Questions from visitors to this
receive a courteous response. I may not be able to publish every
inquiry and make no pretense of being an “expert” in any phase of
equine experience. My response will be based on 38 years of personal
experience and opinions regarding the Peruvian Paso Horse. Specific
references of published research will be noted. This forum could also
serve as a “chatroom” regarding the Peruvian Paso Horse. If you decide
to submit a question or response, please designate if you wish to be
FAQ #1: At what age do
you begin training horses for riding?
We may begin lunging them for brief intervals in a round pen with the
Peruvian tack after the age of 3 years. The purpose is to enhance their
ground manners and have them well accustomed to the feel of a cinch,
the tail gear, loose stirrups and the Peruvian bozal. The process also
initiates a bond with horse and trainer and desensitizes them to the
tack and lunging environment. We prefer a small round pen
solid walls to the traditional Peruvian center pole for reasons that
will be discussed later. We rarely do any significant training with a
rider in the saddle before the age of 4 years. The Peruvian horses are
not fully developed at this age and I feel the stress of
extensive work with the weight of a rider is not optimal for their long
term soundness. We begin with short sessions of 5 to 10 minutes. When
the horse begins to relax the time is increased according to the
strength and attitude of the individual. The details of our training
will soon be featured in an article on this site.
FAQ #2: What is the difference in
the Peruvian Paso Horse and the Paso Fino Horse?
The short answer is “ termino”. This is a unique, distinctive and
critically important feature of the Peruvian breed. Each breed was
developed by selection of characteristics from Iberian horses imported
by early Spanish “explorers” in South America. Paso Fino Horses were
bred in South and Central America for a smooth gait based on the timing
of their gait. In Peru, the timing of the gait (intermediate between a
trot and pace) was also an essential factor. In Peru the gait was
further enhanced with the addition of “termino”. The quality
termino enables the Peruvian horse to execute a longer stride with no
sacrifice in smoothness. Please click on “Articles”
in this site to access a description of termino that I wrote in the
1970s. Illustrations are provided by the well known artist,
FAQ #3: What is “brio” with reference to the Peruvian horse?
Response: There is no specific word in the English language that expresses the full meaning of “brio”. The quality of “brio” encompasses many favorable traits. These traits include the attitudes and behavior associated with courage, enthusiasm, an inherent willingness and strength of mind to perform. In my opinion, “brio” is an absolutely indispensable element for a Peruvian horse to be pleasurable and exciting to ride. A horse with little or no brio may be suitable for a child or inexperienced rider but the experience may be little more special than riding a rental pony or using a ticket on the Merry Go Round. The best and most complete discussion of brio of my awareness is in the article section of this website. It is the last topic discussed in my interview with Sr. Fernando Grana in 1976. Just click on Articles in the left column of the Home Page and select the Interview with Sr. Fernando Grana. It has also been recently published in Ezine Articles.
I don’t perceive how Sr. Fernando Grana’s discussion of brio can be enhanced. However, there persist many misconceptions regarding brio. I believe this is due to the fact that horses with a good level of brio may have independently inherited or inquired other undesirable behavioral traits that are superimposed on the desirable elements of brio. To the uninitiated these negative traits may be inaccurately interpreted as a part of, or extension of brio. With any given horse it is necessary to know the characteristics of the bloodlines and details about how the horse was raised and trained. And there are always individual exceptions from the expected norm. Please read the discussion of brio in the Interview with Sr. Fernando Grana and let me know of any comments or questions.
FAQ #4: Is Curry Ranch going out of business or just making a herd reduction?
I definitely plan to continue the breeding program initiated in 1971.
After all these years and generations of breeding many of the best
individuals of the outstanding bloodlines in the breed, I have discovered the genetic
combinations that seem to work best for me. There is currently no
profit in the activity but I love the breed too much to quit. At my stage in life it makes no sense to do this on a scale that is more work than pleasure but the challenge and satisfaction in seeing some improvement in each generation remains unabated. The romantic (and admittedly hypothetical) dream of breeding the “perfect” Peruvian Paso Horse remains intact. When the inevitable time arrives that I cannot continue, the “heart” of the program will be left to some trusted and younger friends to extend the quest. Hopefully, North Korea will not have contaminated the planet.
Check back soon for more FAQ's...