|South Carolina 5 year old Paso Fino ridden
in bosal and sport saddle in ring and round pen by intermediate rider.
Question: Just wanted to know if Paso Finos were physically capable
of flying lead changes?
From Panelist Carol
Hi I have never tried to get a flying lead change out of a paso, but I have with a walker, as have several friends of mine, and it's much, much harder to get lead changes with gaited breeds than to get a flying lead change out of a trotting breed horse. Your test might be to observe him in the pasture when he's galloping and see if you can spot him doing a COMPLETE flying lead change. That's when the rear and front change almost simultaneously, with no strides in between. If he can do it by himself, he's probably a pretty good candidate to do it with you on his back. If he never does it by himself, it probably isn't natural for him to do lead changes and you'd be better off selecting another horse if you want to do lead changes.
Carol Camp Tosh
From Panelists Erica
Yes Paso Finos are capable of flying lead changes.
From Panelists Stella
Many Pasos have delightfully a smooth canter and/or lope, in which they are just as agile as they are in their gaits. I personally have had no problem teaching a flying lead change to those I've trained to perform a canter or lope on correct leads. Like any other breed, you want a firm foundation in correct leads, collection, and simple changes first, then go on to a flying change.
From Panelist Annette
Does your horse canter at liberty or under saddle? If the answer to
either of those is Yes, then the answer to your question is Yes, also.
You may wonder about the horse cantering under saddle, since many Pasos
are not asked to canter under saddle here in the United States. Go to the
Caribbean or Central America as I have and ride the native Pasos there,
or watch them being used to work cattle, and you will see and feel horses
that are quite
An exception to the above are horses that are so genetically and conformationally
locked into lateral gait, hard pacers, that they are about incapable of
cantering. They pace under saddle, they pace at liberty, and if you ask
them to speed up in an effort to break them to the canter, they just pace
faster. I have seen such horses, very open angled in the hocks, short cannon
bones, cat hammed, long backed with long loins making them even longer
and weaker in the back. They just plain pace, especially with a rider's
weight right on top of that long weak loin. Getting them to do anything
other than the pace is difficult at best, and takes a great deal of determination,
time and work on the part of both horse and rider. Even in the Standardbred
breed, though, where such hard pacers are desired, the horses on the track
use a type of harness that encourages them to stay in the pace, and not
break out of it to a canter. Most horses of the breeds bred to do evenly
timed intermediate 4 beat gaits are not such hard pacers, though, that
they can not be cantered under saddle if the rider knows how to ask for
that gait in addition to the intermediate gaits. The other exception that
I have seen are horses that just plain never move out of a 4 beat gait.
From Panelist Lee
The wonderful answer is: "it depends" -- It depends on whether
the horse can canter well on both leads, in an even 3 beat canter
(no four beat of pace canter) whether he can do so in a collected way (weight
to the rear, hindquarters lowered from the lumbo sacral junction) and whether
he knows how to do simple lead changes. Not all Paso Finos are built
to do this sort of thing (back, neck, hindquarters conformation works against
it for many) and fewer are "wired" to do this (their neural pathways are
not "greased" to
Have I ever seen a Paso Fino do a correct flying change (correct in the dressage sense)? No. Does that mean that none of them can do it? Of course not. But I doubt that the vast majority can -- they are not bred for that, especially the ones that specialize in fino fino movement. If you want good flying changes, a better bet is to ask for them from a horse that is bred to canter well in the first place.
From Panelist Jonathan
Since I don't teach cues for them in my horse routine and my registry has no call for it in any class , I am unfamiliar with the possibility and will have to reply from some good old common horse sense . Hopefully I will be in line with a fellow panelist with experience ;) .
I would say that even though a Paso Fino of the classic style is limited
to some activity , the flying lead change is excited at the canter . So
as long as your Paso Fino will canter I'm going to assume it can be taught
. After all , I believe just about any horse can be taught
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