Paso Peruano Horses
A rare chance to ride some unique horses
Not many will have heard of the “fifth gait” or the Paso Peruano. but this is a breed of horse that has had a rare and interesting history and development. To be able to ride one has become something of a privilege and sought after by many horse riding fans.
Where many of today’s breeds have descended from interbreeding with the Arab horses of the Middle East, there still exist a few breeds that have not. The Paso, as it is affectionately known, is a breed of horse descended from the working horses of the Caribbean and the Europe of the middle ages.
Introduced to Peru in the late 1500s, the plantation owners of northern Peru looked for a horse that would allow them to visit their entire ranch without discomfort. With this in mind, the local breeders selectively bred those animals with the softest “fifth gait” until, today, we have the Paso.
In essence, the fifth gait is a half trot, half canter that merges the two other gaits. When viewed, it is a clumsy affair, with legs flailing all over the place and no real refinement. But, as a rider, it is hugely comfortable and, as it was designed for use over long distances, it is a very relaxing way to ride.
Today, there are not many places that offer the Paso to ride and so, should you be interested to ride one, we can only offer one lodge that will allow you to…but, as mentioned above, it really is a treat in riding circles and so is worth it.