Paso Fino Horse Breed: History, Characteristics, and Care

Paso Fino Horse
88 / 100

Horse enthusiasts are likely familiar with the Paso Fino horse, a breed lauded for its graceful gait. But do you know the history and characteristics of this amazing horse? In this blog post, Canvas Personalized will tell you everything you need to know about the Paso Fino breed, from its history in Spain to its popularity in the Americas. So, saddle up, and let’s begin this inspiring adventure together!

Paso Fino Horse Overview

Weight700-1000 pounds
Height13-15.2 hands
Colorevery equine color
Lifespan25 years
Dispositionspirited, responsive, gentle
Body typecompact, strong, athletic

1. Background of the Paso Fino Horses

The Paso Fino has a long and illustrious history that dates back to the time of Columbus. He brought horses of various breeds, such as the Barb, the Spanish Jennet, and the Andalusian, to the Dominican Republic on his voyages. Because the conquistadors used these horses to explore and conquer Latin America, they became the ancestors of the Paso Fino.

Paso Fino Horse Origin
Paso Fino horse origin (Image: Getty Images Signature)

Those horses reproduced and produced new generations with exceptional endurance, elegance, and a smooth-riding, pleasant stride. Their descendants gave rise to the Paso Fino breed. Landowners in Puerto Rico and Columbia preferred riding these horses on their plantations, as they were easy and pleasant to ride.

It wasn’t until World War II that American soldiers discovered the Paso Fino breed and its desirable smooth gait in the Dominican Republic. After WWII, troops purchased Paso Finos and moved them from Latin America to North America. Since then, selective breeding has enabled the modern-day Paso Fino to preserve its predecessors’ toughness, endurance, and flexibility. The Paso Fino Horse Association was founded in 1972 to promote and protect this breed.

Paso Fino Horse Association 51St Grand National Championship Show
Paso Fino Horse Association 51st Grand National Championship Show (Image:

2. Paso Fino Horses Appearance


Although most Paso Fino horses are between 13.3 and 14.2 hands tall, their height can range from 13 to 15.2 hands. Some Paso Finos don’t achieve their maximum height until they’re five years old because of the length of time it takes for them to attain maturity. The average weight for this breed is around 700–1000 pounds.

Paso Fino Horse Height And Weight
Paso Fino horse height and weight (Image: The Livestock Conservancy)

Colors and Markings

It is possible to find a Paso Fino with any type of coat color, and horses of any hue can be registered. The irises of certain horses are a striking shade of golden, amber, or orange. This is called tiger eye, and it is exclusive to the Paso Fino breed. Researchers have discovered that two mutations in a gene that affects eye pigment are the cause of this eye color.

Eye Of The Paso Fino Horse
Eye of the Paso Fino horse (Image: Getty Images Signature)


Their jaws are strong, and their eyes are big in relation to the rest of their faces. In addition, they have a fairly high head carriage and delicately arched necks that add to their elegant look.

A perfect Paso Fino would have sloping shoulders, a powerful back, a wide loin, and wide hips. It’s preferable to have long forearms and short cannons in addition to straight, muscular legs. The manes and tails of these horses are often quite long and flowing, giving them a unique appearance.

Paso Fino Horse Pictures
Paso fino horse pictures about its conformation (Image: Getty Images Signature)

Paso Fino Horse Gait

The four-beat gait of the Paso Fino is one of the breed’s most defining characteristics. This gait is exceptionally smooth for the rider, as the horse retains a foot on the ground at all times. Unlike the trot, which causes loads of vertical motion, their shoulders only move a little vertically, allowing the horse’s back to absorb most of the action. As a result, riders may settle in for lengthy periods of time while enjoying the rhythmic stride. Paso Finas perform the gait at three different tempos:

  • Classic Fino: A slow and collected gait where the horse steps fast but extensions are exceedingly short.
  • Paso Corto: The forward pace is moderate, and the collection is full to moderate. The steps are broad but leisurely, with a medium extension and stride.
  • Paso Largo: The fastest and most impressive gait, allowing the horse to cover a lot of ground quickly.
Paso Fino horse video

3. Diet and Nutrition

In general, the diet of a Paso Fino does not require any particular considerations. Their optimal diet consists of 2–2.5 percent of their body weight in forage every day. Hay and pasture are a common combo that works well.

The Paso Fino needs more than just hay and grass if it is working hard. The amount of extra calories it needs depends on the horse itself. Even if the horse looks healthy with just forage, it should also get a ration balancer to make sure it gets all the vitamins and minerals it needs.

4. Paso Fino Horse Grooming

Paso Finos require frequent, careful maintenance to maintain their long, thick manes and tails and attractive coats. Mane and tail care, including conditioning and grooming, should be given frequent attention to reduce the risk of knots and breakage. Since most owners let their horses’ manes grow long, braiding manes and tails is a common method of management.

Paso Fino Horse Grooming
Paso Fino Horse Grooming (Image: Pexels)

5. Typical Health and Behavior Problems

The Paso Fino is a breed of horse that has a lot of personality and spirit. They have a quality called “Brio,” which means they are lively, fiery, and proud but also trainable and cooperative. They are small but mighty, and they can impress anyone in the show ring. The Paso Fino is a horse that loves to have fun and work hard, and it is always ready to please its rider.

Despite being a hardy breed, Paso Fino horses can develop a condition called degenerative suspensory ligament desmitis (DSLD). This condition often reveals itself in elderly horses and affects their hind legs. Because the ligaments that support the fetlock have weakened, a horse with DSLD will have a descending fetlock. Horses affected by DSLD typically become lame and unrideable. There is currently no curative therapy for this condition in horses.

Black Paso Fino
Black Paso Fino (Image: Julie Cordero Photography)

6. Champion and Famous Paso Fino Horses

Among the numerous remarkable Paso Fino horses, here are just a few that have made significant contributions to the horse world.

  • The 1932-born stallion Dulce Sueno set the standard for the paso fino gait. He was crossed with other lines and created many excellent offspring, such as Guamaní, Copita, and Garza.
  • The great Capuchino, a horse of renown, died in 2009. He was inducted into the Paso Fino Horse Association Hall of Fame in 1999 and awarded the title of the Paso Fino Horse Association Horse of the Millennium. He fathered thousands of offspring all over the world, many of whom became national and international champions.

7. Is the Paso Fino Horse Right for You?

The Paso Fino is a breed of horse that can do it all. The gentle and pleasant pace of these horses makes them ideal for recreational and competitive riding alike. They are also outstanding show horses that can captivate everyone with their grace and enthusiasm. Any rider may feel proud and satisfied atop a Paso Fino.

Is The Paso Fino Horse Right For You
Is the Paso Fino Horse Right for You (Image: Getty Images)

The Paso Fino horse is a lively and enthusiastic breed. They are not for novice or timid riders because of their high energy and preference for speed. However, their natural stride makes for a really comfortable ride. If you suffer from back discomfort or have had an injury that makes riding other horses uncomfortable, these horses are your best option.

8. How to Adopt or Buy a Paso Fino Horse?

A Paso Fino should only be purchased from a reputable breeder or trainer who specializes in the breed. This breed is common enough that you can usually locate a breeder or trainer very close by. So, how much does a Paso Fino horse cost? Depending on your location in the nation, a young Paso Fino can be purchased starting at $3,000 and up.

How Much Does A Paso Fino Horse Cost
How much does a Paso Fino horse cost (Image: Horse Illustrated)

Paso Finos are sometimes listed for adoption in equine shelters. Adopting a horse from a rescue group may be very satisfying, and the costs are usually much less than the cost of purchasing a horse. You can also check out some of Paso Fino horse for sale on the websites of the well-known horse breeders in the United States that we have compiled for your convenience:

Caribe Paso FinoSummerfield, FLBreeding, consulting, horses for sale, riding lessons, stallion service(352) 454-0003 or [email protected]
AK Equestrian LLCPlano, TXHorses for sale, riding lessons(214) 282-0348 or [email protected]
All Around Performance HorsesSelma, NCHorses for sale, riding lessons, training clinics828-318-4731 or [email protected]
Ar-Kansas Pepper FarmGoddard, KSBreeding(316)-722-325 or [email protected]
Ashley Woods Equestrian Center, Inc.La Grange, KYBoarding, horses for lease, horses for sale, riding lessons, training clinics(502)-548-8230 or [email protected]
Bandera Paso Fino FarmBig Oak Valley, CAEquine dentistry, farrier, horses for sale, riding lessons, training clinics, veterinarian[email protected] or (530) 362 1298
Besilu CollectionOcala, FLBreeding, horses for sale[email protected] or (352) 307-3777

Before adopting a horse from a shelter, it’s important to learn as much as possible about the organization’s history and practices so that you can be sure the horse will thrive in your home. You should read the adoption contract thoroughly to learn about any restrictions that may be placed on your ability to sell the horse in the future.

Paso Fino Horse Breed
Paso Fino horse breed (Image: Getty Images)

>> Some similar horse breeds you might be interested in:

With its grace and distinctive stride, the Paso Fino Horse has left an indelible mark on the hearts of horse enthusiasts all over the world. Because of its distinctive history and adaptable traits, it is a breed that riders of all skill levels highly prize. To explore more captivating insights into exceptional horse breeds and care tips, don’t forget to delve into other engaging articles right here on Canvas Personalized. Your journey through the world of equines has only just begun!