The Paso Fino horse is naturally gaited, which means the horse requires no training to gait. But the Paso Fino is no different than any other breeding that the quality of the gait will vary from one animal to the next. You ask 10 Quarter Horses to trot, you will get 10 different quality trots. The same applies to the Paso Fino, you ask 10 Paso Fino's to gait, you will get 10 different qualities of gait. Another factor is that the Paso Fino is  capable of exhibiting any of the gaits of other breeds. In other words they can perform the Paso Fino 4 beat, and the diagonal two beat of the trot, and the lateral 2 beat of the pace and any other footfall available  within the equine world.

Talk about versatile!

But this versatility means the novice to the Paso Fino breed needs to educate themselves to get their animal  to give the optimum performance. This s quite easy to understand when you think of the ridden, but not trained, trotting equine. A horse who hasn't been taught to assume a steady trot, won't. They will increase and decrease speeds, missbeat, and "break "the trot into a canter or walk. Paso Fino's are exceptionally intelligent horses, but they are still horses. They will commit the same faux pais.

Another good analogy to the trotting equine, is the horse who WAS taught to trot steady and after a period  of time being ridden by an individual that "asks" the horse to assume an unsteady trot, does. Again this applies to the Paso Fino. The Paso Fino is so willing to please, that they would stand on their head if their rider  asked them too, so of course they will vary from the perfect four beat when requested to do so.

The problem is, novices to the Paso Fino often don't even realize they are making that request!

The Paso Fino gaits by lightening the forehand and engaging the hindquarters.

One common mistake is to put a saddle too far forward or to ride in a forward seat saddle or style of riding. Many saddles put the weight on  the shoulders of the horse. This is great for the trotting horse! Not so great for a horse that need to lighten their forehand to properly perform the four beat gait requested of them. Oftentimes, just using a saddle that is not a  forward seat, or moving your saddle back 2 inches or adjusting your weight distribution so as to free up the  shoulders, will allow the Paso Fino to follow it's natural tendency and gait!

Another common error is to cause or allow the Paso Fino to carry their head and neck too low. The neck MUST be elevated. The Paso Fino breaks at the poll, in other words the poll is the highest point on the Paso Fino's neck before the head begins to tuck down to the vertical position in proper head carriage. In many equines the headset is required to break at the 4th vertebrae. That is often a 3 to 4 inch difference in position. Doesn't sound like much, but that redistributes the weight forward again and interferes in the Paso Fino properly engaging the hindquarters to achieve the propulsion necessary to remain in gait.


Getting the horse on the Bit, and the SEAT

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