The Missouri Fox Trotter is an interesting horse breed developed in Missouri in the United States of America. This breed, with its medium body stature, is primarily used for trail riding as well as working on the farms or ranches.
|Other Names||Fox Trotter, MFT|
|Temperament and Personality||Docile, calm, reliable, placid, good-natured disposition, loves human company|
|Physical Characteristics/Description||Straight face profile, muscular body, medium-length neck ending in withers, well-shaped pointed ears, bright eyes, tapered muzzle, sloped shoulders, short back and sturdy legs, well-proportioned and properly shaped hooves|
|Colors||Black, roan, champagne, brown, cremello, grullo, dun, palomino, buckskin, perlino, coupled with white markings on the face and leg|
|Common Use||Trail riding, pleasure riding, field trials, riding programs for the physically challenged, endurance riding and competition.|
|Weight||410kg to 520 kg on an average|
|Life Span/Expectancy||20 to 30 years (while some live for more than 30 or even 40 years )|
|Height (Size)||14 to 16 hands ( 142cm to 163 cm; 56 inches to 64 inches)|
|Health||Generally healthy horses with no known breed-related health problems or diseases but vet checkups along with vaccinations to prevent certain common diseases like equine viral arthritis strangles and influenza|
|Gaited||Performs an ambling gait called the fox-trot that is a four-beat diagonal gait; another gait is the flat foot walk conducted in a lateral step sequence and canter that is a three beat rhythmic gait|
|Popular Traits||Tolerant to situations of any kind, sure-footed, have a high stamina as well as a smooth gait.|
|Feeding/Diet||Hay and grain like most horse breeds|
|Country of Origin||Missouri, United States|
|Ancestors/Bloodlines||American saddle breed, Tennessee Walking Horse, Morgan, Arabian and Standardbred|
|Year/Time of Development||Developed around the 19th century with the breed registration beginning in 1948|
|Breed Information||Registered by the MFTHBA (Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association)|
The development of this breed began in the rugged terrain of the Ozark Mountains in the 19th century by the settlers who mostly arrived from Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. In fact, they needed horses that were durable, easy to ride and could travel for long distances at a sure-footed and stable gait. When Missouri had achieved its statehood in the year 1821, the settlers who came here brought along with them saddle horses that were highly accessible and suitable in those regions. It soon came to observed they possessed a remarkable capacity for performing an easy and broken gait known as the “fox trot” that was highly convenient in the rocky Ozark hills covered with forests. This particular breed also was of great use to the cattlemen because of their smooth movements and capacity of working with the cattle.
In the year 1948, the MFTHBA (Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association) had been founded in Ava, Missouri for the purpose of registering horses having fox-trot like gait along with other specified physical attributes. The first set of these horses was exported to Europe during the 1950s. By 2002, they went on to be the state horse of Missouri officially. They were not only observed in the whole of United States but also in Canada and many countries of Europe. The number of registered horses by the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association until 2012 is greater than 97,000.
The EMFTHA (European Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Association), affiliated to the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association, developed in Europe in the year 1992. By 2009, Europe had about 350 horses belonging to this breed, whereas 350 of them had been living in Germany.
The Foundation Fox Trotter Heritage Association formed in 2006 had a goal of promoting and preserving the original Fox Trotter breed observed in the initial 20 years of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association registry. They wanted to minimize the Tennessee Walking Horse blood as they were looking for a breed that had a closer resemblance to the original Fox Trotter.