Origins of the Paso Fino Horse
history of the Paso Fino breed began in Spain, where the chance
of cross-breeding brought about an elegant new saddle horse. To
occupy Spain, the Moors brought with them Berberian horses now called
Barbes. The importation of this breed had significant genetic impact
on the evolution of horses in Europe, Northern Africa, and in the
New World. The Jennet of Spain is the result of the cross-breeding
between Barbes and local horses, which later benefited from the
addition of Andalusian blood.
It was in his second voyage
to the New World that Christopher Columbus brought the first horses
to Santo Domingo (now the Dominican Republic). These animals were
the offspring of Barbes, Spanish Jennets and Andalusian horses.
Later on in Mexico and in South America, other breeds would add
to the genetic mixture; however, their complete isolation allows
them to be recognized as the Paso Fino's ancestors.
The offspring of these horses
was dispersed to the different countries discovered by explorers
and attacked by invadors. The horses were used as a mode of transport
in Porto Rico and Columbia, in the Ismus of Panama, through Mexico,
and in Cuba.
The Amble, a genetic characteristic
Paso Fino horse benefits from the best of each breed in its origins.
Among its characteristics, it has the vigor of the Barbe and the
nature of the Andalusian. But most important in its heritage is
the incredible stride from the Spanish Jennet. In spite of the physical
evolution due to breeding practices and the influence of its environment,
the Paso Fino has remarkably conserved an amble, genetic characteristic
that will last. This is the trait that allows us to identify today's
Paso Fino horse.
Quick and comfortable
In an amble, the order in which
the hooves are placed is not diagonal; the horse simultaneously
raises the front and hind hooves of the same side. In a walk, the
amble can be done in four counts, but in a trot it becomes a two-count
motion. Like in a normal trot, the bipeds touch down in practically
the same moment: front left, hind left, front right, hind right,
with a hang time between each contact. In a normal trot, the rider
must rise up to stay in the saddle, while in an amble the rider
can remain comfortably seated.
the walk and the gallop, the Paso Fino has several gaits: the paso
fino, the paso corto and the paso largo, from slowest to quickest.
We must remember that these gaits are natural to this particular
breed. The paso fino is a rhythmic step often used in parades or
presentations. A four-count step, it is accentuated by the horse's
tendency to compact the body and to advance only minimally with
its front legs. The paso largo, a quicker gait, involves longer
strides and a rapid tempo.
The corto, which provides a
speed relative to that of the trot, is very comfortable for the
rider and a well-trained Paso Fino can continue this gait for hours.
We must note that the Paso Fino horse is perhaps the ideal mount
for those who suffer with back pain and injured vertebra.
Many expositions and competitions
at all levels are organized each year in the U.S., in Puerto Rico
and in the Dominican Republic.
Characteristics of the Paso Fino horse
||Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Dominican
|Height at the withers
|| 1,42 à 1,54 m (14
to 15 ½ hands)
|| Middle length
|| All varieties are accepted.
|| Calm and alert
|| Saddle horse
|| Intelligent, hard-working and
resistant. Elegant and attractive.
Criadero Santa Maria
has been breeding Paso horses from Latin America, the Paso
Peruano horse and Paso Fino horse in France (Yonne, Bourgogne)
These animals are the offspring of champions and horses of
pedigree from Peru, Colombia or the USA. They are experienced
and internationally famous.