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 walk gait…





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.



For 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.

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!!



The Missouri 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.




Model 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.





NO breed 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.




Within 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.

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.





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