Heritage Horses

sketched horse

Breed Facts


Gaited Riding

Adult Weight:
700-1000 lbs.

Adult Height:
13-15.2 Hands

Enjoys human contact, is friendly, spirited, and responsive

Experience Level:

This horse may be small, but it is the Cadillac of riding horses, with a smooth-as-silk gait.

Puerto Rican Paso Fino Horse

Ancestors of the Puerto Rican Paso Fino horse were first brought to the island of Puerto Rico by Columbus, with later introductions by Juan Ponce de León. Several Iberian breeds, including Andalusians, Spanish Barbs and the now extinct Spanish Jennet contributed to the modern Puerto Rican Paso Fino, which was developed through hundreds of years of breeding and selection.

Puerto Rican Paso Fino

Puerto Rican Paso Fino

The breed is valued for its 4-beat gait in which the hooves strike the ground in a quick 1-2-3-4 movement, resulting in the “fine step.” This smooth lateral gait produces a comfortable ride. The breed is comes in a variety of colors, with and without markings and they range in size from 13-15 hands. “Tiger eye,” an autosomal recessive genetic trait found only in this breed, can produce a yellow, amber or orange colored iris in the eye. Puerto Rican Paso Finos are highly versatile, sure-footed and hardy and can be used in many equestrian disciplines. Fewer than 500 of these horses are registered in the United States and fewer than 2,500 are found globally.

In 1987 in Columbia, SC, the Pure Puerto Rican Paso Fino Federation of America, Inc. was incorporated to preserve, protect and promote the Pure Puerto Rican Paso Fino horse.

Did you know:
The Livestock Conservancy is America’s leading organization working to save over 150 heritage breeds from extinction. We rely on the support of our members, grants, and donations from the public to raise the $700,000 a year needed to maintain our conservation work with rare breeds of farm animals. Click here to learn how you can help.

You may be interested in…

Zen Mind Zen Horse book cover

Zen Mind Zen Horse

By Allan J. Hamilton, MD

Managing Breeds for a Secure Future

Managing Breeds for a Secure Future

By Dr. Phil Sponenberg, Dr. Alison Martin, Jeannette Beranger


Storey’s Guide to Raising Horses

By Heather Smith Thomas

Manual of Methods for Genetic Preservation book cover

Manual of Methods for Preservation of Valuable Equine Genetics

By Kindra Rader, Charles C. Love, Charlene R. Couch and Katrin Hinrichs

How to Think Like a Horse book cover

How to Think Like a Horse

By Cherry Hill