Mid America Rule Book - page 7

proportion to the size of the horse. The overall condition of the horse should be reflected
by its demeanor, body weight, muscular definition and tone, hair coat, and the feet. In
form to function, good conformation permits the gaits to be performed in the proper
manner. Proper conditioning and correct conformation will permit the horse to carry
weight for an extended period of time, in comfort to the rider.
Section 2. Fox Trot
The fox trot has a motion and rhythm that carries from the nose through the tail. The fox
trot gait will be performed in a stylish collected manner by walking in front and trotting
behind with striding reach, both front and rear. There should not be excessive animation,
nor should there be climbing or exaggerated knee motion in the front legs. The back feet
will exhibit a sliding action resulting from the horse breaking at the hocks. The horse
will disfigure or overstep his track, and shall travel straight on all four legs. The head
will be carried slightly elevated, with rhythmic motion in time with the movement of the
rear feet. The tail will be carried naturally, and should emphasize the rhythm of the gait.
The exceptional rhythm of the fox trotting horse begins at the tip of the nose with the
characteristic headshake and continues back through the ripple of the tail.
Section 3. Flat Foot Walk
The flat foot walk shall be a flat, four beat gait performed in a square, stylish manner.
The gait is to be accomplished with animation, over striding the front track. There is to
be reach in each stride, front and rear. A four beat gait is distinctly different from the fox
trot which has a broken rhythm. When correctly performing the flat foot walk, you will
hear a steady, equal four beat cadence produced by the hooves, the head shake will be
more animated than in the fox trot, and the rider will be getting a smooth ride.
Section 4. Canter
The canter is a three beat gait and shall be performed in a straight, collected manner with
the head and tail slightly elevated. The horse shall travel with a forward rolling motion
while on the correct lead, both front and rear. The three-beat gait is performed with a
rocking motion, starting from the outside rear foot, then to the inside rear-outside front
combination, and then to the inside front foot. The head should be at its lowest point
when the inside front foot is on the ground. The canter is not a fast moving gait, and the
horse should appear relaxed and move freely.
Section 5. Overview
The exhibition of the horse in the show ring should present the Missouri Fox Trotting
Horse performing the gaits in the proper manner. While a degree of latitude may be
given in the show arena, the correctness of the gaits and the equitation and comfort of the
rider is necessary to showcase our great horse to its best advantage.
1,2,3,4,5,6 8,9,10,11,12,13
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