THE HISTORY OF THE PASO FINO
The Paso Fino,
meaning “Fine Step” in English, was the mount of the Spanish
Conquistadors. It is the oldest true native breed of horse in the
ancestors of the present-day horse evolved and developed in North
America and spread to other parts of the world, horses vanished from the
New World during the Ice Age, between 8,000 and 12,000 years ago. So
Columbus discovered a horseless America.
Nearly 500 years ago,
on his second voyage from Spain, Columbus brought a select group of
mares and stallions from the Provinces of Andalusia and Cordela, and
settled them at Santa Domingo. These horses were a mixture of Spanish
Barb, Andalusian and the now extinct Spanish Jennet, which not only
possessed an extremely comfortable saddle gait, but also were able to
pass this on to their offspring. The result of the blending of these
horses was to become known as the Paso Fino breed, the horse with the
four beat gait.
They became the
foundation stock for the remount stations of the Conquistadors. As
Spanish settlers came to the New World, they brought more Spanish
horses. During the nearly 500 years that the Paso Fino horses have been
selectively bred throughout Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic,
Columbia, Brazil, and Peru, they have been called upon to perform
diverse roles, first in the conquest of and then in the exploration and
development of the Americas.
The Paso Finos came
to the United States during the 1950’s when military families returning
home from Puerto Rico imported a few horses and their popularity grew.
The American Paso Fino is the product of crossing the Latin American
horses with the Caribbean horses, each having slight different traits.
THE PASO FINO GAIT
Be sure to check out
Paso Fino Gait" -
extensively describing, defining and illustrating the movements,
sequence of foot-fall and rhythm that make these wonderful Paso Fino
Horses so smooth and exciting to ride.