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its South American roots trace back over four centuries, the Peruvian
Paso is one of the newest horse breeds in North America. The first
importations occurred just over 30 years ago and since that time
the breed has caught fire with admirers.
of the Peruvian Paso horse dates back to the Spanish conquest of
the New World with none other than Christopher Columbus establishing
a stud in Jamaica in 1493, and to horses brought to the region now
known as Peru by Francisco Pizarro in 1532. These horses were the
finest then known to European horsemen, Andalusians -- a careful
blend of Iberian and Barb blood.
The Peruvian history
of the breed follows a constant course. He was first and foremost
a safe and comfortable mount, used both for surveying vast
tracks of plantation land and for carrying his rider safely from one
settlement to another. The geography of Peru, from rugged mountains
to fertile valleys, lent to different types of horses being developed,
all were descended from the same parent stock. There is much controversy
over which, if any, other bloodlines contributed to the modern Peruvian
mature between 14 and 15.2 hands tall, should be well-
yet appear refined. Deep expressive eyes give the Peruvian his soulful
countenance. The neck is medium in length and somewhat heavier than
that of most light breeds, with a noble arch and crest. The mane,
forelock and tail are characteristically long and full. A long, sloping
shoulder, open at the elbow allows for free and graceful movement
of the front legs. The chest and heart girth are deep, wide and muscular.
The croup is rounded, sloping into a low tail set. The tail
appears "tucked in."
Solid colors with dark skin are traditional, with bay,
black, brown, buckskin, chestnut, dun, gray, grulla, palomino and
roan all being acceptable. Heavy white markings and pink skin are
Brio is a hallmark
There are several
hallmarks of the Peruvian breed. Perhaps most outstanding is brio.
This is the natural enthusiasm and energy of the horse that
makes him appear fiery. But equally important is the centuries-old
gentleness and willingness bred into Peruvian Paso. Many owners
say that it was the kind character of the breed that got them "hooked."
The horse has a grand carriage and, of note to gaited horse enthusiasts,
classic four-beat gaits -- the paso llano, a slower gait
similar to a running walk, and the breathtaking sobreandando, in
which the staccato of the beat, the extension of the stride and
the thrill of the ride are all heightened.
What sets the Peruvian apart from all other gaited breeds is the
inborn trait of termino, a swinging action from the shoulder
of the horse that gracefully pulls the foreleg to the side of the
stride in order that the back foot can safely and effortlessly stride
in or ahead of the front hoof print. It is this unique action, along
with the specialized conformation of the Peruvian that provides
the rider with the "smoothest ride on earth."
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To contact the Peruvian Paso Horse Registry of North America write:
3077 Wiljan Court, Suite A
Santa Rosa, CA 95497-5702
Fax: (707) 579-1038