Beyond the Bit

The Peruvian Paso: Smooth Gait, Storied History

10.10.16 | Uncategorized

Caballos de Paso de la Hacienda MamaconaThere is nothing quite like watching the smooth, effortless gait of the majestic Peruvian Paso. Descended from horses brought to South America by Spanish conquistadors in the early 1500s, the Paso has not only established itself as one of the most unique and elegant horse breeds alive but has also become an icon of Peruvian culture.

Francisco Pizarro is credited as the first to bring Spanish horses to Peru in 1531, marking the beginning of a rich and storied history of the breed that would come to define Peru’s equestrian legacy. In fact, the breed is protected by the Peruvian government and National Institute of Culture as a Cultural Heritage of the Nation.

The ancestry of the Peruvian Paso is comprised of Spanish Jennet, Barb, and Andalusian—a combination that makes for a beautiful horse with strength, stamina, and a smooth, ambling gait. The breed’s gait is its most unique quality, a breed characteristic that, though once taught, is now passed directly through the purebred line.

Peruvian PasoA result of 400 years of isolation and selective breeding, the Peruvian Paso moves at a four-beat, lateral gait that is somewhere between a trot and a canter. Possessing none of the vertical bounce of the traditional trot, this gait is regarded as the smoothest in the world, making the Peruvian Paso an excellent horse for riders with back problems.

With its elegant yet powerful build and good-natured temperament, the Peruvian Paso is a favorite for pleasure riding, trail riding, horse shows, and parades. The variety of coats in this breed is quite expansive, covering shades from Palomino to chestnut and everything in between. As of 2003, there were an estimated 25,000 Peruvian Paso horses worldwide.

Interested in learning more about the beautiful Peruvian Paso? Ready to start planning your Peruvian adventure to experience these majestic horses in person? Contact us with your questions and comments. We’re always happy to help!

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