. The up and down motion should not be noticeable, but rather a smooth gliding gait without swinging.
The Missouri Fox Trotting Horse should stand 14 to 16 hands in height, be of good conformation, and able to carry weight. The animal should stand well on its feet, be erect, wide awake and alert. The neck should be graceful, in proportion to length of body, and well-joined to body. The Fox Trotting Horse should have a neat, clean, intelligently-shaped head; pointed ears that are well-shaped; good, large, bright eyes; and a tapered muzzle. The back should be reasonably short and strong; the body deep and well-ribbed. The flank should be full; and the chest deep and full. The shoulders should be properly sloped and well-muscled. The legs should be muscular and well-tapered. The foot should be well-made, strong and in proper proportion to size a horse. The hair should be soft and silky.
PERFORMANCE OF HORSE IN FOX TROT
The Fox Trot will be performed in stylish collected manner by walking in front and trotting behind with reach in each stride (front and rear). The back feet must exhibit a sliding action in order to keep beat of the gait. The horse will carry its head slightly elevated having as much rhythmic head motion as possible. This head motion should always be in time with the movement of the feet. The ears should be relaxed. The tail will be carried naturally elevated and should be in rhythm to the Fox Trot beat. The natural rhythm of the horse starts at the tip of the nose and goes back to the tip of the tail in one continuous motion.
Reprinted from "Official Rules for Judging and Exhibiting the Missouri Foxtrotting Horse"
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