Paso Finos are Spanish horses. The ancestry is Andalusian, Spanish Barb, and Spanish Jenet. They do not trot. Instead, they have a very smooth, 4 beat lateral gait which they inherited from the Jenet. A loose translation of Paso Fino is ""fine step" and they are amongst the smoothest gaited horses in the world. The paso corto is equivalent in speed to a slow, collected trot, and the paso largo is equivalent in speed to a long extended trot. Most trotting horses would have to be doing a big, long extended trot or even the canter in order to keep up with a Paso Fino doing the largo, but the rider is just sitting there and getting gently rocked. The canter is like sitting in a rocking chair, and the gallop is like riding a cloud.
The breed was originally developed in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic for the Spanish Conquistadores to ride in the new world. They wanted horses which would be comfortable for many hours in the saddle. They needed to be strong and have great stamina. Paso Finos are renowned for their naturally hard hooves and usually don't need to be shod.
The first Paso Finos were brought to the United States in the early 1950's by an American woman who had been living in Puerto Rico. The average height is 14H2 - 15H2and they come in every color except with Appaloosa markings! Paso Finos are incredibly versatile, excelling in trail riding, endurance riding, pleasure riding, cross country, jumping, cutting, roping, & team penning. They are very intelligent and easy to train, learning new things quickly. They are also very people friendly and their temperament is gentle and kind, whilst at the same time being energetic. The Spanish call their spirited nature "brio", which is their essence, their heart and their spirit.
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