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The Elegant Yet Powerful Peruvian Paso Horses

Posted by Carmen Maria Guevara Protzel on Aug 18, 2018 8:30:00 AM



Horses first arrived in South America in 1531 during the Spanish Conquest. Over the centuries, Peruvian breeders kept the horse bloodlines clean while also being selective with gait and temperament. The result was robust and best-gaited bloodstock that we now know as the Peruvian Paso. Today, the Peruvian Paso is one of the world’s remaining naturally gaited breeds.

The Peruvian Horse or Peruvian Paso is a medium-sized horse that is typically between 14 and 15.2 hands or 145 and 157 cm tall. They are sturdy with a powerful, muscular build with deep chests and strongly arched necks. The Peruvian Paso weighs between 900 and 1000 lbs and lives on a diet of grass, shrubs, grain, and hay. They come in various colors such as brown, chestnut, black, palomino, run, dun, or gray. They typically have white markings on the legs and face.


Marinera dance show at Dpaso

Peruvian Paso Horse Shows

The Navarro Falcon founded the Peruvian Paso Horse Prime Show or Dpaso in 2001 and recognized by the Ministry of Culture as an “Event of Cultural Interest.” The objective of the event was to celebrate and raise awareness for the Peruvian Paso Horse. The event is also a celebration of Peruvian culture and gastronomic delights. There is also a Peruvian folklore show. Of course, the main event is the horse show.

The Hacienda Los Ficus also has a show of horses and you are allowed to ride the horses for a while to eperience the soft and peculiar way the walk.

los ficus - barrida

The "Barrida" a performance by the horses at Los Ficus

There are also competitions held by the National Association of Breeders and Owners of Peruvian Paso Horses (ANCPCPP). The National Horse Competition Caballo de Paso Peruano and the Internacional de la Primavera are two of the most celebrated and significant Peruvian Paso horse shows.

The Difference Between the Paso Fino and the Peruvian Paso

Differentiating the Peruvian Paso from the Paso Fino is important. It is because the Peruvian Paso is the “national horse” of Peru and should not be mistaken for the Paso Fino. Many refer to the Paso Fino as the American-bred equivalency of the Peruvian Paso. There’s much confusion between the two breeds because of the presence of the Paso name. In fact, “Paso” simply means “step” in Spanish. While they are related as they both originated from Spain, the two are entirely different in size, conformation, training methods, the way of going, gear, and historical uses.

Unique Traits of the Peruvian Paso

The Peruvian Paso is known for its gait, termino, and brio. The Peruvian Paso performs a four-beat gait instead of a trot. The gait is natural and requires little training. Another unique trait of the Peruvian Paso gait is called termino or the outward swinging leg action. As for the Peruvian Paso’s brio which applies to the horse’s liveliness, vigor, and energy, the Peruvian Paso’s brio is described as willing, focused, and quick to learn.

Because of the Peruvian Paso’s size and temperament, it is a popular saddle-horse choice for light riders. The Peruvian Paso is docile, gentle, and responsive, making them ideal for pleasure riding, horse exhibitions, trail riding, and parades.

Peru’s National Institute acknowledges the Peruvian Paso as a significant part of Peru’s national cultural heritage.

If you wouldlike to join a tour to either Paso Fino horse show it can be done while visiting Lima

Feel free to Contact us  for further information.


Carmen Maria Guevara Protzel

Topics: Lima, Local Traditions and Culture

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