CAN A FOX TROTTER
One of the most enjoyable classes at the larger Fox Trotter shows
is the costume class. This photo shows the southern lady costume class, however
at other shows some costume classes may include funny costumes, or themes. In
order to perform in these classes the Missouri Fox Trotter must be steady and
calm, accepting all manner of strange things around him as well as on him while
at the same time required to perform at gait in the typical willing manner for
which the breed is noted. Everyone must agree that costume classes are a joy to
watch! Doubly so when the horse performs with the ease of a fox trot and flat
Over a century ago this
breed was developed primarily to work cows in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas
and Missouri. Cow sense as well as athletic ability were just as required as the
smoothness of the foxtrot gait. Though not so much in demand since the onset of
ORV cow work, the Missouri Fox Trotter is up to the challenges of cow penning,
cutting, and even roping and have exceptional concentration. This puts paid to
the assumption that a soft gaited horse is not capable of working as a real athlete!
The best part is, at the end of the day neither horse, nor rider is tired from
the pounding a normal hard trotting breed would take.
more than a century the Missouri Fox Trotter was the most common all around using
horse in the region from whence they come. Because of this and the fact that good
roads were slow coming to the Ozarks, the Missouri Fox Trotting horse makes a
fine driving animal whether for pleasure, necessity or for competition driving.
The quiet nature and willing behavior of this breed make them a wonderful choice
for driving as can be attested to by many Amish families who live in the Ozarks
and use these fine animals to drive about the countryside. Competition driving
is now included in many of the sanctioned shows for the breed including the largest
show each year held at Ava, Missouri during Labor Day week.
The sport of endurance riding is becoming more popular all the time.
In years past the crown jewels of the sport were the Arabian, however since the
advent of the Missouri Fox Trotter to the sport, many of the titles of champion
are beginning to fall upon this gaited breed. Missouri Fox Trotters have superb
stamina, superior bone and feet, and because of their efficiency in travelling
are less likely to suffer joint and tendon injuries due to the stresses of the
sport. Watch in the near future for even more titles being bestowed upon the Missouri
Fox Trotter as more of these capable animals enter the sport of endurance.
ENGLISH PLEASURE: Though naturally
soft gaited, many Missouri Fox Trotters will also perform an excellent hard trot
on cue. This enables them to perform in such classes as English Pleasure and dressage.
More and more frequently, however, open shows as well as specialty competitions
are allowing the soft fox trot to be substituted for the hard trot which is even
more welcomed to the horse as well as the rider.
For decades the Missouri Fox Trotter was the all around "using"
horse of the Ozark regions, so much so that even in today's show ring there are
classes for all ages of family members. Perhaps more importantly however, is the
fact that the Missouri Fox Trotting horse thrives on attention and affection from
it's family. It's gentle nature and quiet attitude make it a wonderful choice
as a family horse. It's smooth gait and willing behavior make it a joy for all
ages to ride and enjoy.
The crown jewel of the show ring in which the Missouri Fox Trotter performs is
the gaited classes which are divided up into many categories to accommodate the
various ages and sexes of the horses competing as well as the ages and abilities
of the riders. Nothing is more thrilling than to see a Missouri Fox Trotter performing
it's fast, smooth natural gait to the music of an organ under the lights on a
soft summer evening! The rhythm of the footfall is simply magical!!
Fox Trotter puts an end to the myth that soft gaited horses cannot perform speed
games. Missouri Fox Trotters are now competing and winning at all manner of speed
games and in the show rings the versatility classes include many of these games.
The balance and agility of these horses make them not only capable, but successful
at all manner of equine games.
Many Missouri Fox Trotters are willing jumpers and can compete favorably in classes
such as HUNTER/ JUMPER . More and more of these horses are entering into the various
disciplines and doing well! The superior bone and feet of this some of this breed
make it a good choice For this sort of endeavor.
classes in this breed are not only interesting but unique due to the fact this
breed has no standard conformation. There is a Missouri Fox Trotter for everyone
because there are so many types of conformation within the breed, not to mention
every color available in horses! One thing these model horses do have in common
is good bone, solid conformation and a pleasing useful appearance. You will not
find overblown, out of proportion horses brought before the model judges in this
breed. What you will find are quality well built animals who will go on to be
of service for many years to come.
For those who enjoy going on
packing trips the Missouri Fox Trotter is an excellent choice not only as mount,
but as pack animal. Their naturally quiet nature, sure footedness, and superior
stamina make them a wonderful packing partner. So much so that the United States
forest service has been using them for many years now nearly to the exclusion
of other breeds. Because of their wonderful bone the Missouri Fox Trotter has
the strength to carry loads as well as the endurance needed for the job. As a
hunting horse one could do no better than the calm, cooperative Missouri Fox Trotter.
is better suited as a parade horse than is the Missouri Fox Trotter. His calm
accepting nature makes him accept the noises, and excitement of crowded places
with ease while showing his beauty and style. Many drill teams as well as individuals
perform in parades every year including some of the larger ones such as the Rose
Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California. How refreshing to see these quietly spirited
animals perform while many of their counterparts in other breeds fall apart emotionally
under the strain.
Pleasure riding is a national pass-time that
SHOULD be fun, enjoyable and a real PLEASURE. However, all too often other breeds
less adapted to being such a joy to be around, can make this pass-time a drudge.
Not so the Missouri Fox Trotter who puts the PLEASURE back into the sport of riding.
the breed there are many scores of horses not only suited to ranch work, but DOING
it. All manner of ranch work from working cows to dragging brush, hauling calves
on their backs, pulling fence, or just covering ground with ease and sure footed
agility. This type of work is precisely what the breed was developed for therefore
it is no surprise they excel at it.
Whether it be competitive trail, regular trail
riding or professional trail such as the forest service nothing can beat a Missouri
Fox Trotter for comfort, sure footedness, endurance and performance. Because the
fox trot gait requires that at least two feet be on the ground at all times, the
horse moves with economy and efficiency far superior to any other breed. Because
of this ability, the Missouri Fox Trotter can cover ground easily and smoothly
outdistancing nearly anything else on long rides. They are a pleasure to own and
even more so to ride!
Compared to the real trail work, Missouri Fox Trotters take to trail
classes with ease and willingness. Calm natures and intelligence make them quick
studies for new obstacles and readily acceptant when faced with strange tasks.
WESTERN PLEASURE: Owners
of Missouri Fox Trotters all around the country are informing judges prior to
classes in open shows that they are riding a Missouri Fox Trotter and therefore
will be performing the "soft trot" during the portion of the class requiring
a horse to trot. The fox trot is actually a broken trot, therefore it has a 4
beat rhythm which makes it very comfortable and smooth to ride. Is it any wonder
these performers choose to ride a soft gait rather than a bone cruncher? Breed
shows are now including western pleasure classes as well.