The Peruvian Paso Horse

The world famous Peruvian Paso Horse is as its name indicates inherent to Peru, in fact it is the Peruvian National horse. It descends directly from Spanish horses brought to Peru by the conquistadores and due to being isolated in Peru for over 500 years the Peruvian Paso Horse is one of the purest breeds in the world. Experts believe that the first horses to reach Peruvian ground was in 1493 on Columbus’s second voyage. Following that were the 62 horses that Francisco Pizarro brought with him when he along with his 160 men captured emperor Inca Atahualpa in Cajamarca. These different Spanish horses make up the original ancestors of the Peruvian Paso horse.


Furthermore, since no outside breed has been introduced to the Peruvian Paso horse it is now the only naturally gaited breed in the world that can guarantee its gait to 100% of its offspring. And it is exactly this unique inherited four lateral gait (style of walking), which is the breed’s trademark, that makes the Peruvian horse one of the most skilled and smoothest riding horses in the world. The gait is executed with an action in the front legs named termino, creating a graceful and natural movement where the forelegs are rolled towards the outside as the horse treads forward, comparable to the arm motion of a swimmer. Before the 17th century most of the world’s horses were naturally gaited like the Peruvian Paso, as most travelling was done on horseback, and a gaited horse makes for a more comfortable ride. However as the 17th century came to a close, the horses that trotted, also called boneshakers, outgrew the number of gaited horses, because they were better suited for pulling carts and carriages, as well as horseracing. The seclusion of Peru and the Peruvian breed was subsequently how the Peruvian Paso horse ended up as one of the few remaining naturally gaited horse breeds in the world.

The smerakda giannini selective breeding of the Peruvian Paso horse has created a unique “hot blood” horse of pure Spanish origin with qualities that some say are contradictory. The horse is high-spirited, yet easy to handle. It has amazing action in its forelegs, though highly sure-footed. Moreover it has a refined appearance, yet it is an extremely powerful horse. The horse exists in all basic colors and the average height and weight is 1.42 – 1.54 meters and 900-1,100 lbs. The most upheld principal amongst the Peruvian breeders is that talented Peruvian Paso horses are born not trained. Further aiding this principal is the fact that none of the Peruvian Paso horses are allowed in a show ring with shoes or hooves longer than 4 inches, thereby ensuring the natural action and gait of the horse. While in Peru it is highly recommended to attend one of these amazing shows. The National association of Peruvian Paso Horse Breeders and Owners organizes exiting competitions in Mamacona each year, as to stimulate the reproduction of the Peruvian breed as well as maintain its unique qualities.

All in all it is clearly evident that the Peruvian Paso horse possess a great importance and status, in fact the existence of this breed has in modern days been referred to as “the greatest triumph of genetic selection ever achieved by a group of breeders.” Visit Peru and see this beautiful and graceful horse in its natural habitat, Peru, home to Machu Picchu, one of the world’s 7 wonders. Experience a horse show and see the magnificently skilled Peruvian Paso horse in action. Contact us at for a great offer or tailor your own trip fitting your specific personal needs and preferences. We also offer several Machu Picchu Travel combinations and pick your favorite preferred way to experience the breathtaking ancient citadel of Machu Picchu.

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