Los Caballos de Paso Fino

(The horses with the fine step)   By Lynda Zimmerman

Origin & History

  • Oldest true native breed of horse in the U.S.
  • Columbus brought mares and stallions from Andalusia and Cordela to Santo Domingo on his second voyage to America (1493)
  • Descended from three breeds:  the Barb, Andalusian and Spanish Jennet, a gaited horse that could pass on this trait
  • The mount of the Spanish Conquistadors
  • Assisted in conquest, exploration and development of the Americas
  • Gaited horse was highly prized by Native  Americans (Chief Joseph of Nez Perce)

Characteristics & Breed Standards

  • Natural, four-beat, lateral gait that is incredibly smooth  (Magic Carpet ride)
  • Classic Fino, Paso Corto, Paso Largo (slow to fast speed gaits, short to long distance)
  • Extremely willing temperament, controlled spirit, gentle, sensible, responsive
  • Quick, sure-footed, athletic, bred for good physical balance
  • Graceful arched neck and tail carriage
  • Refined head with straight profile
  • Sloping shoulders and deep chest
  • Refined leg bones; durable hooves
  • Luxurious, full mane and tail
  • Every equine color, with or without white markings
  • Height:  13.2 to 15.2 hands high (avg. 14)
  • Weight:  Normal weight 700-1100 lbs.
  • Approx. 40,000 Paso Finos in U.S.

Typical Uses

  • A horse for all seasons, all climates and diverse  purposes
  • Show ring: National and International (Mundial)
  • Native costume classes
  • Exhibitions and parades
  • Competitive trail and endurance rides
  • Recreational trail rides
  • Dressage work
  • Rodeo and ranch work (cow pony breed in South America)

 

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© Diane Merz