What makes a Paso Fino so special?
There are many reasons you will love the Paso Fino. Pasos are beautiful, spirited yet gentle, eager to please, intelligent and surefooted, all traits to win your heart. However, once you experience the Paso Fino’s incredibly smooth, “no bounce” gait, you won’t want to go back to any other breed of horse.
How do they do this?
The Conquistadors bred the Paso Fino by crossing three Spanish breeds: the Barb, the Andalusian and the Jennet. The Barb contributed hardiness, stamina and tough hooves; the Andalusian its majestic presence and the Jennet its incredibly smooth gait. Paso Finos can walk and canter like other horses, but their preferred way of moving is a natural four-beat lateral gait. Rather than trotting, with its seat thumping bounce unpleasant for horse and rider, on a Paso Fino, the rider seems to glide. This gait is natural to the Paso Fino and will be seen in the foal’s first steps. A well conditioned Paso Fino can maintain its gait and thanks to the smoothness of the gait, so can its rider.
Paso Fino Gaits
- The Classic Fino gait has a very fast cadence with very little forward movement. It is executed with a high degree of collection and is usually reserved for the show ring.
- The Paso Corto is more relaxed, similar in speed to the trot but without the bounce. It is the ideal trail and pleasure gait.
- The Paso Largo is similar in speed to a slow canter but has the same 1,2,3,4 rhythm with the rider appearing motionless in the saddle.
The Versatility of the Paso Fino
The Paso Fino ranges in size from 13.2 to 15.2 hands. It is strong for its size. A 14-hand Paso Fino can comfortably carry more weight over a greater distance than a 16-hand Thoroughbred. Paso Finos are naturally quick, surefooted and athletic with extremely durable hooves. The Paso Fino can frequently be ridden barefoot, even on rocky terrain. Paso Finos come in every color. The Paso Fino is known for its versatility, is ridden under English and Western tack and can be used for most equestrian disciplines. Because of its exceptionally smooth ride, it is the first choice for those with arthritis or bad backs or necks.