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It was because of Christopher Columbus over 500 years ago, that the Paso Fino horse populated North America. The breed was the result of a cross breeding between the Barb, Andalusia, and Spanish Jennet.
During the 15th century, the Pas Fino was known as Los Caballos De Paso Fino, which meant "the horse with the fine step." The breed was characterized with an especially smooth gait that made it a comfortable ride.
The Paso Fino was for many generations a Latin breed; the horse was preferred over many of the much larger breeds simply because the Latin people did not feel they needed bigger horses, which might be a mark of their confidence. Regardless of the reasons for their preference, the Latin peoples had great pride in the appearance of their horses and the way they performed. The Paso Fino was a horse that carried itself well and did so with much pride or "brios," that it became the most well respected and prized horse of their native lands.
The Paso Fino's gait is performed at a variation of collected speeds; the different speeds are called Classic Fino, Paso Corto, and Paso Largo. The Paso Finos perform the various gaits at different styles, the Classic Pino, Performance, and Pleasure style. Just like some of breeds of horse, the Paso Fino's gait is something that comes naturally; it begins to show it rather quickly after birth, but it is completely natural and is not perfected in any way by artificially enhanced.
The Paso Fino is divided into two different types, the one with the natural gait are more commonly used for rounding up cattle. They also were known for traveling in mountainous regions where they were called Pistoneos because they moved their legs in a piston like fashion, which was straight up and down with little effort and extension. The stride made it easier for them to get in and out of certain situations easier without losing rhythm. One part about the stride that is most valuable in herding cattle is the ability for the horse to change its speed pretty much mid-stride. The other type was the Paso Fino that excelled in making its way around the boggy areas, and was known as Chucuanos. They had a longer and loose stride, which it easier for them to move in deep sand, muddy areas, as well as the bog. Many people believe this breed's walk throws mud and sand off to the side instead of at the rider.
A Paso Fino stallion by the name of "Majestuoso" was quite well known in his time; he was on the Top 10 Sire List for twelve years in a row. When horseback travel became outdated, most owners turned to horse shows as a popular use of their horses. A stallion named "Don Danilo" has a grandsire that become famous in bullfights and made his name for the breed and then was bred with some of the best Paso Fino mares in the country.
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