Foxtrotter Trail Horse
November 20, 2022

Best trail horse breed – Improve your trail experience

People from all walks of life are getting out and enjoying nature from horseback. Horseback riding is an excellent sport for physical activity as well as mental relaxation. So, getting started you need to know what is the best trail horse breed? The Missouri Fox trotter trail horse is the horse for trail riding.

What makes the Missouri Fox trotter so desirable?

Fox Trotters have four gaits that give the rider the ability to walk along with any quarter type of horse without running off and leaving them. However you have a second gait that is also a walk but it’s a gaited walk. It is still a four beat gait but a faster smooth walk that enables you to cover more territory in a smooth nice walk. The Missouri Fox Trot horse when asked to trot moves up into a gait that is a trot on the rear feet and a walk in the front. You are not bounced out of the saddle like a non gaited horse. The movement is a forward and back movement which is quite comfortable. This is comparative in speed with your quarter horse type of trot. Lastly your Fox trotter has the lope which can range in speed from a lope or canter to an extended lope or a hand gallop as well.

Missouri Fox trotters are typically a nice size horse.

Fox trotter horses range in size but typically a nice size trail horse would be 14’2 to 15’2 hands tall. These horses are built sturdy in the front end thus you feel like you have a horse under saddle. Their natural gait gives a nice stride in the front legs with a flatter knee action than other gaited type of horse. Horses with good hind quarters give strength and drive from their back legs and rump. The typical Foxtrotting horse has a nice plump rear end giving the apple look. This gives you the stamina for trail riding and long distances. As well as being able to handle the terrain of a trail ride in the mountains or foothills.

Great Minds think alike.

The mind of any horse is the key feature you will desire. Horses have a flight or fight action, you will want a horse that is able to assess the situation before taking action. A horse that will rely on you for the command. Fox trotter horses have a mind that is slower than some breeds thus making it easier for you to be the leader. As a herd animal all horses understand the basic principle of a herd pecking order. A horse that will melt so to speak and give you the leadership role is the horse that makes a great team with the rider. A confident horse that will allow you to choose the path and that will not mind leaving the pack of horses is a must. Picking a horse with a great mind will help you to go far in your trail experience. I have found that the mind of the fox trotter horse tends to be a slower, less likely to spook and easier to lead.

Sure footed horses.

Trail horses that have nice strong legs and feet make a horse that will be more sure-footed and that is a definite plus when riding on the trails. The fox trotter legs are typically strong with nice solid feet that can be ridden with or without shoes. Fox trotter horses gait naturally so there is not need for special shoeing to create your nice smooth ride. There is no additional movement in the joints to cause wear and tear on the joints. This horse is built to be a work horse and is built to cover many miles and still be a sound horse. While they are graceful and beautiful they are built to withstand rigorous activity and riding without stressing them to a point of lameness.

The versatility of the breed.

Whether you are trail riding, sorting cattle, showing or just wanting a horse to love, you have found the breed you will fall in love with owning. The Missouri Fox trotter Horse Breed Association has shows twice a year that have numerous events for the trail riding owners. There is also national trail rides sanctioned by the Missouri Fox trotter Horse Breed Association. The versatility arena events include; western pleasure, english pleasure, obstacle courses, reining, barrel races, pole races, cattle roping, model classes, youth and open classes. There is even a ranch horse competition and a cattle sorting competition! Finding just the right fit for you and your horse will not be hard because your horse will be able to do it all! You only have to decide what makes you happy.



Best trail horse breed, the Missouri Fox trotter.


It’s easy to see how the Missouri Fox trotter ranks at the top of the list as the best trail horse breed. From the beginner to the advanced rider this horse will delight. Having a solid horse that gives a smooth ride is a key to enjoying the trails. Having the combination of gaits that create a horse that can ride with and in any crowd and the rider will be comfortable and relaxed with the added benefit of not being bounced around creates a happy horse owner!



6 thoughts on “Best trail horse breed – Improve your trail experience

  1. I just now saw my email!!!!! Love the new site awesome pictures of all of you guys and us!!!!! If anyone needs a good minded horse this is the place to go to. Wonderful people willing to match a horse to the person. Could not be happier with my horse Oreo. I look forward to many happy trail rides in the future. Really enjoyed my time with some wonderful new friends, will be visiting again in the near future. Love to all, Connie

  2. I’ve always loved horses even though I didn’t grow up around them. Your article describing the characteristics of the Missouri Fox trotter horse is very informative and interesting. They look like beautiful horses from the pictures here. All the best with your horse stables and happy trails. 🙂

  3. Love your description of our Fox Trotters. We bought our first when I was recovering from 30 years of medical problems when I thought I could never ride again. The wonderful sound mind & body plus the smooth gait has helped me to be back in the saddle again. It has been 12 years now and we really appreciated Mike & Joy helping to work with our 3rd Fox Trotter to be safe to ride. Always great to meet and make new friends, Thanks again Joy & Mike??

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