|A Paso Fino is a gaited horse, but to leave the description at that
is like saying the Pacific Ocean is water. Gaited horses come in
many varieties, but none surpass the quality and smoothness of gait
experienced with the Paso Fino breed. The Paso Fino exhibits this
quality from birth, with foals only hours old performing the perfect
four beat rhythm the breed is noted for. Paso Fino horses come in
all sizes, shapes and colors. They can be found as tall as 16 hands
for those to whom height is important and as small as 13 for those
to whom it is not. The body styles vary from stocky to streamlined.
All colors are found except the Appaloosa pattern. The breed is noted for
it's agility, intelligence and hardiness.
They come from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Columbia and
Venezuela as the original countries. For many generations the Paso Fino
was a Latin breed. Breeders in these areas had no need for large
horses, as the native peoples were not large of stature themselves. They
did however have great pride in the appearance of their horses and execution
of gait so they breed to enhance these characteristics. The Paso Fino became
a horse that carried itself with much pride, or "brios" and the unique
short strided, rapid footfall of the classic Fino or Fino Fino became prized
in their native lands.
Resorte IV, Bochica and Contrapunto
in compentition in 1983,
three of the most famous Paso Fino Stallions of their time!
Paso Fino walk, gait and canter. The Paso Fino gait is performed at
three speeds with the level of collection varying , the speeds are
Classic Fino, Paso Corto, and Paso Largo The horses perform the gait
in three styles, the Classic Fino, Performance and the Pleasure style.
The gait is perfect four beat neither lateral nor diagonal. with the footfall
being left hind, left front, right hind right front, the same as
the natural walk. The gait is a natural, it is not uncommon
for newborn foals to be gaiting shortly after birth. Gait may be refined
through training, but no artificial training equipment or special shoeing
is used .
Classic Fino is by far the most breath taking to watch or experience.
The horse is balanced and collected with rapid footfall and slow
forward speed, demonstration a rapid, steady, and unbroken rhythm. Their
feet are moving faster than you can drum your leg with your hands, and
they are moving forward at a speed slower than your normal walking speed.
The Classic Fino (or FINO FINO) has extremely short rapid footfall, sounds
like the rapid roll of a drum, with VERY slow forward speed. The
horses perform in complete collection, with upright carriage and neck breaking
at the poll to allow the head to be held almost on the vertical.
Only a small percentage of the Paso Fino can perform this gait. To
perform it well requires natural ability and an athlete, the horse must
be supple, balanced and in great physical form to be able to sustain the
Classic Fino. The Dons of the countries of origin found it a point of pride
to own and ride the BEST of these Classic Fino Stallions. These men
often weighed 200 to 400 lbs., and the horses would carry them for hours
as they surveyed their lands. The Paso Fino became a breed with much
heart and endurance and a natural gait which was passed on from one generation
to the next.
Hillaches, one of the foundation sires of the American Paso Fino
Paso Corto Paso Corto is a ground covering gait which is ideal
for pleasure, and trail riding. About the speed of a trot or rack or running
walk. The Corto moves forward at about the speed of the trot in non-gaiting
breeds, collection is mild and extension varies within the two styles (Pleasure
and Performance). Performance horses tend to perform a slower Corto, with
a shorter stride and more rapid footfall. Hock action and rear end drive
and execution being prized in this style of Paso Fino (The Performance
Paso). The Pleasure Paso Fino tends to have a faster, more relaxed Corto.
Less execution is expected, but no loss of smoothness or gait footfall
pattern. Most Classic Fino horses are also capable of performing a Corto,
and when they do it is in the style of the Performance Paso.
Multiple Top Ten Sire for the American Paso Fino
Paso Largo can achieve speeds up to 22 miles per hour. As fast as the
canter in many horses and equal in speed to the speed rack. The Largo is
the speed form of the gait, with speeds equivalent to that of a canter
or in some cases a gallop.. Both Performance and Pleasure styles of Paso
Fino perform the Largo with once again hock action and rear end drive and
execution being stronger in the Performance Paso. The Largo is not JUST
a change of speed; there MUST be obvious extension of stride from the horses
Corto as well as the speed change.
They can do a normal flat walk, a collected walk and of course can canter
Amateur Owner 3 year old
Pleasure Schooling Colt
Paso Fino has increased in size as they have become more common in the
USA. Whether it is from improved nutrition, or selective breeding, the
horses of the USA tend to be larger than their imported counterparts. Horses
can be found in the 15 hand range quite often with individuals reaching
16 hands on occasion. The breed still had the horses of less stature, they
are still the most common in the breed, but for those to whom height is
important we have tall ones too!
Paso Fino are very people oriented horses, one of the things that draws
people to the breed is their willingness to try to do anything their rider
asks of them. (If they understand what it is being asked!) These
horses make you look good! They are so smart that almost anyone can train
them if they understand how to train kindly. Paso owners often state they
have NEVER had another breed that learns so fast, and try's so hard to