The Paso Fino is born with a gait unique to the breed, and its attitude seems to transmit to the observer that this horse knows its gait is a very special gift that must be executed with style and pride! The gait is smooth, rhythmic, purposeful, straight, balanced in flexion, and synchronous front to rear, resulting in unequalled comfort and smoothness for the rider. The Paso Fino is a graceful, agile and supple equine athlete that uses all four legs with precision and harmony. Click below to watch a video on the gaits of the Paso Fino.
The gait of the Paso Fino horse is totally natural and normally exhibited from birth. It is an evenly-spaced four-beat lateral gait with each foot contacting the ground independently in a regular sequence at precise intervals creating a rapid, unbroken rhythm. Executed perfectly, the four hoof beats are absolutely even in both cadence and impact, resulting in unequaled smoothness and comfort for the rider.
The Paso Fino gait is performed at three forward speeds and with varying degrees of collection. In all speeds of the gait, the rider should appear virtually motionless in the saddle, and there should be no perceptible up and down motion of the horse’s croup.
Classic Fino – Full collection, with very slow forward speed. The footfall is extremely rapid while the steps and extension are exceedingly short.
Paso Corto – Forward speed is moderate, with full to moderate collection. Steps are ground-covering but unhurried, executed with medium extension and stride.
Paso Largo – The fastest speed of the gait, executed with a longer extension and stride, and moderate to minimal collection. Forward speed varies with the individual horse, since each horse should attain its top speed in harmony with its own natural stride and cadence.
The Paso Fino is capable of executing other gaits that are natural to horses, including the relaxed walk and lope or canter, and is known for its versatility. In Paso Fino Horse Association/United States Equestrian Federation (PFHA/USEF) sponsored shows, Paso Finos compete in Western classes (Trail and Versatility), as well as costume and Pleasure Driving. Paso Finos are also seen in parades, drill team competitions, cow penning, trail riding, and endurance competitions and are winning ribbons.