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The Beauty and Versatility of the Paso Fino Horse Breed

The Paso Fino Horse Breed: A Smooth and Elegant Option for Riding Enthusiasts

If you are a horse lover looking for a new breed to ride and possibly own, have you considered the Paso Fino? The Paso Fino, which originated in Latin America and has a mix of Spanish and North African horse breeds.

It is known for its smooth gait and elegant body conformation. This breed of horse has a rich history and is a popular choice for many American horse lovers.

In this article, we will explore the origins and history of this breed, as well as the regisitries available for enthusiasts.

Origins of the Paso Fino Horse Breed

The origins of the Paso Fino horse breed can be traced back to Christopher Columbus’s 1494 journey to the Caribbean. Columbus brought with him horses for transportation and exploration, many of which were of Spanish and North African breeding.

These horses were then mixed with the indigenous horses of the region to create the Los Caballos de Paso Fino, the foundation of the modern Paso Fino horse breed. What makes the Paso Fino stand out from other breeds is its distinctive gait.

The Paso Fino is known for its rhythmic, four-beat lateral gait, which makes it a comfortable horse to ride for long periods of time. This smooth gait makes it a favorite amongst riders and has led to its spread throughout Latin America and the United States.

What is a Paso Fino? The Paso Fino is a medium-sized horse breed with a height ranging between 13.2-16 hands tall, and a weight between 700-1100 pounds.

It has an elegant body conformation and is bred for its natural gait, making it an ideal riding horse. Additionally, the breed has a rich Spanish heritage and is known for its simplicity and easy-going nature, which makes it easy for both experienced riders and beginners to ride.

Breed History

After the breed was developed, its popularity continued to grow throughout Latin America. As time passed, American servicemen stationed in Puerto Rico and Colombia during World War II fell in love with the Paso Fino breed.

In 1972, the first Paso Fino Horse Association (PFHA) was formed in the United States, which paved the way for the breeds recognition and growth throughout the country. Today, the Paso Fino horse breed is bred in Puerto Rico, Columbia, and the United States.

The breed is known for its versatility, making it a popular choice for many different riding disciplines, including riding trails, shows, pleasure riding, and more.

Paso Fino Registries

Several registries for the Paso Fino breed are available to enthusiasts. In the United States, the PFHA is the association that manages the breed.

It is also responsible for promoting Paso Finos to the American public through horse shows, riding demonstrations, and training clinics. Additionally, it publishes the Paso Fino World magazine, which focuses on the breed’s history, breeding, and current state of the breed.

Another registry in the United States is the American Paso Fino Horse Association (APFHA). This registry focuses on the breeder and member’s program, promoting breed performance, breeding incentives, and trail programs like Miles of Smiles.


The Paso Fino horse breed has a rich history and continues to be a popular choice for many riders. Its smooth gait and elegant body conformation make it an excellent riding horse, not just for experienced riders, but also for beginners.

Its versatility has made it a popular choice for many riding disciplines, and regisries like the PFHA and APFHA make it easy to get involved and learn more about the breed. If you are looking for a new horse breed to ride or possibly own, the Paso Fino is definitely worth considering.

Characteristics of the Paso Fino Horse: A Jack of all Trades

There are many horse breeds to choose from when looking for a new family pet or riding partner, but the Paso Fino horse is a breed that has something to offer any rider or owner. The Paso Fino is known for its independent hoof steps, which creates a quick and smooth four-beat gait.

In addition to its distinctive gait, there are other characteristics of this breed that make it unique and sought after by many enthusiasts.


The Paso Fino horse’s gait is definitely the breeds defining characteristic. This gait is not like the traditional trot or canter of other horse breeds.

Instead, its four-beat gait is made up of independent hoof steps that are quick, even, and smooth. The quick and even beat of the gait provides riders with an extremely comfortable riding experience, making it a perfect ride for beginners or seasoned riders.

The Paso Fino horse’s four-beat gait can be broken down into three speed variations that include, Classic Fino, Paso Corto, and Paso Largo. Classic Fino is the slowest of the three and is performed at an average speed of 4-6mph.

The Paso Corto and Paso Largo are medium and high speeds, respectively. Paso Corto covers 8-10 mph, while Paso Largo can reach speeds of up to 15mph.


Paso Fino horses come in a variety of coat colors. They can be found in chestnut, bay, buckskin, palomino, pinto, black, roan, sorrel, white, cream, and many other colors.

Paso Finos can also have various white markings, including blazes, stockings, snips, and stars. The breed’s coat colors and markings are an essential characteristic that owners can appreciate.


The temperament of the Paso Fino horse is often a deciding factor for many owners. This breed is known for its docile, even-tempered, and willingness to please personality, which makes it easy to work with even for novice riders.

However, they also have a spirited nature that makes them suitable for various disciplines.

Height and Weight

The Paso Fino horse is a medium-sized horse breed, with a height range of 13.2-16 hands and a weight range of 700-1100 pounds. The average height of the Paso Fino horse is 13.3-14.2 hands, which is not extremely tall.

This size makes them perfect for riders of all ages as they are easy to mount and dismount and can carry both children and adults.

Grooming Needs

The Paso Fino’s long flowing mane and tail are its most recognizable physical traits, but they require frequent grooming to maintain their healthy appearance. Regular brushing and detangling of its mane and tail are essential, using proper grooming tools and conditioner.

Additionally, like all horses, their hooves require a regular trim and treatment.


Like other horse breeds, the Paso Fino horse can experience health issues such as equine metabolic syndrome, laminitis, equine degenerative myeloencephalopathy, and endocrine-related disorders. It is essential to take proper care of your horse, with a balanced diet and regular exercise, and visit your veterinarian annually.

Paso Fino Life Span

The Paso Fino horse, with proper care, can live up to 25-30 years old. Some horses can live longer, up to 40 years old, and remain healthy throughout their lives.

Common Uses/Disciplines

The Paso Fino horse is very versatile, making it perfect for a range of equestrian activities. Its elegant, smooth ride makes it popular in the show ring, rodeo circuit, and cattle arena.

They are also a popular choice for trail riding, Western show classes, team penning, cow sorting, endurance rides, drill team, and even Pleasure Driving. The Paso Finos unique gait and temperament make them a fantastic choice for teaching riders regardless of the riding discipline.



The Paso Fino horse is a great choice for any rider or enthusiast. Their four-beat gait, unique coat colors, even temperament, medium size, and versatility make them an excellent option for those looking to own or ride a horse.

Careful consideration must be taken with your horse, and a visit to your veterinarian is needed in case your Paso Fino requires medical attention. Whether you’re a novice or experienced equestrian, the Paso Fino horse is sure to enchant you and will not disappoint.

Prices and

Breed Criticism of the Paso Fino Horse

If you are a horse lover looking to own, breed, or ride a Paso Fino horse, the cost will depend on several factors, including the horse’s quality, pedigree, and training. However, the price range for a Paso Fino horse typically falls between $0-$100,000.

The personality, unique gait, and versatility of the breed make them an attractive option for individuals interested in a range of equestrian activities.


The price of a Paso Fino horse can vary based on age, pedigree, temperament, training, and other factors. The price range is substantial due to the quality of the horse, and some international level show horses can be worth tens of thousands of dollars.

However, horses used for pleasure or trail riding or in small shows are often priced more moderately. Additional training of the horse can also lead to increased costs.

Experienced trainers will specialize in training a Paso Fino horse to ride in a particular discipline or for showmanship. This training helps the horse master its gait and develops additional skills for performance.

However, the additional training increases the cost of the horse.

Breed Criticism

One of the significant criticisms of the Paso Fino horse is its gait. Some people find it strange and unnatural and believe that it is a breed-specific flaw.

The Paso Fino horse’s gait is indeed unique, with a four-beat rhythm from its independent hoof steps that make it appear as if the horse is gliding on air. However, the gait is a part of the breed’s uniqueness and has been occurring naturally for centuries.

Another criticism that the Paso Fino horse often faces is the idea that it is a horse that only performs well in the show ring and has no use outside of that. However, this is false as the breed is exceptionally versatile and can excel in various horse sporting events.

Paso Finos are capable of walking, loping, trotting, cantering, and more. They perform adequately for pleasure riding, trail riding, and other equestrian activities.

They are very energetic and have a stable build, making them suitable for a range of activities. In


The Paso Fino horse breed offers a unique set of characteristics that make them highly attractive to riders, owners, and breeders.

The cost of a Paso Fino horse depends on the individual horse’s factors, including the horse’s age, pedigree, temperament, training, and other characteristics. The breeds odd gait and its supposed exclusive use in the show ring invite criticisms.

However, the Paso Finos versatility and performance outside the show arena makes it a worthwhile consideration for equestrian enthusiasts. Overall, the Paso Fino is a unique and exciting horse breed to own or ride.

The Paso Fino Horse: A

Great Option for Older Riders & Differences Between a Paso Fino and a Peruvian Paso

The Paso Fino horse is a highly desirable breed for many equestrians, especially older riders. The breed’s popularity stems from its size, which is smaller than many other horse breeds, making them an excellent option for older riders who may have back problems.

The Paso Fino’s stable conformation and smooth gait make it easy to ride and handle, making it an attractive option for many riders.

Great Option for Older Riders

The Paso Fino horse is an ideal choice for older riders due to their size and smooth gait. Pasos are medium-sized horses, with the average height ranging between 13.2-16 hands.

This size makes them a fantastic option for older riders because they are easy to mount, dismount and have a lower center of gravity than other larger breeds. However, the most significant benefit of the Paso Fino horse is their unique smooth gait.

The Paso Fino’s gait is four-beat and even, which provides a comfortable riding experience. The gait provides less shock to the rider’s back, making it an excellent option for older riders who may have back problems.

Furthermore, the horse’s gentle and predictable nature makes them easy to manage, allowing riders to fully enjoy their riding experience.

Differences between a Paso Fino and a Peruvian Paso

The Paso Fino horse and the Peruvian Paso are two popular breeds that share similarities but also differences that distinguish them from each other. The primary similarities between the two breeds stem from their Spanish bloodstock origin.

One of the significant differences between the two breeds is their size. The Peruvian Paso horse is taller than the Paso Fino, with an average height of 14.2-16 hands, where Paso Fino measures an average of 13.3-14.2 hands.

The Peruvian Paso also has a slightly heavier build, weighing between 900-1200 pounds, while the Paso Fino weighs between 700-1100 pounds. Another significant difference between the two breeds is their gait.

The Peruvian Paso horse is known for its lateral gait, which is similar to the Paso Fino but has an additional step called the termino. The termino is the horse’s final step just before it lifts its hoof off the ground, and it is a unique aspect of the Peruvian Paso’s gait, giving it its signature acrobatic and flashy display.

In contrast, the Paso Fino horse’s gait lacks termino, which makes it easier to ride and less flashy, even though it is equally stable. The country of origin is also another significant difference between the two horse breeds.

The Peruvian Paso horse originates from Peru, while the Paso Fino originates from the Caribbean. In terms of temperament, both breeds are gentle, easy to handle, and have a willing personality that makes them excellent options for various equestrian activities.



The Paso Fino horse is an excellent choice for older riders due to the breed’s smoother gait, smaller size, and predictable nature. On the other hand, the Peruvian Paso is a taller and larger breed with a flashy display due to its termino lateral gait.

Both breeds are quite different, although they share a similar Spanish bloodline origin. Both breeds have their various capacities and fulfill specific roles.

It’s essential to consider your requirements and preferences before settling on either of the breeds. The Paso Fino Horse: A Versatile & Strikingly Beautiful Breed

The Paso Fino horse breed is a highly desirable breed for equestrians worldwide.

Their versatility and elegant appearance make them a fantastic choice for various equestrian activities, including show ring, rodeo circuit, cattle arena, and trail riding. The easy gait, striking beauty, and athleticism of the Paso Fino horse make it an excellent option for novice, intermediate, and advanced riders alike.

The Paso Fino’s versatile nature makes it

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