To properly understand the specific farrier techniques that are needed for a particular breed of horse, it always helps to learn as much about any breed as possible. Knowing how, where and why the animal was bred, what the owner’s expectations are of the breed and what owners are looking for in farrier work are important assets to obtaining this shoeing work.
The Paso Fino is a unique horse and the farrier who is knowledgeable about the breed is one that is preferred by owners and trainers.
The first Paso Finos (meaning “fine step”) horses were brought to the New World on the second trans-Atlantic voyage by Christopher Columbus when he brought a select group of the breed’s stallions and mares to what is now the Dominican Republic.
These naturally gaited horses were developed from a blend of Barb, Andalusian and Spanish Jennet breeding lines that were ridden by the Conquistadors. Although the Paso Fino has been bred in Central and South America for over 500 years, the breed was virtually unknown in the U.S. until the late 1940s.
An offshoot of the Paso Fino line is the Peruvian Paso, a breed that is distinctive to Peru. This horse is somewhat larger and wider, although similarly gaited to the original Paso Fino.
The adult Paso Fino ranges in size from 13 to 15.2 hands. It is a light-boned horse with small well-shaped hooves that normally require a triple ought shoe.
FINO HOOF, SHOULDER. (Left) These horses…