DANCING HORSE RANCH - PASO FINOS

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PASO FINO HORSES: BACKGROUND INFORMATION

 

Description

 

The Paso Fino horse is the longest lived horse with typical life spans approaching 40 years. The breed is characterized by a lateral four-beat gait (described below). Elegant with a brilliant style, the Paso Fino generally ranges in size from 13.2 hands to 15.2 hands. Its weight is from 700 to 1100 pounds. Full size may not be attained until the fifth or sixth year. Colors run the spectrum with a variety of markings from chestnut, bay, palomino, black, gray and roan to pinto. It is a spirited yet gentle horse, smart and tractable. The Paso Fino has been bred for physical balance, with no exaggerated muscling or size in any portion of the horse. The ideal show horse is at once dramatic, regal, restrained, and generates an aura of presence. Paso Finos make an exciting investment opportunity. If the purchase is motivated by a desire for a personal pleasure horse, then there couldn't be a more pleasurable equine experience.
 
 
The Paso Fino can be trained for a variety of uses. In competitive trail riding the endurance of the well trained Paso Fino has earned the breed national honors. Its compact size and quickness have carved it a place on ranches where it becomes a hard working partner and employee. It is an exceptional driving horse, and competes with spirit in "gymkhana." In bird dog work, the Paso Fino not only demonstrates a fine temperament for field handling, but is of a size that makes frequent mounting and dismounting easy. Because of its exceptionally smooth ride, it is the premier and prudent choice for those with back and neck injuries and arthritis, as well as for therapeutic riding programs for the handicapped.
 
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The Smooth Gait of the Paso Fino

 
The Paso Fino has been called "the smoothest riding horse in the world" and "the Rolls Royce of the Riding World". The Paso Fino moves two legs on one side and then repeats this same pattern on the opposite side. This gives it the appearence of prancing or "dancing" and is referred to as a four-beat lateral gait. As it moves, the horse's feet fall in a natural lateral pattern instead of the more common diagonal pattern. Rather than trotting, causing that seat thumping bounce that can be unpleasant for horse and rider, the Paso Fino's medium speed is a corto, during which the rider is reassuringly seated. The horse places each hoof on the ground independently of the other hooves, and thus derives the "four beat." The horses movement is generated primarily from the hind legs, and the impact of footfall is dissipated before it can reach the rider so that the ride is incomparably smooth.
 
The words paso "Paso Fino" means fine step, or gait in Spanish. All Paso Fino gaits are a pleasure, but what most owners are looking for in a pleasure horse is not only beauty, spirit, carriage and disposition, but a comfortable medium-speed gait. Paso Fino's exhibit the following gates.
 
Classic Fino - Forward speed is very slow, footfall is rapid while steps are

short. Ultimate collection.

Paso Corto - Moderate forward speed, medium extension and collection.

Paso Largo - Fastest speed, executed with a longer extension and stride and

 

A well conditioned Paso Fino can travel at the corto for hours, and thanks to the smooth gait, so can the rider.

the gait of the Paso Fino is genetic, so it requires no training! The natural movement acts as a shock absorber, and the rider feels no bounce while riding slowly (walk), moderately fast trot (corto), or at a flying speed (gallop). The rhythmical quality of the four-beat gait delivers a sound, like that of a percussion instrument, is quit phenomenal.
 
 
The Personality of the Paso Fino
 
A distinguishing characteristic of the Paso Fino is its gentle and friendly demeanor. The ease of handling makes them excellent horses for show, circus, or specialized work on the ranch. When compared to other types of horses the Paso Fino displays more affection, intelligence, companionship, and loyalty.

  

 
History of the Paso Fino
 
Originally, the Paso Fino arose from three breeds of Spanish horses -- The Andalusian, the Spanish Barb and the Spanish Jennet. In 1493, Christopher Columbus brought the breed to America on his second sailing to the "new world." These Paso Finos became the preferred horse of the Conquistadors -- displaying an incredible indurance to travel for long distances while providing a very conformable ride.
 

More recently, the US Army was very impressed with the smooth ride of the Paso Fino and began to import them to the US. back in the 1950's.

 
In 1972, came the development of the the first national association devoted to the Paso Fino, called the Paso Fino Horse Association (PFHA). The PFHA was established to promote, protect, and improve the breed. It organized registration, importation, breeding and showing in the United States, and gave the breeders an opportunity to join hands in an effort to publicize the availability of this once rare breed.
 

In 1974, several extraordinary stallions were imported to America from Puerto Rico and Colombia to become the Foundation Sires for the American Paso Fino Association and the majority of all Paso Finos in America. Presently, there are over 25,00 registered Paso Finos in the PFHA.

 

Classification

 

Show classes are available at levels from first-time novice to professional trainer, and the rewards vary from personal satisfaction to international prestige. Shows are conducted year-round at regional levels throughout the United States as well as in the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. United States' competitors and spectators can also participate in an annual Grand National Championship Show sanctioned by the Paso Fino Horse Assn. The Paso Fino horse can be categorized in several ways based on purpose, age, gender, and ride. The four general classifications described below are used in the U.S.
 
 
Bella Forma Class:

 

Bella Forma class (means "beautiful form") exhibits the horse while attached to two lines and a halter. Two handlers hold the lines and follow about 10 feet behind the horse.
 
 
Pleasure Class:

 

The Pleasure class displays manners, performance, and beauty.
The horse is judged based on its walk, corto, and largo
  
Performance Class:
 
The Performance Class displays walk, corto, and largo in a higher energy fashion (also called "brio" meaning controlled fire). As a spectator you can see the nostrils flared,the heavy breathing of an exerted effort, the sheen of sweat, the power of exerted muscles that are cut and veined.
 
Classic Fino:
 
The Classic Fino class exhibits the greatest power of the horse and is most impressive. With very little forward motion and the head held very high, the horse prances in the classic Paso Fino gate.
 
For Information please call
Phone: 805 237 2900