Just like many of the other breeds originating in either North of South America, the Peruvian Paso is descended from horses brought over by Spanish conquistadors. Those brought over to Peru were likely Spanish Jennets, Andalusians, and Barbs, who each contributed something to make this breed unique. For centuries since, people have selectively bred the Spanish horses, choosing horses with the desired conformation, strength, and gaits. With no outside influence, the breed didn't change much and only became more refined.
|Peruvian Pasos demonstrating the paso llano. credit|
For centuries, the horses were primarly was used for transportation across Peru and breeding. However, all that changed with the turn of the 20th century, which brought large highways and lots of cars. Horses were given away to peasants because they were no longer needed by those who could afford cars. The breed would have completely died out, had it not been for the growing interest of those in the United States and Central America. Since then, the number of Peruvian Pasos has increased up to 25,000, and has regained it's popularity in Peru as it's National Horse.
Breed Description and Uses
Peruvian Pasos are a muscular breed, standing from 14.1 to 15.2 hands high. They have a straight profile, an arched neck, a deep chest, and a thick mane and tail. They come in all solid colors. Much like the Paso Fino, the Peruvian Paso is a gaited breed with several unique, four-beat gaits. The slowest, called the paso llano, is a four-beat, lateral gait. The sobreandando is even more faster and lateral. The termino is a high-stepping gait that involves the horse swinging his hooves outward.
Today, the Peruvian Paso is mostly used for trail riding, other types of pleasure riding, and ranch work, though it can also be found as a parade horse or and endurance horse. Peruvian Pasos are spirited yet willing to please his rider or handler.