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The Paso Fino - the mount of the Spanish Conquistadors - has proud ties to a glorious past and the prospect of an even greater future, as this elegant smooth-gaited breed captures the hearts of horse lovers everywhere. The Paso Fino is the oldest true native breed of horse in the Western Hemisphere. In 1492 Columbus discovered a horseless America. Although the ancestors of the present-day horse evolved and developed in North America and spread to other parts of the world, horses vanished from the New World during the Ice Age, between 8,000 and 12,000 years ago. Over 500 years ago, on his second voyage from Spain, Columbus brought a select group of mares and stallions from the provinces of Andalusia and Cordela, and settled them at Santa Domingo. These horses were a mixture of Barb, Andalusian and Spanish Jennet. The Spanish Jennet not only possessed an extremely comfortable saddle gait, but was able to pass the gait on to its offspring. The result of the blending of the blending of these horses was to become known as the Paso Fino breed - the horse with the incredibly smooth gait. They became the foundation stock for remount stations of the Conquistadors. As Spanish settlers came to the New World, they brought more Spanish horses. During the nearly 500 years that Paso horses have been selectively bred and perfected in the Western Hemisphere, they have been called upon to perform a diverse role, first in the conquest of and then in the exploration and development of the Americas. The Paso Fino is a horse for all seasons, a horse for all climates, and a horse for diverse purposes. From the Florida Keys to the Pacific Northwest, and from southern California to New England, Eastern Canada, Puerto Rico and Colombia, the Paso Fino demonstrates its remarkable versatility not just in the show ring, but on competitive trail and endurance rides, in dressage work, rodeo, gymkana, and back at the ranch working cattle. And he does it all with a gait that provides unparalleled comfort for the rider. The energy-efficient Paso Fino, with its unexcelled versatility, and unique comfort for the rider, opens a New World for horse lovers. The Paso Fino gait is a four-beat lateral gait, the birthright of every Paso Fino. Newborn foals struggle to their feet and take their first faltering steps in gait. The Paso Fino can, of course, walk freely and many of them can perform a collected canter of a relaxed lope as well. It is essentially a broken pace: it is lateral, not diagonal. The sequence of the footfall is right rear, right fore, left rear, left fore. The cadence of the 1,2,3,4 beat is rhythmic with equal time intervals between hoofbeat. There is very little up and down movement in either the croup or the shoulder of the horse. The gait is performed at three speeds with the collection decreasing as speed increases. ?