About Paso Finos
Come to Forest Gait Farm and discover the ultimate show and pleasure horse, the Paso Fino horse said to be the smoothest riding horse in the world. The Paso Fino reflects its Spanish heritage through its proud carriage, grace, and elegance. Modern care and selective breeding have enhanced its beauty, refinement, and its versatility. Paso Finos have competed successfully in Endurance, and Competitive Trail. They offer hours on the trail with no rider fatigue because no posting is required.
The Paso Fino horse originated in South America over 500 years ago, with the journey of the Spanish conquistadors to the New World in 1492. The Spanish imported their own horses; Andalusians, Spanish barbs (originally from North Africa) and Spanish Jennets (now extinct).
It was the Jennet that was responsible for the gait of the Paso Fino, as it had a particularly comfortable pace that was passed on to its offspring. Interbreeding of these animals created the breed that the conquistadors named “los caballos de paso fino”, which translates as “the horses with the fine walk”.
There are many reasons that make Paso Finos special – but it always comes down to their naturally genetic gait, creating for the rider the smoothest, most comfortable, "no bounce" ride of any horse you have ever encountered!
How Do They Gait? The Paso gait is essentially a broken pace, a lateral, non diagonal gait. The sequence of the hooves are: right rear, right fore, left rear, left fore. The hind foot touches the ground a fraction of a second before the front foot.
When performed on a hard surface, a definite 1,2,3,4 can be heard. Propulsion is primarily from the hind legs yet the motion is absorbed through the back and loins. The croup remains relatively still. These aspects eliminate the jarring effects of a true pace and causes the rider practically no up and down movement. This gait is performed at three speeds with collection decreasing as the speed increases.
Types Of Gaits
The gait of Paso Fino horses is totally natural and usually exhibited from birth. The Classic Fino gait is characterized by a very fast cadence with very little extension or forward movement. It is executed with a high degree of collection and it is a low, very tight gait. The Paso CORTO is a more relaxed form of the gait that is commonly referred to as the natural Paso Fino gait. Paso Corto is the ideal trail and pleasure gait as it uses only medium collection and light contact on the bit. The Paso LARGO is the speed form of the gait. It is equated to the speed of a "slow canter" but instead has the same 1, 2, 3, 4 rhythm and the rider appears motionless in the saddle, as he should at all speeds of gait. The Paso Fino can also canter, gallop and jump.
Appearance and Conformation
The head is refined, with a straight or slightly convex profile. The eyes are large and well spaced. The ears are short and curved inwards at the tips. The neck is set on relatively high, and breaks at the poll. Shoulders should be sloping, with a moderately wide chest, well-sprung rib cage and a topline that is proportionally longer than the underline; sloping croup, broad loins and strong hocks. Legs should be straight, with well-defined tendons, short cannon bones and sloping pasterns. Height range between 13.3 to 16 hh. A Paso can carry a 250 pound rider on the trails for hours; the secret being how they move and how they are built.