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Riding the Missouri Fox Trotter

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Tags: Missouri Fox Trotter, Competition, Show, Medical, Grooming, Behavior

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The Missouri Fox Trotter is native to the United States. This animal is a picture of elegance and grace; its normal gait is in a diagonal line. The front legs walk and the back legs trot behind. The rider does not bounce up and down, but rather moves in a rhythmic gliding motion. Its graceful appearance is accentuated by its proudly raised head and elevated tail. A Missouri Fox Trotter should be 14 to 16 hands high to carry the weight of an adult rider.

The Missouri Fox Trotter is often entered into horse shows, and is known for its intelligence, poise, grace, and beauty in the show ring. Its form stands out as a work of art; its back is short and sturdy; its shoulders are sloped to perfection and well formed. From head to toe this horse is poetry in motion. The rider experiences a smooth, rhythmic ride.

The Missouri Fox Trotter is probably most loved as trail riders. 90 percent of the folks that own Missouri Fox Trotters ride them on trails, just for pleasure riding. If you own a Missouri Fox Trotter you know how much fun they are to ride. They are sure footed, have a gentle nature, and if you are a novice at riding you will learn very quickly how pleasurable it is to ride. Even young children can learn to ride the Missouri Fox Trotter because of their gentle nature.

The bloodline of these amazing horses comes from the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, Kentucky and Arkansas. Their surefootedness gave them the ability to work however was needed in that region. They could pull buggies, plow fields, haul logs, herd cattle, or be ridden for family fun. The Missouri Fox Trotter is as agile and able bodied to work, ride and show now as it was in the pioneer days.

Before saddling your Missouri Fox Trotter, you should always groom it first to be sure its coat is free of any dirt or debris that could cause discomfort from the pressure of the saddle and the rider. Always check your animal for saddle sores, and if there are sores, let the sores heal before saddling and riding. After the area has healed be sure to place extra padding over this area. Be sure when sliding the blanket or padding over the horse's back to slide it in the direction of the way the hair grows and not against it. Sliding against the direction of hair growth will cause pinching, and your horse would feel much discomfort.

When you are ready to saddle, approach the right side and lower the stirrup and cinch across the side and then center the saddle on the horse's back. When you walk around to fasten the saddle, always let your horse know you are there. Make contact with the rear of the horse so it won't be likely to be startled and maybe kick you by accident.

As with any horse, it is good to spend time getting to know your Missouri Fox Trotter. Building trust and rapport between horse and rider is essential. Take time to look into your horse's eyes and see the wisdom there. With love, compassion, and temperance you will always have a special bond with this wonderful horse.

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