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Velvet-Coated Horses of Peru


The Peruvian Paso
The Peruvian Paso in traditional tack. Photo: Perol Chico
The Peruvian Paso is a triumph of Peruvian horse breeding spanning some 400 years and is believed to be around three-quarters Barb and one-quarter Andalusian. With expansive lungs, long hind legs, long pasterns and strong bones and hooves, it is an athletic breed prized for its unique high-stepping natural gait - the paso. The paso is a ground-covering lateral gait that can be maintained for long periods without tiring horse or rider. The front legs move in an extravagant paddle-like fashion, while the back legs are driven straight forward, overstepping the tracks of the forefeet with the hindquarters held low and well engaged.

Traditional Peruvian tack is designed for horse and rider comfort. The saddles are large to distribute the riders weight evenly and deep so that the rider can sit into the horse with wooden box strirrups providing a comfortable foothold. Bridles are made from woven rawhide leather with matching halters so the horses can be tethered during travel and eye-patches which can used to keep the horses from wandering off when there is nothing to tie them to.

Ranging from around 13hh to 15.2hh and typical in any equine colour, the Peruvian Paso is a handsome, velvet-coated horse. Riding one will be a new and mind-broadening experience that will add a special quality to your holiday.

 
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