Décomposition des allures GAITED                The CURLY Missouri Fox Trotter               Genetic research is in sight!

There are three natural gaits in a horse - walk, trot and canter - in increasing speed.
Some horses naturally perform one or two extra pac

VIDEO Explain the difference between the FOXTROT ans the STEPPING PACE

POSER LATHERAL (amble base)


PACE (walking pace/gait)

The feet rise and fall at the same time. The beat is “1-2-1-2”. The horse will show his neck and head on the opposite side to the forelimb that rises. The hind legs swing from left to right. The body of the horse appears to “rise and fall”. The rider will swing from side to side.

Video PACE 1
Video PACE 2
Video PACE 3

STEPPING PACE (faster walk)

The feet won’t rise laterally in the same way. The beat will be “1-2---3-4”. The rider will swing slightly more from side to side than during a walking pace. This gait is outstanding and very comfortable for the rider/horsewomen.




RACK or TOLT (meaning approach)
This is a quick gait. The feet facing opposite each other, first two feet, then the other two feet, with a moment of suspension between each. The beat is “1-1/1-2”. There will be 3 feet in the air and 1 on the ground OR 2 feet in the air and 2 on the ground. It’s a gait specific with Icelandic ponies, where they permanently keep 1 foot in contact with the ground, this is extremely comfortable for the rider .some riders describe the feeling to be like “climbing a ladder”. The speed of the movement means that it is invisible to the naked eye.

Video RACK

SADDLE RACK (working gait)

The legs on one side seem to rise a the same time. We could call the beat a 4 beat action “1-2-3-4”. There are always 2 or 3 feet on the ground at any one time.
If performed correctly it creates very little movement in the saddle, it’s a very smooth process.
The tail could move from left to right with the movement of the corresponding side of the hip up and down. It is a common approach with the Morgan Gaited.



FLAT FOOT WALK(means walk)

The feet ride and fall at different intervals, the beat is “1-2-3-4” it literally is a “shuffle” it resembles the walk but the horse must drag its hooves, the hind hooves must land beyond the hoofprints of the front hooves.
The rider moves only slightly back and forth, with the sensation of moving up and down in the saddle. Your horse becomes a real chair!
The head shows the rhythm that’s more pronounced in the foxtrott.


RUNNING WALK (walking quicker)
A very fast pace with a slight rebound. The feet remain on a perfect beat “1-2-3-4”. The rider will still sway back and forth, but due to the speed, they wouldn’t have the sensation of rising and falling in the saddle because of the movement of the horses back. Much better than a chair, believe me, it’s now a throne!





The diagonal feet take off at the same time. The beat is “1-2---3-4”, an irregular rhythm. The horse nods his head to the rhythm of the movement of the shoulders and hindquarters, whilst the rump moves up and down. It resembles a stronger amplitude from the behind which causes an intensification of the stride. The rider feels like they’re moving up and down within the saddle. .



A gait that resembles a 3 beat movement. The pace mist by rhythmic, with a moderate speed along with a slight rocking movement. The horse must be relaxed and move naturally. We’re searching for the next “round” of the horse.


Similar to the above. We’re looking for an outline of the movement of a rocking chair or a rocking horse. The head must be at its highest when the back outside leg touches the ground, and lowest when the front inside leg touches the ground. A pace that is more or less slow, it requires a lot of precision!


Genetic research is in sight! !

To understand why some horses are gaited...
The genetic studies on the gaited horses are being undertaken by the University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden. Niina Kangas, a student, wants to support his theory of a gene that “effects the locomotion” of certain breeds of horse. The name of the research is: DMRT3-mutation, to understand what effects the locomotion of certain breeds of horse. For example: the Icelandic ponies, who can perform 4 or 5 gaits (walk, trot, canter rack/tolt, pace and amble)
in 2 Icelandics they present different genotypes. .

Niina recently decided to include researches about our wonderful gaited Curlies, pedigrees including Walkers Prince T, Sir Patrick MJT, Star’s Lucky Touch or from the Foxtrotters origins. All of the gaited Curlies at JAK stud are making a part of this research. It’s encouraged by the ICHO, several samples of French hairs were sent to Sweden. Stay tuned !

A test already exists!!
Named: SynchroGait. It’s a DNA diagnosis test. It is based on a project of research where a variety of a known gene has a major impact of the co-ordination of the horse. This exciting discovery is the first of its kind and has recently been published in the respected scientific journal “Nature”. .
The SynchroGait test allows you to identify one of the most important genetic factors that affects the performance of a horses trotting and allows for the other alternative gaits, called GAIT, present in many breeds, such as the Missouri Fox Trotter, the Morgan, the Icelandic, the Paso Fino and the Tennessee Walking horse. Also present in certain Paint and Quarter horses (and others) and in our dear Curlies! .

C This DNA diagnosis test has an major impact on the canvas and co-ordination of horses.
The swedish research has shown the the mutation “facilitates the lateral gaits,
amble and other declining gaits and inhibits the transition from trot to canter.
The gaited is a variant and has been identified as a major factor for the performance of trotters and their ability to perform the “flying pace” performed by Icelandic ponies and in several Curly lines too. (among others)
This test, available on Horsegenetest, allows owners to know and understand the innate capability of young horses towards the gaited performance. This facilitates their decisions on future breeding programmes.
The livestock breeders are able to predict the probable genotypes of offspring and establish the ideal breeding programme in order to optimise the production of foals with the gaited “mutation” or it allows them to avoid breeding the mutation into breeds used for dressage and jumping, where the gene wouldn’t be a positive attribute!

Articl : Science Illustrated   - Discover   - Icelandic Horses   - ICHO 1   - ICHO 2


Originating in Missouri, US. It’s selected for it’s special “gaited” gait. This american horse is the
only one with that gait which makes it so pleasant to ride.
The Missouri Fox Trotter possesses the three natural horse gaits, the walk, the trot and the canter. He equally possesses three other gaits: the fox-trot, the flying walk/the flat foot and flat foot canter..

A trait that seem to be lost in Europe, where the Amble pace is considered a blemish!! It’s a walking pace and smooth, both fast and comfortable for the rider...


the middle of the 19th century, settlers migrating from Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia to the Ozark mountains
in Missouri. They created a breed to be ridden for a longtime and withstand fatigue and without fatiguing the rider.
From English Thoroughbreds, Morgans and offspring of Barbs and Spanish breeds,
they found a horse perfect for endurance and with smooth gaits.
Contributions from the Saddlebred and Tennessee Walking Horse improved the breed. .

The cow-boys enjoyed the comfort of the 19th century breed, farmers looked to select a horse that could
withstand long rides in the torrential Missouri rainfall.
Their aim was to create a mount that fatigued slowly and could carry the rider over long distances.
They obtained, little by little, a unique horse who presented 4 smooth and comfortable gaits.
The Missouri Fox Trotter, associated with working the cattle ranches - very important in Missouri, has almost disappeared since the introduction of motor vehicles. But the passion that he created within the farmers
meant the race was saved. The stud book dates back to 1948. And remained open until 1982. Since that date,
only offspring from TWO Missouri Fox Trotters may be included. .



There is so much more to these unique and unusual horses than curly locks! In the 1930s, the Damele family was one of the first families to gather and breed curly coated horses for use on their Nevada ranch. The winter of 1932 was particularly harsh, and the Dameles lost a significant amount of their stock - but the hardy, Curly horses survived. They decided to breed more of these sturdy horses, and began crossing Curly mares to their stallions; an Arabian named NEVADA RED, and a Morgan Stallion, RUBY RED KING. The crossbred foals often had the curly coat - showing that the Curly gene was dominant. The foals also possessed other curly traits; intelligence, calm disposition, friendly personality, strong bones/hooves, and excellent stamina.

*KOKOPELLI (our ex stallion)
To fully understand where Gaited Curly horses come from, it helps to know a little history on the American Curly Horse - or Bashkir Curlies. (The Russian Bashkir horse is an entirely different type of horse that is not even curly - which is why most breeders of Curly horses now refer to their horses as American Curly Horses.)Native American legend has it that Curly Horses were the horses before horses - meaning they were around before the Spanish horses.

How they came to the United States is a mystery.
They have been documented among wild horse populations
of the North American West since the 1700s, and Indian pictographs show that the Sioux and the Crow Indians had curly coated horses in the early 1800s

There is evidence of Curly horses in many places around the world at different times. Charles Darwin wrote of curly haired horses in South America. Curly horses are depicted in Chinese artwork dating back to 161 A.D. Whether all of these Curlies are related is unknown.  
Though the North American Curly horse is not considered a true breed - by scientific guidelines they are considered a coat type - the goal of many Curly breeders is to develop real breeds of horses that are curly coated. Since the 1930s, Curlies have been crossbred to Fox Trotters, Peruvians, Walking Horses, Standardbreds, Paso Finos, Morgans, Arabs, Quarter Horses, Warmbloods and many other breeds, including miniatures and drafts. Breeders are also just as dedicated to preserving the old bloodlines that still exist, but with limited genetics, crossbreeding has been necessary to prevent inbred genetic problems. Gaited Curly horses developed by crossbreeding Curly haired horses to gaited horses, most commonly Missouri Fox Trotters, Tennessee Walking Horses, Paso Finos, Peruvians, and other strongly naturally gaited breeds. Since the American Curly horse carries the blood of many types of horses, from mustangs to Morgans, it is no surprise that many have a "shuffle", running walk, or "amble" of some sort. About 10% of American Curlies will do a fox trot or running walk, making them ideal to crossbreed with gaited horses for increased gait.

Characteristics of Gaited Curly horses include soft, fine body hair that is longer and curlier in the winter than in the summer. Depending on the degree of Curliness, horses may shed some hair or none at all. Their manes often have ringlets or tendrils, and split down the middle, parting to both sides. Coat textures among Curlies vary, from the tight curls of a micro pin Curly, to the crushed velvet types, to the gentle wavy coats of some minimally expressed Curlies. Extreme Curlies shed out most of their mane and tail hairs, and sometimes even the body coat. These extreme Curlies are sometimes referred to as "rat tails" or "baldies".

Average height is about 14.1 to 15.1 hands - though Curly horses come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Appaloosa and pinto markings, as well as solid colors, are common. Structure is similar to that of the early Morgan horses; they are sturdy and strong with excellent stamina, rounded conformation and a heart of gold! Curlies have strong, rounded hooves that are often black, even horses with all white socks often have black hooves. Some horses have a sleepy look to their eyes, as they have a slightly almond shape, which may actually improve range of vision, but Curly owners say that the sleepy look is deceiving. Their horses have proud carriage, are very alert and not a bit lazy!

Curlies are born with an outgoing and friendly personality that grows into a responsive, intelligent and easily trainable disposition. They are suitable for almost any discipline, Western, English, pleasure or endurance trials.
Curlies are showing up all over!