Ride Around the World Horse: The Paso of Peru

In the spirit of this year's Ridefest theme, "Ride Around the World," we're going to explore a horse breed from across the world each week. 

The Paso

Environment: Savanna
Origin: 16th century
Blood: Warm
Colors: All solid
Uses: Saddle

The Peruvian Paso, or stepping horse, shares a common ancestry with the Criollo. It is distinguished by its unique lateral gait and a particular conformation, confirmed by selective breeding over three centuries or more.

Breeding: Breeding is directed at perfecting the natural gait - the paso. The action involves vigorous, round movement of the forelegs, supported by powerful use of the hindlegs, the quarters being held low. This can be kept up for long periods over rough country.

Characteristics: This breed is very rough. The hindlegs and hind pasterns are long, and the joints are unusually flexible overall. These factors contribute to the confort of the paso gait.

Edwards, Elwyn Hartley; Langrish, Bob (PHT). “Paso.” Smithsonian Handbooks Horses, Dk Pub., pp. 213.

CJ Bankhead