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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does a Missouri Foxtrotter have a normal two beat gait in addition to the four beat foxtrotter gait and if so what is the common method/cue to ask for a move from trot to foxtrot rather than trot to canter?


Tomorrow I will be attempting to lung a Foxtrotter to find out if he does in fact gait the foxtrot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
O man. The plot thickens. Just watched a video of a Fox Trotter that had never fox trotted for his owner but was taught by his trainer.


So now I'm faced with the possibility of a Foxtrotter that doesn't or hasn't foxtrotted but "MIGHT" be able to be taught "IF" he really is a foxtrotter.


There is registration papers but how does a person know if they really represent the horse in question?


 

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My Foxtrotter papers have an actual picture of the horse on the back of the papers so you can match markings. Any gaited horse is going to struggle to gait on a lunge line- the lateral gait is hard to do around corners and tight circles. The Foxtrot is like a horse trotting in the front and cantering in the back. If this horse is really out of shape the gait may be hard for it to do and maintain. My Foxtrotter could not/would not gait when I first got her. She was extremely overweight and her previous owner did not like her to gait. So I started out very slowly building up her stamina and asking her for the more forward flat walk. Once she could flat walk for quite awhile (I am saying 15 minutes or more) I asked for the faster gait by using my seat and asking her to move into the bridle - that was all new to her and we worked on that for quite some time as well. Once she could move into the bridle her foxtrot naturally started to come out when I asked for any speed. IF she got pacey or trotty I asked her to slow down and flat walk and then asked for the foxtrot again.

We had to do this with my husbands TWH as well. She had been foundered previously and ridden by a person who was afraid of how fast the flat walk felt so that owner was always jerking in her mouth to get her to slow down - so the mare was afraid to gait. it took some time but she gaits beautifully now.

Sorry for the book - but getting a gaited horse to "gait" and do it correctly is not usually quick and easy. it takes muscle memory - and since most gaited horses can gait as well as trot and canter the gait is something that has to be nurtured if the horse will not do it automatically under saddle.
 

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Gait is all about timing and feel. If you don't know the feeling, or the timing, it can be very hard to teach gait to a horse like this. That said, the rhythm should be "a hunk of meat and two potatoes". The good news is, the foxtrot can be the one of easiest smooth gaits to train. My best advice is not to push him too fast. Develop the flat walk and slowly push him up. If he canters, sometimes birnging them down from the canter they will skip the hard trot and instead do their foxtrot as they slow down. Watch tons of videos on youtube and read some books. I recommend Easy Gaited Horses by Lee Ziegler.

Is the horse blue papered or gold papered? Gold papers are DNA verified. My gold papered horse came with a picture of him on the papers as a foal and also a description that fit him. My blue papered mare is not dna verified, but her parents are. There is also a description on the paper that matches my mare.

Hope that helps. Easy gaits are a rabbit hole, but a fun one.
 

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My fox trotter can running walk, foxtrot, trot, pace (not sure if it's a broken pace or hard pace but it's comfortable), and canter.

Since I have a background in dressage, I just give a half halt and squeeze with my legs to pick up the fox trot. Her foxtrot replaces the sitting trot. If I want to do a regular trot, I just nudge her with my legs to ask for a faster gait.

Her pace isn't really developed. Sometimes she picks it up on trail rides and sometimes as you break from a canter, she will pace. But sometimes one of her legs slips out from under her at the pace. I don't really work on her pace. She is perfect the way she is. And she may be pacing more than I realize... I don't always pay attention.

In the arena her foxtrot is very slow. On trail rides she will move out faster.

In general either they have the ability to gait or they do not. If they don't gait, they may not have it. My Paso did not inherit the correct gait and no amount of training will change that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@carshon The 'book' was very very helpful. Feel free to send another!


So I reckon I'll scrub the lunge test. The owner prefers speed when he would ride the horse so I would not expect him to have done any training at the walk. The horse is kept at a barn and the guy mentioned when he went to ride he wanted to RIDE.


So I'm feeling comfortable if the horse is really a Missouri Fox Trotter that I could eventually get him to gait.


But I've has such a history of being an easy mark that I've become rather suspicious when at times I may over do it now.


I may still ask the owner if he has purchase papers from when he was bought 9 years ago.


Otherwise, I really like the horse and have even taken money out of the bank for him in case I decide.


He does have some horrendous saddle sore white hair on his withers but the barn owner said he came with that 7 years ago and the horse owner said he had them when purchased. The owner first started riding at 18 with gaps but did not know about the white hairs from saddle sores. I leaned a lot from my time on the cattle ranch.
 
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