Natural Rhythm - Blaze Magazine, For Horse Crazy Kids

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Natural Rhythm - Blaze Magazine, For Horse Crazy Kids
Bre
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Natural Rhythm
The Paso Fino Horse
Photo by Cheri Prill
Have you ever sat high atop a beautiful carousel horse? Gazing down
upon its long mane flowing over its bowed neck? Over your shoulder its tail
arched elegantly? Wishing the ride would never end?
Yes? Well then, some say you’ve had a taste of what it’s like to ride a
Paso Fino Horse.
Ocean Passage
Some 500 years ago Christopher
Columbus, on his second voyage to
the New World, brought a few choice
horses – the Barb, the Andalusian and
the now extinct Spanish Jennet. Soon
after arriving, these fine breeds blended together to create the “Los Caballo
de Paso Fino” horse which means “the
horse with the fine step.”
For generations, the Paso Fino was
found mainly in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico,
Cuba, Columbia and Venezuela. It wasn’t until the
1940s that U.S. servicemen discovered these smoothriding horses and brought them to the United States.
8 blaze magazine / issue 34
Photo by Cheri Prill
Paso Fino Brio
With head and tail held high, Paso Finos
capture a crowd with their “brio” (spirit)
and they know it. They move with pride,
style and elegance around the show
ring. Paso Fino horses are gentle on
the ground, but full of energy, drive and
stamina under a rider.
Made to Perfection
Paso Finos are bred to have good balance. Their legs
aren’t very long, and their bodies are not very heavy.
Their hooves are hardy and rarely need shoes. They
come in every equine color, including pinto, palomino,
Photo by Cheri Prill
and even cream or buckskin. Paso Fino horses usually stand 13 to 15 hands tall and always sport a long,
flowing mane and tail.
Gaited Community
The Paso Fino belongs to the gaited horse community. Sure, they can walk and canter like other breeds,
but they prefer their unique, natural gait which is
quick, smooth and totally natural! So natural that a
Paso Fino foal, just a few hours old, can perform the
breed’s famous four-beat rhythm! Horses can be
trained to do different gaits for shows and competitions, but the Paso Fino is a natural!
Three-Speed Ride
Their gait has three speeds – the Classic Fino,
Paso Corto and Paso Largo. The Classic Fino is
very rapid but covers little ground, almost like running in place. It’s the most difficult to perform. At
shows, the horses gait over the ‘fino board’ with
microphones underneath so judges can hear how
10 blaze magazine / issue 34
fast their feet are moving. The Paso Corto gait is
the most natural, with speed similar to a trot. The
fastest gait is the Paso Largo where the horse extends its legs out, like a slow gallop, and can reach
speeds of up to 30 mph (50 km/h).
All-Around Performer
The Paso Fino’s
versatility and smaller
size make it a perfect
mount for youth in the
show ring, on the trail,
in dressage, rodeo,
working cattle and on
endurance rides. They
are popular horses for
parades, drill teams,
driving, team-penning,
and so much more.
Photo courtesy of Paso Fino Horse Association
Learn more about the Paso Fino Horse and the
Paso Fino Horse Association at www.pfha.org.

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