Prepared from information supplied by the Peruvian Horse Association of Australasia
The Peruvian Paso horse was first brought to Australia in the early 1970s by John Cole from Western Australia. There are currently about 100 purebreds in Australia. They have gained momentum in the past several years, with more owner-breeders emerging to a steadily increasing market.
The Peruvian Paso is the only horse in the world that is known to breed 100 per cent of its natural four-beat lateral gait and a distinctive swinging movement of the front legs, known as termino, to its offspring. There is no training involved – it is genetic. Peruvian Paso horses are also said to have brio – a quality of spirit described as arrogant and exuberant, while remaining tractable to its rider.
The Peruvian Paso's movement and power is driven by its hindquarters and rear legs, with great reach under the body. These horses were bred to travel great distances and provide their rider with a smooth and comfortable seat. Acceptable gait movements are Paso llano, Sobreandando and Pasitrote. Trotting and cantering are not desirable gaits, and are frowned upon in both breeding and showing.
The Peruvian horse stands between 14.1 and 15.2 hands, with a powerful build. The horse may be chestnut, black, brown, bay, buckskin, palomino, grey, roan or dun. Other colours and patterns are not to breed standards. The mane is abundant with fine, lustrous long hair that may be wavy or straight.
They have exceptional temperament, as only those that were easy to train were retained during early breeding in Peru. The Peruvian horse is ideal for older people looking for a more comfortable ride, or those carrying injuries, and they are wonderful for disabled riders.
The Peruvian Horse Association of Australasia's mission is to promote the authentic Peruvian Paso horse breed in the region and to keep an accurate and recognised studbook for this magnificent animal.