Does My Gaited Foxtrotter Need to Perform the Foxtrot? (frequently asked question)

When I bought my first Missouri Fox Trotter,  I was told to gather him up slightly to fox trot and gather up more for running walk. My "teacher" has me gather him up more than I had been originally, she says he has a running walk but no fox trot. How can I learn more about the difference in the gaits and the best way to achieve both. He is smooth when he moves which is my main concern after 3 surgeries to my spine. I sold a doll of a Tennessee Walking Horse because due to her pace riding became too painful.

Thanks, Melissa
Dear Melissa,
Nice horse! It sounds as though your gaited horse is conformed-and neurologically wired-to be a natural running walk horse, in spite of her registration as a MFT. If you don't need to change her gait to the fox trot for the show ring, why not be content with her smooth running walk? She will be happier, and the gait will be more natural and smooth for you as well.
Many happy-and smooth-trails!