Posted to the PPRPFFA
A Brief History of the Aristocrat of the Paso Fino Horse
In 1493, Columbus, on his second voyage to the new world, introduced the ancestors of the Pure Puerto Rican
Paso Finos. During this and subsequent trips by Columbus and other conquistadors,
Andalusians, Barbs and Spanish Jennets were brought into what is now Puerto Rico. the Dominican Republic, and other areas of the Caribbean, The primary component, which contributed to the uniquely smooth gait, was the Spanish jennet - Now extinct.
The descendants of the Jennet became particularly prized for their smooth ride. As colonization spread, demand grew for these smooth riding horses on haciendas and plantations. These horses provided both a refined mount for the gentry as well as a
tireless work horse for the managers and owners of vast sugarcane plantations.
The Spanish Jennet consistently passed on their smooth gait to their offspring - even when blended
with Barbs and Andalusians. The selectively bred offspring became the foundation stock for the conquistadors' remount stations and eventualy what was to become known as "Los Caballos de Paso Fino" The horses with the fine gait of Paso Finos.
Over the last 500 years many of the specific details of the Paso Fino history have been lost, but the fact that the smooth gait remains, especially in the Pure Puerto Rican Paso Fino horses, is a great testimony to the breeders who had the foresight to preserve it.
The Puerto Ricans have generally prized the presence of gait and smoothness as primary considerations for choosing their breeding stock. Hence, the Pure Puerto Rican Paso Finos are consistent in terms of passing on gait.
While owners of many other paso fino horses have to hire trainers to train the gait into their horses, it is unknown among Puerto Rican Paso Fino owners. Pure
Puerto Rican Paso Finos gait naturally, without special training or appliances!
With fewer then 500 Pure Puerto Rican Paso Finos registered with the Federation and only a relatively
few breeders in the U.S. and Puerto Rico who have not yet diluted their bloodstock with horses of outside origin, the Pure Puerto Rican Paso Finos are very rate and valuable horses.
If you decide to seriously consider one or more of the scarce jewels for yourself, while it may not be easy to find stock available, we believe your search will be
more than amply rewarded by these horses of great temperament as as well as a smooth gait.
This article has originally been published in PPRPFFA.
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