The Paso Fino
Paso Finos are a tremendously versatile breed, spectacular in the show ring, one of the best endurance breeds, a great hacking and leisure horse, also highly talented in the western disciplines of cutting and barrel bending due to its agility and strength.
Brief history and description of the Paso Fino
The breed known today as the Paso Fino, is the result of five hundred years of selective breeding in its home countries of, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Venezuela, The Dominican Republic, Cuba, and since the 1940’s the USA.
The Spanish conquistadors brought with them to the new world, Andalusians, Spanish Barbs, and the now extinct smooth gaited Spanish Jennet. They valued the beauty, stamina, nobility, and smooth natural gait, of the horses that developed from combining the best of these breeds.
The Paso Fino ranges between 13 HH and 15 HH, with tremendous strength and stamina. Possessing a completely natural smooth gait, capable of carrying a heavy rider over rugged terrain; as they were bred to do in the mountains of Central and South America. Combining a proud and graceful carriage, with a willing and highly responsive nature. The Paso Fino wants to please its owner. Calm in hand, responsive under saddle.
The Paso Fino Gait
The Paso Fino is born with a natural, evenly spaced, four beat lateral gait. Each foot contacts the ground independently at equal time intervals, with the same impact and cadence. This results in a rapid unbroken rhythm that provides the ultimate in smooth and comfortable rides.
The Paso Fino can move forward at three distinct degrees of extension, but all with the same cadence and order of footfall.
· Classic Fino · The footfall is extremely rapid while the steps and extension are exceedingly short. A spectacular gait for the show ring. The horse should move in a rhythmical and harmonious way. Only a small minority of horses are capable of Classic Fino.
· Paso Corto · The normal medium ground covering gait of the Paso fino. Comparable in speed to a working trot, executed with medium extension and stride. Very comfortable to ride, a well conditioned horse can maintain a corto for several hours.
· Paso Largo · The fastest ground covering gait, executed with a longer extension and stride, without losing cadence and balance. Maximum forward speed varies with the individual horse.