Missouri Foxtrotter: Breed Profile

| Updated: January 15, 2023

Origin and History:

The Missouri Foxtrotter is a breed of horse with roots in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. It is a mix of a variety of breeds, including the American Saddlebred, Morgan, Standardbred, and Tennessee Walker, and is characterized by its smooth, distinctive four-beat gait known as the ‘foxtrot’. The breed was first developed in the late 1800s by farmers in the Ozark Mountains who needed a horse that was strong, sure-footed, and able to maneuver the rugged terrain.

The Missouri Foxtrotter was made famous by the renowned horseman, Colonel J.G. Taylor, who used them in his traveling horse show in the early 1900s. He was so impressed with the breed’s intelligence, agility, and willingness to learn that he set up the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association in 1915. This was the first registry of the breed and it is still in operation today.

Physical Characteristics:

The Missouri Fox Trotter is a beautiful, hardy horse with a unique gait. It is known for its smooth and comfortable ride, making it a favorite of trail riders. The horse has a strong and muscular build and stands between 14.2 and 16 hands high. It comes in a variety of colors including sorrel, bay, black, brown, chestnut, and roan. The breed is also known for its long life expectancy, with many horses living well into their twenties. The Missouri Fox Trotter is an intelligent and loyal horse that makes a great companion and mount. With its good nature and intelligence, it is a great breed for riders of all levels.

Unique Characteristics:

The Missouri Foxtrotter is an American horse breed that is known for its unique characteristics. It is a breed that stands out from the rest with its smooth gait, strength, and agility. The breed is known for its four-beat, lateral gait that is incredibly smooth and comfortable to ride. Their gait makes them the ideal horse for trail riding and long-distance riding. The breed is also known for its strength and intelligence. They are known to be quite sure-footed and are willing to work hard for their riders. They have an easygoing nature that makes them ideal family horses. They also have a distinctive fox-like head and a short, broad back. Missouri Foxtrotters are also known for their flashy colorations and showy manes and tails. This breed is truly a unique breed that stands out from the crowd.

Interesting Facts:

Missouri Foxtrotters are some of the most fascinating horses in the world! Here are 5 interesting facts about them that may surprise you.

1. Missouri Foxtrotters originated in the Ozarks of Missouri in the 19th century, and are known for their smooth gait which is a four-beat broken diagonal that can be performed at many speeds.

2. Missouri Foxtrotters have an even temperament and are known for being trustworthy and dependable horses.

3. They come in a variety of colors, including palomino, black, buckskin, bay, and blue roan.

4. Missouri Foxtrotters are known for their intelligence and ability to learn quickly, making them excellent horses for beginners and experienced riders alike.

5. Missouri Foxtrotters are also used for a variety of different activities, such as trail riding, ranch work, and competitive events.

Sports and Competitions:

The Missouri Foxtrotter is an all-around horse that is as versatile as it is beautiful. With its unique four-beat gait, the Foxtrotter is an ideal horse for many sports, including dressage, show jumping, and eventing. With its smooth, comfortable ride and stylish looks, the Foxtrotter is a popular choice for those looking for a horse capable of competing in a variety of disciplines. Its even temperament and athleticism make the Foxtrotter a great choice for those who want to compete in the show ring or the open fields. Whether you’re looking to show your Foxtrotter or just enjoy a leisurely trail ride, the Foxtrotter has a lot to offer. It’s no wonder these horses are beloved by riders all over the world!

Diet and Nutrition:

The Missouri Foxtrotter is a majestic and beloved breed of horse, and with any horse, it’s important to be aware of their dietary and nutritional needs. This breed has specific dietary requirements that should be taken into account when deciding what to feed them. They should have a diet that is high in fiber and low in fat and sugar, as this will help them maintain a healthy weight and keep their energy levels up. A balanced diet should also be provided to ensure they are getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals they need. Additionally, they should have access to plenty of clean, fresh water. Feeding them quality hay, grass, and grains will help them remain in peak condition. Finally, to help ensure their long-term health, regular visits to the veterinarian are highly recommended. With the right diet and nutrition, the Missouri Foxtrotter can live a long and healthy life, and continue to be a beloved breed for years to come.

Common Health Issues:

The Missouri Foxtrotter is an amazing and hardy breed, but like any horse, it can suffer from common health issues from time to time. As a responsible horse owner, it is important to be aware of the signs of these issues so you can take proactive steps to keep your Foxtrotter in the best of health.

One common health issue with Foxtrotters is navicular disease, which is caused by inflammation of the navicular bone in the hoof. Signs of navicular disease include lameness and pain in the front hooves. If you think your Foxtrotter might be suffering from navicular disease, it is important to take them to your vet for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Another issue to look out for is Equine Recurrent Uveitis (ERU). This condition is an inflammation of the eye and can cause pain and sensitivity to light. Symptoms of ERU can include redness of the eyes.


Grooming your Missouri Foxtrotter is a great way to keep your horse looking and feeling his or her best. Regular grooming helps keep the coat healthy, free of debris and dirt, and comfortable for your horse. Start by brushing your horse with a soft brush to remove loose hair, dirt, and debris. Be sure to get around the legs and belly, where dirt and debris can accumulate. Move on to a rubber curry comb and use circular motions to massage the muscles and remove any remaining dirt and debris. Don’t forget to pay attention to the mane and tail – use a metal comb to detangle and a detangler spray to make sure it’s soft and shiny. After you finish brushing, use a damp cloth to wipe down your horse, removing any remaining dirt and debris. Finally, finish up with a coat conditioner to keep the coat looking healthy and shiny! With some regular grooming, your Missouri Foxtrotter will look and feel its best!

Famous Examples:

The Missouri Foxtrotter is one of the most famous gaited horses in the world and has been featured in many media and history books. This breed of horse is known for its smooth ride and unique four-beat gait called the foxtrot. This breed is native to the Ozarks region and was developed by settlers in the 1800s. The Missouri Foxtrotter is a popular horse for trail riding, show jumping, and dressage. It is also known for its strength and agility. One of the most famous Missouri Foxtrotters in history was Misty, the lead horse in the classic movie Misty of Chincoteague. The movie was released in 1961 and featured a wild foal that was eventually broken and trained to carry riders. Misty was so popular that a bronze statue of her was erected in Chincoteague in 1965. To this day, the Missouri Foxtrotter remains a popular breed for its gentle nature, intelligence, and reliability.

Where to Adopt or Buy:

If you’re looking for a beautiful, intelligent, versatile horse with natural grace and a calm, gentle disposition, then a Missouri Foxtrotter might be the perfect horse for you! If you’re in the market to adopt or buy one of these majestic animals, you’re in luck! There are several places to find Missouri Foxtrotters. You can start by checking out horse rescue organizations that may have these horses available for adoption. Many of these horses come from situations of neglect or abuse, so you’re not only giving a beautiful horse a home, but you’re also giving one a second chance. You can also find Missouri Foxtrotters for sale from breeders, trainers, and private owners. Be sure to do your research and find a reputable source, as you want to make sure you’re getting a healthy and happy horse. With a little bit of effort, you’ll be able to find the perfect Missouri Foxtrotter for you and your family!


The Missouri Foxtrotter is truly an amazing breed! From their unique coloring to their smooth, rhythmic gait, this horse is a special breed that is sure to make a lasting impression. They are known for their loyalty and intelligence, and their willingness to please is unmatched. Overall, the Missouri Foxtrotter is a great choice for any horse enthusiast, from the novice to the advanced rider. They have the stamina and heart to make a wonderful companion and are an ideal choice for a wide variety of activities from pleasure riding to trail riding. If you’re looking for a horse that is sure to bring a smile to your face, the Missouri Foxtrotter is an excellent choice!


Missouri Foxtrotters are truly a unique breed of horse! These horses are known for their smooth and easy four-beat gait, making them a popular choice for riders looking for a comfortable ride. If you’re interested in learning more about this breed, you’ve come to the right place! Here are some commonly asked questions about Missouri Foxtrotters:

What is a Missouri Foxtrotter?

A Missouri Foxtrotter is a breed of horse that originated in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. They are known for their distinctive four-beat gait, which is smooth and easy to ride.

Where can I find Missouri Foxtrotters?

Missouri Foxtrotters can be found all over the world, although they are most common in the United States. There are many breeders and trainers who specialize in this breed, so finding one should not be too difficult.

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