Breeds develop though a process of selecting crosses of individuals with similar qualities that will produce offspring that are highly likely to share those same qualities.
Both Peruvian Horses and Paso Finos are Spanish bred, gaited horses that are shorter than most North American horses. Both breeds are proud and spirited and travel with a noble head set. However, Peruvian Horses were developed as a working breed for the large haciendas, primarily in the southern coastal plains of Peru. Paso Finos were developed largely in the Caribbean islands, and therefore never had far to travel. Consequently, while both breeds execute a smooth, four beat gait with high lift, the way of going is very different. Where Paso Finos are prized for a short, snappy stride with maximum collection but little advance (little forward motion), Peruvians are expected to have a longer, ground covering stride with their front legs moving in a rolling motion from the shoulder known as termino.
Peruvian Horses also differ from Paso Finos in their conformation. The Peruvian is generally a slightly larger horse than its Paso Fino “cousin”. The tail set is lower on a Peruvian, and should be carried quietly between the buttocks while the Paso Fino has a medium high tail set.
I will post entries to this blog a couple of times a month, so please feel free to contact me with your questions about Peruvian Horses.