Learn About Paso Fino Horses

What makes Paso Finos so special compared to other gaited breeds?

Paso Finos have been called the smoothest riding horses in the world due to their 4 beat evenly spaced footfall which results in a "cadillac" smooth ride. Other gaited breeds have a longer stride with the hind legs, which can result in the rider feeling this uneven stride. Another quality that riders value are the Paso Finos user friendly smaller size, which allows for easier mounting and dismounting. Paso Finos are smart, thinking horses which allow for a willing pleasing attitude for the owner for positive personal interactivity.

What is the historical heritage of the Paso Fino horse?

The traits that people value today in the Paso Fino horse has been part of its heritage for over 500 years. These three European breeds - the Andalusian, the Spanish Barb, and the now extinct Spanish Jennet accompanied Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the New World and interbred with each other. These sturdy horses became instrumental as smooth, trusty riding mounts for the Spanish Conquistadors as they rode over rugged mountains, open ranges, and dense jungles exploring Latin America and South America. In the late 1940's and 1950's, Paso Finos started to be imported to the United States by army families stationed in Puerto Rico, who discovered them while living there. Also, in the late 1950's Paso Finos started to be imported from Colombia.

What sizes do Paso Finos come in?

Paso Finos range in size from 13.2 to 15.2 hands, with the average around 13.3 to 14.1 hands. (Note: A hand is equal to 4 inches.) Gracewood Farm has bred Paso Fino horses in the 13.3 to 14.3 hand range available for sale. One of the farm's foundation broodmares Insignia is 15 hands. Weight of Paso Finos average 750 to 1000 pounds.

What size person can a Paso Fino carry being ridden?

While the Paso Fino can be a more compact smaller package than other equine breeds, they make sturdy riding mounts. The school of thought is 25% (some say a higher figure at 30%) of the horses' weight would be the number of pounds that the horse should carry, which would include the rider's weight combined with the weight of saddle, tack and any equipment. The maturity, conformation and health of the mount also would come into play as factors, also. With the Paso Fino gait being 4 beats, they have more leg/hoof support on the ground.

What colors do Paso Finos come in?

Paso Finos come in almost every equine color with or without white markings. The most common colors are bay, chestnut, gray and black. Other colors include roan, buckskin, palomino, pinto, dun, perlino, cremello and grulla.

What gaits can Paso Finos do?

Paso Finos can perform the Paso Corto - the horse's preferred riding 4 beat evenly spaced gait with speed of a trot; the Paso Largo - the faster, more extended reach of the 4 beat Paso Fino gait with the speed of a canter; and the 4 beat Walk - that all equines perform. Some Paso Finos can execute the Classic Fino gait - the prized show ring gait of an extremely short and quick step. Many Paso Finos also will perform the trot (diagonal 2 beat gait) or trocha (diagonal uneven 4 beat gait) in the pasture.

Therapeutic for your body, relaxing on your mind and rejuvenating for your spirit ...

Experience the smoothest ride with Gracewood's Paso Fino horses. Schedule a visit for a test ride, plan for a horsemanship riding lesson or simply come meet the horses. We are located in central North Carolina near Raleigh. Call 919.961-0675 or email us.

dun paso fino mare ridden by gracewood farm visitor
paso fino native costume of the south american andean mountains
Paso finos on trail ride in Wyoming
Paso Finos can be great family horses.
dappled gray paso fino mare broodmare at gracewood farm's apple tree
paso fino owner riding her mare with foal