Peruvian Paso & Paso Fino
Paso's are descended primarily from three breeds - the Spanish Jennet, the Spanish Barb, and the Andalusian. Many centuries of very selective breeding has resulted in perfection of this breed, which is named after its natural gait.
The Paso gait is a broken pace in which the two legs on the same side move together, but the hind hoof touches the ground a fraction of a second before the fore hoof. This serves to eliminate the jarring effect of a true pace and causes the rider almost no up and down movement. The motion of the horse is absorbed in its back and loins, giving the rider great comfort. The South American breeders, bred these horses for the purpose that a horse and rider could go for many miles day after day without tiring either.
Although Paso's all originated from the same bloodlines, different countries of origin developed slight differences in gait. The Puerto Rican & Dominican horses seldom needed any speed and developed a short snappy way of going. The Colombian & Peruvian rarely needed the shorter gaits as they had greater distances and heights to cover.
The Peruvian Paso also displays a very stylish action in the forelegs which is called 'Termino'. Originating in the shoulder is is an outward rolling motion of the front legs.
Because the Paso's gait is natural, the training is very easy. It is more or less a matter of settling a young horse into moving steadily and quietly.
As with any animal, the type of handling will influence the disposition, but with kind treatment the horses are gentle and quiet They respond to attention with great affection which makes them a marvellous family horse.
They are a horse of great natural grace and style with definite but controlled spirit.
Their size is 13 to 15.2 hands. Full size may not be attained until the fifth year. Paso's mature slowly and live a long time. It is not considered too unusual for them to live to be over thirty. Every colour can be found with or without white markings.
These versatile horses can be used for almost any purpose except where a trot is called for. They have been found: western, English, trail riding, pleasure and show. They have been used in Gymkhanas, western timed events, polo and endurance. Their eagerness to try to succeed at something new finds them jumping and in harness. Their Barb heritage makes them ideal cow horses. Paso's are most widely known as family horses.
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