A Hundred Years of Adaptability
(Article taken from the 1974 Mid America Fall Show Program)

The Missouri Fox Trotting Horse has been recognized as a specific breed since 1948. At present, about 6000 such horses are registered on the pages of the Official Record of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association.

The distinguishing characteristic of the Fox Trotting Horse is a broken gait, the animal walking with the front feet and trotting with the back feet. The head and tail of the Missouri Fox Trotter are slightly elevated, giving the animal a graceful carriage. The nodding action of its head lends an appearance of relaxed pose, while adding attractive rhythm and animation to its gait. Training rules for the Missouri Fox Trotter stress the importance of a smooth but springy step that produces a gliding gait without swinging.

The canter is a natural gait for the Fox Trotter and the young horses are allowed to use it during their early training.

The young Fox Trotter is broke to a good flat foot walk before the Fox Trot is perfected. Due to the fact that the fox-trot is the natural gait, most trainers encourage breaking the young fox-trotter to a brisk flat-foot walk before perfecting the fox-trot. Once the fox-trot is perfected, the young horse is capable of attaining his maximum speed-traveling at a comfortable but efficient five to eight miles per hour.

The gentle, trainable Missouri Fox Trotter is a product of over a century of careful breeding.

About 150 years ago, settlers and pioneers in the rugged Ozark hills realized the need for a sure-footed, easy-traveling horse. As they migrated, coming west from the hills and plantations of Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia, they brought with them their most prized possessions, including the best of their saddle stock.

Most of this stock were of Arabian, Morgan and plantation horses from the deep south - poised, graceful horses that responded with sensitive eagerness to training. In later years, these horses were bred with more American Saddle horses, Tennessee Walkers and Standard breeds. Thus, evolved the Missouri Fox Trotter - handsome in appearance and agreeable in disposition.

Endurance - the ability to travel long distances at a comfortable speed of five to eight miles a hour - made the Fox Trotting Horse a favorite of the country doctor, the sheriff, assessor and stock raiser.

Today, when the automobile has replaced him as a necessity, the Fox Trotter is in demand as a pleasure horse, show horse, and for cross country trail riding. His gentle temperament makes him an especially suitable pleasure horse for women and children.


Mid America Fox Trotting Horse Association
"Specializing in Preserving the Performance Gaits of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse"

Quick Links:


Mailing Address:

Mid America Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association
Attention: Two Year Old Futurity
P.O. Box 726
Republic, MO 65738

Mid America Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association
Attention: Membership
P.O. Box 726
Republic, MO 65738

Additional Info:

Connect with Us
on Social Media and Email