The head should be
refined and in good proportion to the body of the horse, neither extremely
small nor large with the preferred profile being straight. Eyes are large
and well-spaced, very expressive and alert, and should not show excessive
white around the edges. Ears are comparatively short, set close and curved
inward at the tips. The lips should be firm and the nostrils large and
dilatable. Jaws are defined but not extreme. The impression should be of a
well-shaped, alert, and intelligent face.
The neck is gracefully
arched, medium in length and set on at an angle to allow high carriage,
breaking at the poll. The throat latch should be refined and well-defined.
The shoulders are sloping into the withers with great depth
through the heart. Chest is moderate in width. Withers are defined but not
pronounced and slope smoothly into the back.
The midsection is
moderate in length with a well-sprung rib cage. The top line should be
proportionately shorter than the underline. The back should be strong and
muscled. The midsection should join the forehand and the hindquarters so
as to give the horse a pleasing, proportioned appearance.
croup is slightly sloping with rounded hips, broad loins, and strong
hocks. The tail is carried gracefully when the horse is in motion.
The legs are straight with refined bones and strong, well defined
tendons and broad, long forearms with shorter cannons. The thigh and
gaskin are strong and muscled but not exaggerated. Standing slightly under
in the rear is acceptable. Pasterns are sloping and medium in length.
Bones are straight, sound, and flat, and joints are strong and well
defined. Hooves are well rounded, proportionate in size and do not show
The mane, tail, and forelock are as long, full,
and luxurious as nature can provide. No artificial additions or
alterations are allowed. A bridle path not exceeding 4" is acceptable.
Paso Fino horses are generally 13 to 15.2 hands with weight ranging
from 700 to 1100 pounds. Full size may not be attained until the fifth
Every equine color can be found, with or without white
Fino horse reflects its Spanish heritage through its proud carriage,
grace and elegance. Modern care and selective breeding have enhanced
its beauty, refinement and well-proportioned conformation that
conveys strength and power without extreme muscling.
Paso Fino is born with a gait unique to the Breed, and its attitude
seems to transmit to the observer that this horse knows its gait is
a very special gift that must be executed with style and pride! The
gait, being totally natural, does not exhibit the catapulting or
exaggerated leg action of manmade gaits; rather the movements are
smooth, rhythmic, purposeful, straight, balanced in flexion and
synchronous front to rear, resulting in unequalled comfort and
smoothness for the rider.
The Paso Fino is a graceful, agile
and supple equine athlete that uses all four legs with precision and
harmony. With its definite but controlled spirit, natural gait and
presence, and responsive attitude, the Paso Fino is indeed, a rare
and desirable equine partner.
Fino originated from Spain. The three breeds that contributed to
today's Paso are the Andalusian, the Spanish Barb and the Spanish
Jennet (where the gait came from) from the Iberian Peninsula.
From these three ancestral lines, the Paso Fino was produced
and its appearance is first marked as a breed of horse that was
brought to the new world on his second expedition in 1493 by
These were the horses of the
Conquistadors. Comfort and endurance was required due to the long
distances covered by these explorers started a remote breeding
program. These two characteristics remain in the Paso Fino and are
well noted for. The
variations on todays Paso is due to the
passage of these horses from Santo Domingo into the southern and
northern American continents.
The Peruvian Paso came from
these early mounts along with the Colombian Paso Fino, both bred to
function the best in that country's geographic conditions, and so it
goes with the Puerto Rican Paso Fino, and others which developed in
the southern island areas around the Caribbean. In North America,
the Paso Fino came with the Spaniards.
The recent history of
the Paso Fino in the United States, starts with a few US Army
personnel in Puerto Rico in the late 1950's who decided to import
the Paso Fino to the US. Then they discovered the Colombian Paso
Fino and importation and cross breeding began in the US.
first registry that was started was called the American Paso Fino
Association, and was comprised of all Pasos. In 1972 the first
national association exclusively for the Paso Fino, called the Paso
Fino Owners and Breeders Association, was started, and with the
newly formed registry, in 1974, six stallions imported from Puerto
Rico and Colombia were named as the Foundation Sires for the
American Paso Fino. These stallions were Faeton LaCE (PR), Mar de
Plata LaCE(COL), Hilachas(COL), Lucertio(DOM REP), El Pastor(COL),
and Bolero LaCE(PR). This was done to help mare owners breed to
exemplary Paso Fino stallions. These stallions were chosen to typify
what was considered the best of the Paso Fino breed.
direction of the breed of Paso Fino in the US was impacted
tremendously in 1984, with the first presentation of a four year old
colt, named CAPUCHINO. He went on to win the US Grand National Fino
Championship in '84, '85, '86 and '87, a record that remains
unbroken to the present. Because of his success, his father was then
brought to the US, and it is this horse that is dominant in the
winning bloodlines of today. His name was RESORTE CUATRO. It is his
progeny that represent the majority of winners in the show ring at
the present time.
Other phenomenal stallions of note in
recent history were RESORTE III, (father of Resorte IV), BOCHICA,
CONTRAPUNTO, and ANFITRION, Colombian Paso Finos, all of whom have
progeny that are considered the best of the best, in bloodlines of
the Paso Fino. These stallions are all deceased, but are represented
by their offspring in the best of breeding stallions and brood mares
The growth and expansion of the Paso Fino in
the US has continued and there are approximately 25,000 registered
Paso Finos in the Paso Fino Horse Association registry records at
the present time.
The gait is
the reason for it's existence today. This gait is a smooth, fourbeat
lateral gait, with a footfall sequence similar to the walk, but
Paso Fino: The slowest foreward-moving gait,
but the footfalls come very quickly and in cadence. The faster a
fino horse's footfalls are, with the least amount of space traveled,
the more desireable the animal is, and the higher the price. The
fino, however, is not recommended for pleasure and trail riding,
because of it's slowness, and the energy it requires both for the
rider to maintain the proper cues for it, and the horse to perform
Corto A relaxed, somewhat faster gait than the
Fino, but it covers the ground with the same speed as that of a slow
gait from a Racking horse. This gait is the ideal replacement for
the rough, twobeat trot, as the horse can perform it effortlessly,
and the rider can sit it with equal satisfaction.
Largo The most exciting gait of all for many paso
riders. This gait can reach speeds of upwards of 30 miles per hour.
It is an extended, faster version of the corto, but the gaits
cadence and smoothness remains beyond reproach. This totally
NATURAL-BORN gait can keep horse and rider neck and neck with the
fast racker or a person in a pretty good canter, and what a blast to
The canter is the same for the paso as most other
horse breeds. Many people do not recommend cantering or galloping a
paso fino until it is evident that he will perform his other gaits
willingly and without much fuss, because the canter is somewhat
easier to do than maintain a gait, even if it is natural, right from
wonderful characteristic of the Paso Fino is there temperment. The
Paso Fino is noted for a gentle and loving disposition and loves
There are exceptions of course, the majority of Paso
Fino's are people horses. They strive to please and "love to be
Stallions will stand side by side
The Paso Fino is an extremely willing horse that truly seems
to enjoy human companionship and strives to please. It is spirited
and responsive under tack while sensible and gentle at hand.
As with all animals if frightened will react with what
horsemen call "flight or fight". They will respond by running or
they will stand and fight.
I have found the Paso Fino to be
"a cut above the rest" without a doubt. More alive, more
affectionate, more willing, smarter, and without a doubt, a much
more enjoyable companion and mount to ride.
friends' home pages, favorite URLs, other pages on my web
Training - This covers the key elements of training, more on
gaits, from infancy to halter, 3-4 months and the weanling
Training - This covers introducing the saddle, saddling, the
second day and the next step.
- This section covers the jaquima, combination examples, headset, a
little on bits and a tip.
- This gives some tips on the first ride, some common situations and
Suppleness & Collection - This section introduces
flexing, tells you what it is and how you do it, the goal, some
points to remember and Collection.
pages - You'll find brag pages on my family and horses along
with poetry, aromatherapy and horse information.