Our Paso Fino Horses
Conquistador horses in Longstock
Alexander (Sandy) Burnfield
Strange new horses have appeared in Longstock - they glide rather than trot and are very good to ride for people (like me) with disabilities - they are Paso Finos from America, and we ride them in a relaxed western style.
The breed originated in Spain from ancient horses including Arabs. When Columbus returned to the New World on his second expedition he took selected Spanish horses with him to the island of Hispaniola. They were used for transport and for impressing (and intimidating) the indigenous population - who did not have horses.
Later explorers rode them to other parts of South America. Some horses had a natural ability to move with a smooth walking or running gait for long periods of time, and in a way that conserves energy. These were specially bred and valued for their beauty, comfort, endurance and gentle temperament. Paso Fino horses are quite small - some are pony size. Their natural `4 beat' gait is different from the more common trot, and can be trained further in various speeds and styles.
The majority of these horses are still to be found in South America but in 1965 they reached the USA. They are now one of the first choices in the US when it comes to Riding for the Disabled and for children with special needs. More recently they have been returning to Europe - there are about a thousand, most in Germany, and about sixty in the UK.
My friends and I enjoy trail riding and showing our Pasos - you may have seen us go by - usually after a long trek through woods, rivers and downs.
Sandy on Sonadora March 2011 Sarah on Chockles, Tracy on Capitan, Sandy on Sonadora