|The Paso Fino, commonly called "America’s 500 year old new breed", was unknown in this country until the 1940’s when it was first imported. It has, however, been bred in Latin America since the days of the Spanish Conquistadors. When Columbus first came to the New World there were no horses. So on his second voyage he brought with him horses that were a mixture of the Andalusians and Barbs (known for hardiness) and the now extinct Spanish Jennet (known for its comfortable saddle gait). As these horses were selectively bred with more horses brought from Spain, a breed developed that was hardy, easy to keep on the sparse vegetation and that had a unique four beat gait which was comfortable for riding all day. The Conquistadors called these horses "Los Caballos de Paso Fino", the "horse with the fine step". During World War II, the members of the U.S. armed forces stationed in Puerto Rico discovered these horses and were the first to import them back to the United States. Since that time, Paso Finos have also been imported from Colombia, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic.
The gait of the Paso Fino is a natural, evenly spaced four-beat gait. The foot fall is the same pattern as the walk: left rear, left fore, right rear, right fore. The sound of the hoof beats are absolutely even in cadence and impact. The Paso Fino propels itself primarily from the hind legs while the motion is absorbed in its back and loins. That is why there is no bounce when riding as there would be at the trot and jog of other breeds. The Paso Fino gait is performed at three speeds. The slowest is the Classic Fino, where the horse is fully collected, the footfall is extremely rapid while the steps are very short. This gait is used for show purposes. The moderate speed gait is the Paso Corto. It covers ground similar to the trot and is the average trail gait. The fastest speed is the Paso Largo. The speed of each horse’s Largo will vary depending on the extension which can be achieved. The Paso Fino can walk, trot, canter and gallop like any other horse but most riders find that the horse’s natural way of going is much more fun and comfortable.
The Paso Fino has a long flowing mane and tail and a proud, graceful carriage. It’s size varies between 13 hands and 15.2 hands and comes in all colors. It is a sure-footed, athletic, beautiful horse..."The Smoothest Riding Horse in the World."