American horses

Gaited American horses developed around 1820 in Missouri where it takes its name.

The Missouri Fox Trotter boasts influences of Thoroughbred, Arab, and Morgan bloodlines.

Originally, the Missouri horse was bred to race, but later Saddle bred and Tennessee walker blood were introduced to produce a very sure-footed, comfortable smooth-moving horse to ride over long distances.

In 1948, the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association (MFTHBA) was founded, with an open stud book that registered all horses with the fox trot gait and other specified physical characteristics


In 1982, the stud book was closed, allowing only horses from registered parents to be entered.

In 1992, the European Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Association  was formed as the Fox Trotter association for Europe and an affiliate of the MFTHBA.


Missouri horse photos


The Fox trotter has a unique gait, the Fox trot.

It walks in front, while trotting behind, while the hind feet slide forward from behind so over the track of the forefeet.

This sliding action reduces the amount of movement in the back so the rider sits comfortably in the saddle and experiences a smoother ride.

Weighting of the feet or specially designed shoes are not permitted under breed society rules.

In showing classes, the breed is judged 40% on the fox trot, 20% given to walk, 20% in canter and 20% on conformation.

It stands between 14 – 16hh (1.42m –1.63m).

All solid coat colours are permitted with Chestnut being predominant, and also including most pinto spotting patterns, but do not exhibit Appaloosa colouring.

They are very popular with forest rangers and pleasure riders.


The horses are typically shown in western-style performance classes, Western and English Pleasure, show jumping, ranch, driving, versatility, and halter classes.

Many are used for pleasure and trail riding.

Their disposition is even and very gentle, and they are very versatile, which is why the breed is now being used for long-distance competitive trail riding.

They are also increasingly used in the sport of driving.

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