August 15, 2008 | | Comments 0

Paso Fino Horses

Paso Fino Horse

Experiencing Smooth Rides with the Paso Fino

The name of the Paso Fino breed says it all. It is called Paso Fino simply because it has one of the finest and smoothest gaits among all other breeds. Naturally though, a true horse lover would see more in a Paso Fino than its gait.

Paso Fino Horse History

Like many horse breeds, the Paso Fino traces its origins back to Spain. It was not really in Spain though that the horses were originally bred. Spanish settlers who had settled in what is now known as Latin America were the true first breeders of the Paso Fino. Those who lived in Puerto Rico, Columbia, Cuba and the Dominican Republic needed hardy horse to work in their plantations. This requirement was well met by the emergence of the Paso Fino breed. The breed is said to have emerged from the breeding of Andalusian and Jennet Spanish horse with the African Barb.

Unlike other breeds, the Paso Fino did not arrive in the U.S. through the conquistadors. They were brought to North America by Americans themselves who were able to appreciate the wonderful traits of this horse breed. Two separate Paso Fino strains were brought from Columbia and Puerto Rico. Both became the base breeds through which present day Paso Finos can trace their lineage to. The popularity of the breed in America began a little over fifty years ago. This breed has become so celebrated that it now has its own association, dedicated to promoting the breed and ensuring its purity.

Today the Paso Fino is no longer primarily a plantation work horse. It does however remain a preferred horse for cattle herding because of the unequaled comfort that it can provide its riders. The horse breed however can go well beyond what it is intended for. Paso Fino horses have also shown great aptitude in trail riding, dressage, endurance riding, rodeo, gymkhana and reining. Of course, its beautiful form makes it an excellent show horse.

Paso Fino Horse Traits

Compared to other horses, the Paso Fino may be a bit small with some at only about 13 hands. This however is not the average height with some going a little over 15 hands. Since there are different breeding standards, Paso Finos may slightly differ in physical characteristics. Some breeders however may gravitate towards the middle ground, preferring horses with straight head profiles, medium length arched necks, sloping shoulders, straight legs and a well sprung rib cage. Regardless of breeding standards, Paso Finos are generally amiable and willing horses.

Despite the differences in some traits, Paso Finos share one common trait which is their gait. All true Paso Finos have a smooth, even four beat gait. This is regardless of the type of gait which can be paso corto, classic fino or paso largo. The smoothness of the Paso Fino’s gait is the reason why riders are less sore or physically taxed when riding a horse of this breed. If you plan to ride a horse for an extended period of time, you had best settle for a Paso Fino.

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