Paso Fino horses- Puerto Rico’s unique breed

Puerto Rican Paso Fino horse

Paso Fino horses are specially adapted to Puerto Rico. The name in Spanish translates to “fine gait or smooth gait” and it describes the characteristic that make these horses unique. As opposed to other horses, the Paso Fino’s gait sees both front and back legs of each side move in unison. This produces a smooth, rhythmic, four-beat gait. The smoothness of the ride allows riders to cover long distances over uneven terrain such as mountains and hills, comfortably. 

The Paso Fino originated in Puerto Rico

The origins of Paso Fino horses stretch back to Christopher Columbus. On his second voyage in 1493 he disembarked 20 horses at Añasco. Later, in 1509 Juan Ponce de León brought more horses over from his farm in Santo Domingo. Over the years more Spanish horses were imported that exhibited the particular gait of the berbere horses from North Africa. Over the years breeders began favoring horses with the paso fino gait and soon competitions and races were held. 

A ballet of elegance

A Paso Fino horse competition could be considered a horse ballet of sorts. The riders are evaluated on their specific stance on the horse while they navigate almost motionless, a pre-set course. They must show control over the horse while displaying elegance of movement. The unique gait of these equines creates a whirlwind of up and down movement of the legs but with a very slow and controlled forward advance. The last test is two passes over a wooden sounding board where the rhythm of the gait is evaluated.  

Paso Fino horses
The Paso Fino World Championships will be held from July 18th to th 21st in Puerto Rico


2024 World Horse Riding Championship- Mundial de Equitación

The premier event is the World Horse Riding Championship hosted by CONFEPASO or the Paso Horse Federation. This year the event will be held in Puerto Rico from July 18th to the 21st at the Marcelo Trujillo Panisse Coliseum in Humacao. Male and female riders from South and North America and the Caribbean will compete in 16 categories from 4-5 to 25+ years old.

Expect a very elegant, horse-centered crowd of enthusiasts from all over the world. An inaugural parade will be held Wednesday at the Coliseum at 6pm. 

You can find more information and tickets to the events here: https://mundialequitacionpr.com

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