North American Single-footing Horse

The North American Single-footing Horse is a breed that is known for its smooth gaits and athleticism.

If you are interested in learning more about this breed, or considering purchasing one, this article is for you.

So read on to learn more about the North American Single-footing Horse!

North American Single-footing Horse Breed Info

Here are some of the key things you need to know about the North American Single-footing Horse:

Height (size) 14.3 – 15.2 hands high
Colors Wide range of colors – chestnut, gray, bay, buckskin, palomino
Country of Origin United States of America (the South)
Common Uses Trail riding, pleasure riding

North American Single-footing Horse Facts & Information (Breed Profile)

It is unknown when the North American Single-Footing Horse first appeared or what year it first appeared. 

However, this capacity to single-foot was developed in these horses by selective breeding between various gaited breeds.

The breeding stock consisted of Standardbred combinations that contributed to its speed at gait, as well as gaited horses of Spanish descent, Saddlebreds, and other gaited stocks that added elegance, beauty, and versatility.

The Single-Footers have stayed true to their roots by continuing to be bred for riding on trails.

Years of selective breeding have resulted in several unique lineages. 

These include horses with Paso Fino stallions in their pedigrees, horses from the Trigger and Bayou-Traveler lines, and descendants of EZD Falcon Rowdy.

The “single-foot” gait (also known as the rack or paso largo) is an intermediate ambling gait in which the horse raises and lowers each foot independently of the others.

There have been reports of speeds exceeding 25 mph (40 km/h).

The breed is being bred, developed, and evaluated by trail riders for the attributes that owners need and desire for working trail, pleasure trail, and competitive trail riding.

The North American Single-Footing Horse Association (NASHA) was established in 1991 with the intention of promoting ranch horses, pleasure and competition trail horses, and versatility horses who move with a genuine, old-style single-footing gait.

The Association discourages harsh or artificially induced unnatural performances in favor of a focus on natural gait and performance. 

Anyone caught using these techniques will have their NASHA membership immediately revoked.

In order to keep their registration active, Single-footers must always be wearing basic keg shoes.

The SHOBA and the NASHA are the two registries that are now responsible for protecting and promoting the breed. 

Since it was first established, the NASHA has registered more than 900 horses.

If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating breed, keep reading!

Alternative Names

“Single-footing Horse”, “Single-footer”


Gentle, obedient, spirited

Physical Characteristics

The head is well-shaped with a straight profile.

The neck is somewhat arched and muscular, and the shoulders are sloped.

The withers are well-defined.

The legs have correct conformation.

Overall it is an attractive, athletic horse with good conformations, and smoothness at all speeds.

They can perform an intermediate four-beat gait even in timing.

When traveling at the highest speed, the horse always has one foot on the ground.

The speeds vary from slower trail speed of 7 – 9 mph (11 – 15 km/h) to faster 12 – 15 mph (19 – 24 km/h), to the astounding racing single-foot of over 25 mph (40 km/h).


Wide range of colors – chestnut, gray, bay, buckskin, palomino

Height (size)

14.3 – 15.2 hands high







Blood Type


Common Uses

Trail riding, pleasure riding



Popular Traits

Astounding racing single-foot speeds



Country of Origin

United States of America (the South)


American Saddlebreds, Standardbreds, Paso Fino, other gaited breeds