Much of South America’s culture is strongly rooted in tradition and heritage, and horses have played a significant role in that culture. The South American continent is home to four beautiful and unique breeds: the Criollo, the Peruvian Horse, the Paso Fino and the Mangalarga Marchador.
The Peruvian Horse is closely related to the Spanish Jennet, a horse brought to the New World by the Spaniards in the 1500s. Known for its ground-covering four-beat gait, the Jennet passed this trait down to the Peruvian Horse. The Andalusian and Barb are also believed to have influenced the breed. Continue Reading >>
The Paso Fino originated in the 1500s and is descended from horses brought to the New World by Spanish Explorers. At the time Columbus prepared for his second voyage to the New World, easy-gaited Jennets were common in Spain. With their comfortable gait, medium size and athletic ability, these horses were considered ideal for the daunting task of exploring and conquering the vast, unknown territory. Continue Reading >>
Many of these breeds have been considered well-kept secrets in their home countries, but with the increasing interest in gaited horses and these horses’ athletic abilities and amiable temperaments, they’re not likely to remain so for long. The secret is out.
Audrey Pavia is a freelance writer and the author of Horses for Dummies.
This article originally appeared in the July 2011 issue of Horse Illustrated. Click here to subscribe!