The History of the Peruvian Paso Horse
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The History of the Peruvian Paso Horse

The Peruvian Paso has been bred for centuries in Peru where its characteristics have been nurtured and preserved. The breed originated from the blood lines of Spanish Jennet, Andalusian, Barb and Friesian horses from Spain. The breed was developed because of the need of Spanish explorers for a horse that can help them with smooth and comfortable rides as they explored and adventured in the land of Peru. This horse breed was initially developed sometime in the early 1500's.



The life and history of the Peruvian Paso Horseis a colorful journey of conquering explorers and establishment of independence spanning centuries. Let's take a look at how the Peruvian Paso gained its fame as one of the most reliable riding and work horses.

Origin as a Spanish Conquistador Horse

Characteristics from the origin blood lines were selected to develop this horse, and it resulted in a gaited horse that is capable of providing a rocking yet smooth side to side ride with a gentle disposition. It was also bred to have the will to travel for several miles per day for long periods of time. This is why it became such a force in the Spanish explorers' arsenal. This horse has even been given credit for helping the Spanish explorers conquer the natives of the mighty Inca Empire. It has achieved a revered status such that young foals were transported from one place to another by having them rest on hammocks so they wouldn't get tired during the long journey.

The Peruvian Paso in the War for Peru's Independence

In ancient times, the Peruvian Paso was used to accompany explorers and Spanish Conquistadors in long journeys. Initially, they were just used to pull heavy carts, but eventually, they were used more as riding horses. This is due to their great personality, willing nature and a very comfortable ride. As the function for the horse leaned more and more into travel, the breed was improved by introducing new blood with characteristics that improved the height and jumping ability of the breed.

In 1809, with the onset of the Peruvian War for Independence, the horse became a central tool in the conflict. The architect of the independence movement himself, Jose de San Martin, was revered for his love of Peruvian Paso horses. His large horse was a focal point of his image when independence was finally claimed in 1821.

After the war and beyond the horse's role became one of agricultural development. They were used to haul crops and pull farming materials. They had the strength and stamina to keep working for hours, day in and day out, so they were the perfect companion for farmers who toiled in the fields all day long. In modern times, the horse began to branch out into less straining work such as becoming riding horses and show horses for celebrations and fiestas.

Physical Characteristics

The physical appearance of the horse alone is impressive enough. It comes in practically all basic colors that include black, white, brown, gray, chestnut, buckskin and roan. It has a wonderful long mane as well as a glorious tail. It stands an average of 14 to 15.3 hands.


The life and history of the Peruvian Paso horse breed revolves around its origin, characteristics and how they are used by humans for moving forward into building nations by way of conquering lands and developing them by farming.


Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons / Supplied by SGBailey

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