BEGINING THE PASO FINO'S TRAINING

KEY ELEMENTS

Dedication in and out of work is
demanded from a Paso Fino. A good
relationship is very important.
Training is not about who is
stronger or who is the boss, but
about a team effort to bring out
the best qualities in each. If
you are able to accept the good
and bad qualities of your horse
and be able to critique your horse then you will be able to reach
it's potential.

The key elements are Discipline, Communication, Consistency and Patience. Without these influences it is difficult if not impossible to reach your goal.

*DISCIPLINE: From the moment you commit yourself to train your horse, you must be just as disiplined. The horse will use
your lack of discipline against
you and not take it seriously.
There must be commitment in order
to see results. The horse must
always respond and obey with
respect while being rewarded for
thhe good, but not pampered.

Lunging before mounting and as a
way of punishment when they become uncontrollable is the best tool
for gaining respect and getting
your message across. Making the
horse lunge in a small circle at
full speed will get it's
attention. You must do this as
many times as needed.

Another way to develop discipline under saddle is to stop the horse every time it acts up and start over with the same thing you were trying toaccomplish. This will tell them that work will go on and will end faster, the moment ey stop acting up. If this does not work, then dismount and lunge on the spot until you get the horse's attention again.

DO NOT FIGHT THE HORSE ON IT'S BACK. They WILL eventually win.

Discipline will assure you improvement on the horse's part as you progress throught the training cycle.

*PATIENCE & COMMUNICATION: A Paso grows in stages, physically and mentally. They are not always
simutaneous. Getting to know your
horse is the best asset you can
achieve before you start riding.
In the begining stages of training your horse will not always respond as quickly and accuratly as you
may like. It is the ability to
determine the reason why the horse is not willing to do so, which
will allow you to reach a goal
faster.

Any individual can learn how to solve a specific training problem on a horse. The ability to anticipate a problem when teaching a new command is the insight needed to be a good trainer. This comes from spending a long time riding and handling different horses. In order to achieve this ability you must be patient.

Long term patience requires you to understand your goal and the
reality of your ability to get the horse there. Depending on your
goal, the time is going to involve months maybe years. The time will
depend on what you want to do with your horse, be it a weekend budy
or a show mount.

You must have a plan, or curriclum, to guide your horse step by 1000 stp through.
Maturity is reach at around 5
years old. This gives you an idea
that your work will be longg and
your dedication is the sole key.

Short term patience deals with
your every day routine of work.
Horses will have good days and bad days. On a bad day, make sure you
do not go overboard with your
expectations. If you can maintain
the horse at the same level as the day before then you have
accomplished more than you think.

Loosing your cool, pushing too
hard, over punishing the horse or
taking out your frustrations on
the horse can ruin all the work
that you have done up to that
point. Also be sure you know the
difference between the horse
having a bad day, and you having a bad day. Set daily goals as well
so taht the progress is continuous and positive.

Communicating with your horse
requires you to become a total
slave to the horse. Try to figure
out his needs and bring them out
through your work. Every move
made around the horse will have an affect, be it positive or
negative. The Paso is always on
the lookout for it's surroundigns. When riding a horse he will
always feel every move you make.

*CONSISTENCY: A planned routine must be developed and followed through with. It is this that will allow you to reach your goal in a realistic manner. When
starting a horse under saddle,
your workouts are shory and to the point. As the horse gets more
confident, you may start
increasing the time limit of each
workout. A horse learns from
repetition. Keep your system and
style of riding the same.

Reinforce the things learned the
previous day, before moving on to
soomething new. Try to make sure
that the horse is moving one step
at a time so that it does not go
too fast. If you do not maintain
that sense of repetition you may
get ahead of yourself which will
confuse the horse more. It is
becasue the horse depends on your
command: if you change it every
day, then the horse will become
confused trying to interpret your
desires.

Your consistency will also improve your horse's discipline by falling into a similar routing on a daliy bais.

A horse may have handling discipline; but if there is no
work consistency, then there will
be no learning discipline.

These "elements" may seem like
plain common sense, but be careful not to overlook their importance.
No Paso can bring out its full
capacities without these elements.
 




GAIT OF THE PASO FINO

What does a natural 4-beat gait mean? Well, this is the reason why the horse is so unique and different from other breeds of horses. No 2 feet hit the ground at the same time. The movement should be consistent and symmetrical, producing a smooth ride and a musical sound to your ears. he tracking of the horse is as follows: right back-right front-left back-left front and again to the right back. This continuity of steps is the factor responsible for the smooth rie.
A horse will sometimes relax and train by traveling in a trocha. This is a diagonal movement. It is still a 4-beat movement, the legs move from right back and left front, but the left front hits the ground slightly before the right rear making the sound effect different from the trot. It is also a smoother ride than the trot.

During some stages of training a horse may tend to go diagonal in order to relax and therefore learn more. Another reason a horse may go diagonal and not gait when asked is because of a lack of suppleness and flexing. A horse that does not relax into other gait will mos tlikely tense up and eventually begin to pace. Another sign of not relaxing is the loss of even footfall and the increase in forward movement. A horse who can relax in trocha will actually perform a more pure and true gait when asked to gait. This is found more in some Columbian horses, but all of the masters of the breed say that this quality actually allows a horse to have more ability to collect with mor equickness in its footfall. The Puerto Rican horses does not tend to move to diagonal but at the same time does not generaly have the same capability to perform in the levels of collections that a Colombian horse does.
     

 




INFANCY & HALTER BREAKING

FROM BIRTH TO SADDLE


Paso training begins the moment the foal is born. As always it is our responsibility to make sure that all of their needs are met. ar & nutrition of the foal for the first 2 years is essential.

Imprinting of a foal is a very important feature in accepting the human. Too much handling at the early stage can cause misleading senses to the foal. You don't want to make a "pet" out of the foal. Respect is the goal, but the foal maintaining the animal instincts it was born with is desired and needed also.

Exercise is the second most important growth element. It will help the foal develop physically and mentally.

For the first 3 months teaching the horse to lead is the only recommended task. Have a long leadline and DO NOT allow the foal to jerk you around. Maintain contact on the leadline without the foal pulling you with him. Don't make ita tug-of-war. When the foal has stood still, hen proceede to pull and release. You may have to pull the foal from left to right in your pull-release, to allow balance to help you achieve the forward movement. Once the foal voluntarily follows you reward it by stroking its face and ncek, and establish that this is your sign of pleasure.

In the third and fourth month get the al used to tying. Tie to a stable post by wrapping the leadline around the post and through the bottom of the halter and back around the post. Slip the end of the leadline around the bottom of the halter again, and tie a knot that can easily be released in case of emergency. Leave about 6" of play. Then proceed to "sack out" the foal.(greater detail on the next page)

After all of this is accepted by the foal do it again, only gently with your bare hands. Then put the foal in his stall. At this time you will probably have to reinstate who is the boss. Especially at weaning time.



 




3 - 4 MONTHS

In the third and fourth month get the foal used to tying. Tie to a stable post by wrapping the leadline around the post and through the bottom of the halter and back around the post. Slip the end of the leadline around the bottom of the halter again, and tie a knot that can easily be released in case of emergency. Leave about 6" of play. Then proceed to "sack out" the foal.(greater detail on the next page)

After all of this is accepted by the foal do it again, only gently with your bare hands. Then put the foal in his stall. At this time you will probably have to reinstate who is the boss. Especially at weaning time.

 




WEANLING

This stage really does not need much of our attention. Their nutrition and exercise, plus farrier visits, should be your only contact. Now let's talk about lunging the foal. Oh boy!

Start by making sure that the foal is facing you. This time, you will want a 12-15 foot leadline. If you want the horse to travel to your left, wrap the rope from right to left bringing over the top back to your hand. Your goal now is to ask the foal to move in a circle around the post without stopping or rearing back. Always try to start asking the horse to travel at a walk.

As you move to the side to encourage the horse, be sure to be ready to hold your ground in case he tries to rear back. Do not catch yourself staying behind or walking too fast. Any time the horse feels you are in front of him he will stop. Make sure also that when the foal is traveling, he is not pulling on the rope. You accomplish that by slowly asking him to travel.

After you have gone around a couple of times, grap your rope with your left hand only. This will free up you right hand, which you will use to stop the foal. When you are ready, reach across and grab the rope to the foal's head. Immediately stand your ground and pull the foal towards you. Do not let go of your rope.
To drive the foal forward always walk towards his rear end, not his head. It is like ground driving. do not overdo this at a young age because it can be physically harmful as lunging puts a strain on their joints. In addition, the foal is just a baby, and will not have the attention span to endure long training sessions. A foal only needs to be worked from time to time. This is continued until the horse is ready to be started under saddle.