The History of the Paso Fino
The Paso Fino is a naturally-gaited light horse breed dating back to horses imported to the Caribbean from Spain. Pasos are prized for their smooth, natural, four beat, lateral ambling gait and are used in many disciplines, but are especially popular for trail riding. The Paso Fino name means 'fine step.' The Paso Fino is a blend of the Barb, Spanish Jennet and Andalusian horse and was bred by Spanish land owners in Puerto Rico and Colombia to be used in the plantations because of their endurance and the comfortable ride they provided. All Pasos share their heritage with the Peruvian Paso, the American Mustangs and other descendants of Colonial Spanish Horses.
The Paso Fino has several different body type
s from quite small and refined to very large
and powerful. The action of the two strains is
somewhat different. The Puerto Rican Paso
Fino is prized for its fine or delicate step while
the Colombian Paso Fino tends to have more
of a rapid, piston-like action. This is a lively
horse that has a natural drive and willingness,
known colloquially as "brio," and generally a
nice disposition. Paso Finos come in a variety
of colors, sizes and body types, but the even
four-beat gait and brio are present in all
good representatives of the breed.
This horse can easily carry a large rider comfortably for an extended period of time. An 800 lb. Paso can easily carry a rider who is over 6' tall and weighing 250 lbs. over the worst trails, up and down hills, without a problem. The trick is in how they move and how they are built. These horses are versatile and can be used in many disciplines. They are often seen competing in Western classes such as trail, barrels, reining, versatility and cow penning, and are also commonly used for trail riding and endurance competitions, driving and gymkhana.
Information and photo provided by Wikipedia under the Creative Commons License.
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Source: Equine.com newsletter, October 2009, "Equine.com Breed of the Month - Paso Finos"