MULES and Donkeys

Mules are smarter, stronger and more resourceful than either parent.  George Washington was the first American colonist to raise mules in this country.  He thought horses died too young, did too little and ate too much.  George acquired his first two donkey stallions from the King of Spain as a gift when becoming the first president of the United States of America in 1776.

Christopher Columbus brought the first donkeys and mules to the Americas in 1495.  The Spanish used them in their colonization of South America and at their other land holdings.

Gaited donkeys where developed in regions of Spain.  Mammoths were first in the Hemalian mountains and the Spaniards brought them world wide in trading.  Mini donkeys are draft animals bred smaller by selection.  Prior to the 1800's there were many types of donkeys. Because of  indiscriminate breeding practices there are basically three types left.  A melting pot of A.  mammoth,  B. Standard, C. Mini. 
Approximately 500 conformationally correct mammoth donkeys left in the USA out of base of about 2000.  Less world wide.

A mule is a cross between a horse mare and a donkey stallion.  They usually resemble the mare more.  A hinny is a cross between a donkey mare and a horse stallion.  They usually resemble the donkey side more. 

Their height, build and color markings are determined by their dam.  Donkey gives his color and a lighter muzzle/belly.

Like the donkey they have a extreme sense of self preservation and bond strongly with a their primary handler.  They are sure-footed and careful.  Slower to over react then horses. 

Mules excel at packing and pulling.  Although with careful breeding you can get animal well suited to endurance, jumping, dressage, pleasure, driving, trail and racing, cutting, roping and gymkhana.

Price, palomino weanling mule out of breeding stock paints brought $3,200. in 2006.

You can expect to pay $5,000. to $8,000. per mule from the Coffee Hollow A-male stock.
before they reach the age of three years old.  As un-shown mules.

You can expect to pay $10,000. plus for a donkey stud that is ridable and has some jumping and show experience.

Many mules live past the age of 40 years.

Donkeys can live for 50 years.

Paso Fino horses have been known to live to near 40 years.  Useable in their late thirties.  so mules of this cross could very well be the mount for your entire life.  If bought in your forties to sixties they are likely to out live you.

Training:  You have to be smarter then the mule/donkey and not treat them like a horse.

The being "stubborn": Is taking a moment to think things through.  Be patient.  If you get aggressive the donkey or mule will think OH! this is a bad idea to cooperate.  He'll leave or kick without warning.

Strongest part of a donkey or mule is their head and neck.  You can not physically move them.  A donkey squatted is nearly as impossible to move.  You may ask respectfully and get a good response. 

Mules and donkeys have a highly developed sense of justice. 

Keep in mind what you want to do with your mule.

Saddle mules:  look for one out of Quarter Horse, Thoroughbred, Morgan or any gaited type mare crossed with a mammoth jack.
For packing:  choice one from Quarter Horse, Thoroughbred, Morgan, Paso Fino and a standard jack for a small pack animal or a mammoth for a large pack animal.
Racing:  from Thoroughbreds or running Quarter Horses or American Paints and a mammoth jack.
Draft: from the draft horse of your preference.

When bringing a mule home to a horse herd.  The horses may be fearful and aggressive at first. Beat to introduce to one horse at a time if possible.  So they can down the ground rule one horse at a time.

"Mules are popular in general because you can do anything with them.  They are sure-footed, smooth-gaited, and good-minded. You don't have to worry about them spooking, stumbling or hurting themselves, and people are catching on to that.  --Webster

In addition they are better keepers then horses.  Less care. Do not reproduce.  Less groceries.   Eat/drink about half of what their horse dams would eat and drink.   Live longer, are better athletes.

A happy donkey or mule is a HARD WILLING WORKER.

AMJR maintains the old height and measurement standard that marks true type American Mammoth Jack stock.  AMDS has different standards.

The What, Where, and Why of Paso Fino.
History  -  Gait  -  Use  and - Hardness information.

Los Caballos de Paso Fino.  Roughly translated  Step Fine(mincing step) Horses.
So  Paso Fino refers to a fine, excellent, delicate, slender, refined, sharp, and subtle breed of horses which pass/step at an evenly-spaced natural four beat gait.  Those two Spanish words, so sum up, the eye-catching qualities of the Paso Fino.

Is this a new breed?  No, a re-introduced breed.  The modern world is rediscovering what the kings of the Middle Ages already knew.  Paso Fino is again finding their way back to Europe by way of exports from Germany & Japan.

CADILLAC RIDE:  Luxurious comfort, beauty, & style. (Great for people with pain issues.)  This breed’s conformation spares the rider by absorbing more of the pressures of a moving horse. They gait in 3 speeds:  Paso Fino, Paso Corto, Paso Largo; plus walk, canter. No Trot. The only thing equal to, or smoother in ride, is a Paso Fino mule.  By crossing a gaited jack and Paso Fino mare.  Remember, mules which do not have Paso Fino dams, will be able to trot.  A trot is a trot, whether it is a mule or a horse. A trot equals more discomfort.

GAIT: The rhythmic four beat gait has given them the reputation of being the smoothest riding saddle horses in the world.  In addition they can execute , the walk, the lope, the canter like other equine breeds.

Classic Paso Finos (Fino Fino) carry themselves with a fully collected gait, in extremely rapid short foot falls at the speed of a walk.  Two to five mph or less in gait.  Often capping or under stepping its own footsteps.  Can’t largo.  These are the type of Paso finos most frequently seen on television.

Corto Paso Finos carry themselves with a stride of medium length in the speed of a trot.  Seven to eight mph average range while in gait.  This is a ground covering easy pace.  A good corto has an extension of two feet. This type holds up to long extended rides.  Found in Performance & Pleasure types.  The first having high knee action, quick hocks & the other having long flowing strides with lower knee action.

Largo Paso Finos carry themselves with long extended strides in speeds often exceeding a lope of other breeds.  Ten to fifteen mph with, leg extension of 3 to 4 feet being a Real Good largo horse.  [With over 15 mph to 21 mph and leg extension of 5 feet being exceptional largo horse.  (Gallop even faster.  A few close to 40mph.  A rarity.)] 
Found in both Performance & Pleasure types.  The first having high knee action, quick hocks & the other having long flowing strides with lower knee action.  Some largo horses can single foot.  {Keep in mind the Tennessee Walking Horse’s flat-foot walk speed is 4 to 7 mph.  Top speed in a TWH is 10 mph at the running-walk.}
Largely due to the focus of the show circuit, quality fast mature Finos are as rare as gold in the United States. 
Largo horses can’t fino, fino.

Paso Finos are the most consistent of the gaited breeds for three reasons.  One, while under saddle, they gait or stay in gait most consistently.  Second, Paso Finos have a consistent ability to pass their ability to gait on to their offspring.  Third, Paso Finos naturally gait.  They carry themselves in gait shortly after birth.  This is not a trained ability it is a natural skill.  Training only enhances and refines the gaits.

Two Bloodlines:  Columbian and Puerto Rican.  Countries or origin: Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Columbia, and Venezuela.  Paso Finos are not to be confused with Peruvian Paso.  Peruvian are a different breed.  Peruvian Paso tend to break down in the joints at approximately. 6 years old. Peruvian Paso are a level ground/path breed.

VERSATILITY: Quick, agile, physically supple, & athletic.  Known for being able to work strenuously all day. 
They excel in rugged terrain.  Body structure and lateral way of moving allows them to carry more weight.  All colors available.   13.2 hands to 15.2 hands is the breed standard.  700 to 1100 pounds.  North American Paso Finos tend to have a larger stature.

INTELLIGENT:  Very fast learners, retain their training over long periods of time.  Other breeders and myself, whom use Finos to work cattle, are amazed at the natural talent and love they have for working cattle!  Finos tend to be people orientated. 
Willing to do anything their rider asks of them.  Provided they understood what is being asked of them.  Protective of their riders. 
A distinguishing characteristic of the Paso Fino is its gentle and friendly demeanor.  The ease of handling makes them excellent horses for show, circus, or specialized work on the ranch.  When compared to other types of horses, the Paso Fino displays more affection, intelligence, companionship, and loyalty.  Preferring variety over routine.

USES:  Trail, endurance, pleasure, dressage, barrels, pole bending, working cattle, gymkhana, show, fine driving, reining, cutting, ranch, mounted shooting competitions, circus, and field dog trials, to name a few.
[For any purpose not requiring a regular trot.]  Ours love working cattle & are natural at it. All can do calf roping, and the larger pasos  can do steer roping.
  “The Paso Finos and Mountain Horses excel in rough mountainous regions.  Peruvian Paso designed to fly over flat terrain.”  Many Peruvians Pasos tend to break physically down at early age.  Peruvians Pasos are a different breed.

HARDY: Longer average life span.  Many to nearly forty years.  Can do well on less forage.  Up-right pasterns, feet good for rocky terrain.  Finos have extremely durable hooves, Are known for tremendous stamina and willingness to cover extra distances.  Many Paso Finos can pass, other horses doing a canter, when doing the Paso largo and maintain the speed for a considerable time.   History books state recorded gaited speeds of some military & dispatch Paso Finos to be 6 miles per hour on the average, for 234 KM, in approximately 24.5 hours over some of the roughest country in South America.  Only to turn around, to make a return trip.  I’ve read of 8 mph averages in long rugged South American mountain trail conditions, as well.  Stoney, boulder, & hard lava rock mountain ranges.
The battles and military marches of the conquistadors were in the heroic realm for the men and their mounts. 
The war battles accompanied by the heat, altitude, cold, jungles, jagged/rugged terrain described in the Spaniards journals are incredible.  Horses worked so hard, hooves bled, pieces would be missing from their hooves, or at times the hoof would be gone.  It was also common for the broodmare to be worked/ridden until she went into labor.  She then had a day or so rest before returning to work.  However, they tried not to use a mare with a foal at the side in direct battle.
The Conquistador De Soto had a stallion whom jumped a recorded  distance of  “18ft”, allegedly with a 900 lb load.

HISTORY:   Hannibal stationed with his cavalry on duty in Spain, brought in more than 2,000 Libyan stallions in 219BC.  From crossings with native mares, the Spanish Jennet/Genete evolved.   Gaited horses of Spain were sought after world wide from the years 455 AD to the early 1700’s.  By the end of the 1700’s they were a rarity in Europe.

Four major set backs for the gaited breeds where:  First, Spain over exported them.  Secondly, the use of mules became so popular that horse populations were endangered.  So widespread was the problem, that laws were passed in Spain stating only women and clergy could ride mules.  Third, the establishment of roads in the 1700’s.  Trotters were more desired for carriages.  Fourth, the growing sport of horse racing, approximately the years of 1700 and on.  The road development and sport racing created a market for the trotting horse breeds.  The gaiting breeds were saved because of their use in the conquest of South America, approximately the years 1493 through the late 1800’s.    In 1494 it was decreed that 12 mares of “distinguished blood” to be on every ship headed for the new colonies.
A gaited horse is better suited for long rigorous travel in difficult terrain.  For the rider’s comfort & the horse’s endurance.  Gaited horses are more maneuverable as well.

(All horses in the Western Hemisphere are descendants of European or Asian imports of Columbus’ time or later.) 

Note Andalusia in 1493 covered approximately three quarters of Spain.
My point is that the modern Andalusian type seen today was not the Andalusian type typically available in the years of 1200 to 1800. 

First shipment in 1492 went down at sea.  But in the second trip to the Americas in 1493, foundation stock for Paso Finos came with Christopher Columbus.  Twenty studs and five mares. 
Regional breeding programs were established with mixing bloodlines of  **Spanish Jennets, * Barbs, & *Andalusians. 
(These breeds are all the “Spanish Saddle Horse” of several regional types of Andalusian.  Which include, **Jennets/Ginete, Barbs(Berber), **Sorraia, Lusitano, Alter Real, Carthusian, Portuguese, Peninsular, Castilian, Extremeno, Zapatero, & Iberian…)Horses were named by type: ability/appearance back then, verses registration proof.

Called Asturcones in the Romanan naturalist  Pliny’s time (23-79 AD).  He offered the following description: “This smaller strain do not trot but have a special easy pace produced by alternately moving both legs on the one side.”  Sadly, this breed is all but extinct in its native homeland and history is nothing if not vague in its formation about this “Spanish Ambler.”
In Historical terms:  The word Spanish Jennet or Ginete, used to describe none other than the Iberian Saddle Horse, and was not a separate breed or strain.  Ginete is a colloquilo word derived form the adjective gineta which is a description of a type of horsemen ship style, riding a la ginta.  In England, France, Germany, & Portugal the term came to imply the Iberian horse itself.  But in Spain a Ginete indicated the rider.”
Narragansett Pacer, Spanish Jennet & Ginete are one in the same type.  The continued breeding of the Spanish imports in an isolated gene pool; influenced by mares of the *Narragansett Pacer/**Jennet quota in South America fixed the Paso Fino as distinct breed.           The main contributors (*).  Major contributors(**).  

Other old history books state that the Paso Fino horses came from Spain as the {“Andulsian type”} from the very beginning of colonization.  Most likely this has the most truth to it, as things were done more on a colonization type structure, through all of Spain’s history and territories. 
(Colonization of South America was approximately a 400 year event). It was common for ships crewmen to switch the Royal Andulasian type for common Andulasian/Iberian Saddle stock and pocket the profits.  Hence, Christopher Columbus complaints to the King of Spain about the quality of the stock sent to the new world.  Thank goodness for greedy ships men, they are responsible to bringing gaited horses to the Western Hemisphere.
If this is so, then Paso Fino type is the direct  foundation stock for most of the gaited & American breeds. 

Paso Finos served as remounts for the Spanish Conquistadors.  Known to travel for days over mountains and through dense jungles often ending in war.   Captured slaves had to carry foals of the Conquistador mounts, upon their shoulders, as horses were so valuable. 
Conquistadors used Paso horses in the wild bison ranching and later cattle operations as well.

Purchased, escaped and stolen Paso Finos were the major foundation stock for ALL feral Mustangs and Appaloosas. 

Early cowboy horses of the 1800’s were Paso Finos (original Spanish Mustangs).  Many of these were gaited.   Gaited horses brought $50 more at sale, during the cowboy era. 
Early Appaloosas did what is referred to as the Indian shuffle (gait).  A gift from the Paso Fino forebears.

*Four common practices during the colonization of North America and the Indian Policy years, which removed Paso  Finos (original Spanish Mustangs) from North America were: 
Practice One, was to shoot the Spanish Stallions (Paso Fino studs).  Then to replace them with draft or
Thoroughbred stallions.  Occasionally an Arabian. 
Practice Two, was to kill the original  Spanish Mustang herds (Paso Finos). 
There were two aims in killing & selling the Finos.  -One was to produce an animal suitable for draught.  The result was the modern version of Mustang and the American Quarter horse.   The KING Ranch in Texas started their foundation herds with Spanish Mustang mares. - The other was to remove the mounted advantage the Native Americans had over the US Calvary.
Practice three, was to capture and sell the Spanish Mustangs to non Indians. 
Practice Four, the gaited Spanish  horses were cross breed from Florida to Canada with other breeds. 

The results of North American colonization and the Indian Policy years were:
-One, Most American horse breeds are gaited.
-Two, The importation from South America produced the Gaited breeds : British Hobby, Morgan, Florida Cracker Horse, American Saddlebred, American Standardbred, Tennessee Walking Horse, Fox Trotter, Canadian Pacer and Narragansett Pacer, Pacers, Rocky Mountain Horse.
-Three, The imports/gifts of horses from the King of Spain to the Kings of Europe.  These horses  were
introduced into European breeding programs, these crosses were refined & then shipped to New England.  Other breeds produced:  Arabian, Thoroughbred, African Barb, Knabstrup, Kladruber, Noriker, Lipizzaner, Holstein, Hanoverian, Welsh Cob, Orlov Trotter, British Appaloosa, Connemara, Welsh, Cleveland Bay, British Hobby and Italian saddle/carriage horse crosses.
Later in the 1800’s the Quarter horse:  by crossbreds of British imports of developing Thoroughbreds and the local Chickasaw Indian Pony.  The Indian Pony was wild Spanish Mustang stock of Paso Fino type origins.(Spanish Conquestadorian stock from South America.)  The Indian Ponies contributed color & fast acceleration.  The most famous Thoroughbred  was Janus,  a grandson of the Godolphin Barb, imported in 1752  that stood at stud between the years 1756 to 1780.
Pintos and American Paints.
All the extermination and cross breeding continued through the late 1800’s effectively breeding out the Paso Fino type mustang (original Spanish Mustang) in North America.
In Europe, breeding out the “easy gait” from the saddle horses.

From the late 1800’s  to a registry development approximately 1950), the “Spanish Mustang” was a mix of gaited Spanish stock, draft, Thoroughbred, Quarter horse, and Arabian. These horses were acquired from the wild and from traders in areas known to have horses with the genetic appearance of Spain stock. Since then work has been under way to breed out the cold blood characteristics in the SMR registry horses.  They claim this stocks bones have been studied/tested to prove purity.  All that is essentially being done is careful line breeding.  When you line bred enough a types characteristic become fixed, unless out-crossed.
On November 16, 2006 I checked with University of Davis, Equine Lab Dept to see if there was a test of any type to prove a horse’s breed, including bone test/ study.  I was told there is NO test to prove breed or major breed type. Nor has bone study proven anything. Currently the only thing available is parentage verification done by testing Sire, Dam, & Offspring.  Without DNA information on file for all three, there is NO Proof.

The word Mustang originally referred to the bloodstock imported from the Iberian Peninsula.
(Mexican word mesteno or mostrenco which means roving, rough or wild.)
World Book Encyclopedia 1985 vol. 9, P 309 states Mustang:  is wild horses of the Western Plains, descended from Spanish horses.
Horses in US prior to the middle 1800’s. The Spanish Mustang was the Paso Fino type.
For purchasing the original Spanish Mustang type stock, search the pleasure groups of Paso Finos, in PFHA.  Or
Specifically at farms breeding for Largo with old Conquistadorian stock style, like us.  Registered as PFHA and  APLHA.

Meanwhile, the South Americans kept their Paso Finos as true to type as they could.
This produced regional types of Paso Finos in South America.  The isolation fixed and improved the gaiting traits.  Thus preserving the purist strains left of gaited Spanish horses introduced to the Americas. 
Note old style Narragansett Pacers and Spanish Jennets are now extinct.  By description where one in the same.
  Just regional name change.  The closest type available now is the Paso Fino.

In the late 1940's, early 1950’s  Paso Fino horses were reintroduced to the United States from South America by importation.  American servicemen returning home from World War II have the credit for this.
INVESTMENT: Many have lived to nearly 40 years old.  The dam of my stallion produced him at 25 years old & she‘s rebred.   She’s 28 now & still breeding.
Paso Finos hold their value, even in the lawn ornaments stage,  bringing $2 - $3 thousand dollars at this stage.
Average price ranges $3,500(young) to $10,000 (older) for registered stock.
Above average brings:  $5,000/$10,000 (young) to $122,000 (older) based on genetic availability, quality, sex, age, showing level.
In the USA mares bring more, in South America stallions bring more.
Stud Fees: range from $1,000. to $7,000. on average.  As high as $12,000. 
Beginning farms have been known to start at $500. for a season or two, then raise fees.

The Paso Fino “breed growth in the USA is growing at a 6-10% annum” rate “since 1960“.
Currently, approximately 47,000 registered Paso Finos in the United States.
1.   Uphill, down hill build = high withers, cow hocked; but not touching is correct.
     Back legs well under.  Slightly sickle hocked is correct as well. (Also correct in Arabians.) 

2.  13 to 15.2 hh. and

3.  700 to 1000 lbs is the Paso Fino breed standard.  Smaller & larger have been known. 

Coat: Paso Finos can come “Curly-coated”. And are eligible for registration with the International Curly Horse  Organization when they do.  It is thought that is where the curly gene came from.  We have a mare with texture coat.
Build: Look for a horse with a longer topside to neck then bottom, narrow open throat latch (aides in collection and maneuverability), straight back.  Hip angle and shoulder angle the same.
Longer pasterns make for a smoother ride.  Low set tail, with little movement.
Show horse: want shoulders with a more straight up and down movement. 
           Horses for pleasure,  sports, recreation, work, &  ranch:   look for a more sloping laided back shoulder.
          Body types available:  Polish/Anglo Arab, Baroque/Lipizzaner, Warmblood, Standardbred/Quarter horse,
   Quarter Horse/Canadian cutting Horse, Egyptian Arabian, and Morgan/Young Warmblood types.
FAMOUS HORSES of  Spanish/ gaited descent:
General Robert E. Lee’s,  a mare named  'Lucy Long.'  “She was low, and easy to mount, and her gaits were easy.”  She lived to age 34 and died of a barnyard injury.
“Champion” Jr., Gene Autry’s 2nd movie horse from OK.  After WWII.  1946-
“Thunder the Wonder Horse”
Hop Along Cassidy’s Topper
“Raider” and Charles Starrett, (Durango Kid)
Rex Allen’s “KoKo”
“Thunder” also known as “Banner” of Red Ryder movies with (Wild Bill Elliott).
“CoCo” Bob Steele’s horse.
Ken Maynard’s “Wonder the Horse Tarazan”.
“Silver King” with Fred Thompson
Justin Morgan: Spanish Jennet or Jennet Thoroughbred cross.  Went on to line-breed a new type of breed, the Morgan.
1940's My friend Flicka’s double.
Thoroughbreds had a lot of Spanish Saddle horse blood back in the beginning. Often the term Arab, Turk, and Barb were used loosely.  Until about two hundred years ago, the term Arabian was used as umbrella for any horse of oriental origin.
“The Thoroughbreds would not exist today in their present splendor had it not been for the horses of distinguished blood.Iberian horses contributed to the Thoroughbreds and other breeds strongly by giving initial thrust and impulsion.  So to the ability to sprint or to sustain speed.  The majority of Europe’s modern breeds can be traced back to an Iberian ancestor.  Pure-bred Spanish & Portuguese horses were being prolifically used in England to inject new blood into the heavier breeds long before the famous Byerley Turk, or the Godolphin Barb, ever set foot on English soil.  As early as the Crusades, armored knights had begun to bring back a lighter, more athletic horse, and the huge, draft or cart horse type depicted in twentieth-century films  and artists’ impressions of religious wars are ERRONEOUS.” By the end of the Crusades in the 13th century the Iberian horse was no longer only for Kings and Emperors, but more the mount of the military leaders.  Their qualities in battle were second to none.  (Brave. Loyal. Defensive. Athletic.  Able to run for miles saving the lives of their riders even while dragging their entrails through the brush.  Willing to work until their hooves fell off.  Then being left to live or die in the mountains.  Some lived, re-grew hooves, and produced wild mustang herds.
This is the lineage of the Paso Fino.  On the modern front:  mares with foals, bred in a herd have been run 60-80 a day for 2-3 days trying to recapture them and bring them back to the ranch.  The most damaging thing about this is debris and barbwire injuries.  You'd kill several saddle horses had you tried the round up by horseback.

The term “Royal Mares” is a reference to the gaited mares in the King of England’s stables, verses the mares in the Kings stables.  The Royal Horse of Europe. By Lady Syliva Loch. Page 192.

Early world & colonization breeding practices where to breed type to type.  Or to what was available. 

There are NO “pure bred” horse breeds in the entire world!

They were all developed by mixing types, inbreeding or mutations, then applying a controlled isolation.
A.  By environment or
B.  by the Modern type of breeding: Paper trail isolation, registered stock to registered stock..

There is always a stray in the bunch whether intentional or by chance/disaster/war/loss/theft/travel.
Always in development of a “new” breed.

Modern breeding practices all claim Pure breed or half breed.  However, they are only “pure” so far back.
At some point the paper trail ends.  Then word of mouth, legends, historical events highlight breeding practices by region, by continent, by time frame.  Only backuped up by treaties, and shipping logs.

This article was written after 5 years, of long hours, researching every article we could find on Spanish, or gaited stock on the web, in newspapers, magazines, books and breeder information. 
Along with Continuous test riding of any type of horse we come across. 
We’ve listed the most cohesive and through books and articles with the oldest resource references for simplicity sake.

To learn more about the history of horses I suggest reading the following:

Please Note:  Most horse encyclopedias written in the USA are incorrect
The writers didn’t take into account the difference between current maps & the maps in effect during the wars in which the horse breeds were developed from the military movement. 
Nor the blanket terming of horses:  Andulasian, Turk, Barb, Arabian; being all interchangeable labeled, until recently.

The Royal Horse of Europe by Lady Syliva Loch, 1986 , reprint 2002, 2005. ISBN: 0-85131-422-8.  Horse development by conquest and the necessity of a good warhorse.  The history in this book follows the wars in Europe and North Africa.  Helps us understand the maps and the time then, compared to current country maps.  As well as horse development by region.)  Available on library loan program.

Conquerors by Dr. Deb Bennett, Amigo Publications Inc., July 1998, ISBN: 0-9658533-6 (Follows the development of horses as a Kingdom from an archeologist point & historian facts from approximately. yr 200 through the current times according to the influence of the Spanish and the Spanish horses and their prodigy.) 
Available on the library loan program out of Wyoming.

Sponenberg, DVM, Ph.D.  Internet site as well as available through the Conquistador Magazine Book Store.
“The Fabulous Floating Horses“, Barbara Weather Wax , 
A comprehensive guide to 30 soft gaited Breeds Horse: tack, ownership, care.

“Classical Training For Paso Gaited Horses and Their riders” by Gwyneth L McPherson & Elizabeth S. Creamer, View Publishing Group Inc. Po Box 102, Bridgton, Maine 04009-0102  USA  1995  Best training book for developing gait, or freeing up gait, photos & texture show you what you cause in your horse correct and incorrect movement/gait.  Would work for non gaited horses as well.  $35.00

“At a gait”  Bi-monthly Magazine, Pages 30-32, Vol 1 Issue 2 Summer 2006  article by Larry Whitsell  Address problems with gait in gaited horse. Very insightfully for the beginner.  Don’t be a busy rider.  Teach horse to be a horse with the basics necessary for all horses, make sure your lateral work is well learned!  Using lateral work produces a collected gait.  The collection from the rear and rhythm are essential for a gait to be freed up so they can gait.

Tip sheet with hints on judging a Paso Fino conformation, speed, gait, shopping hints, & saddle fit available upon request from us.
To contact the local AAAT & AAA American Paint horse breeder who has ventured into the raising, showing and training of Paso Finos and Paso Mules:

Please contact Joni Lund at 1295 1st St S; Carrington, ND 58421 for more information.

Phone(701)652-1986 or email:

web site You can also see our Trading Post at   
You’ll hear from us in 3 days; if not, call or write.
If you email and don’t get a reply within 3 day,  we didn’t receive it, please then write or call.

It is best to write by US Mail.       

American Paints,  Paso Finos, & RED/blonde mammoth jack at stud.
American Paint,  Colonial Spanish, Spanish Mustang,  Mustang  and  Paso Fino  offspring available.

We are predominately raising the working, fast type of Paso Fino; (Paso Corto/Largo horses).

Half breeds: American Paint color, size, & Paso gait.  Low price.  1800’s Mustang type.
Mules:  Regular Quarter Horse/Paint and Paso gaited.  Nice heads.
Working Paso Finos:  Comfortable riding & friendly demeanor.  Ours have beauty to show but are the able working largo horses.  A “old world type” best for sport & ranch enthusiasts.  Some big enough to rope with.  Not the frequently seen Classic Fino on television.
Our American Paints provide color, speed, strength & pedigree.  Good Registered stock:  halter, games, barrel, ranch, roping, & racing.
Mammoth Jack: At Stud RED/blonde mammoth jack, nice conformation, round hip, straight legs, good neck & head.

Semen collection & Shipping Service by appointment open to the public.  Cooled shipped semen.
For our selves, we may be able to ship frozen semen from Future of Pisadas de Oro starting Late Spring 2007 in addition to the cooled shipped semen currently available.

Video on web of fluid movement, but not in Paso Gait in video.   He has natural jumping ability as well. Shown in broken trot.

Check out our horses of “distinguished blood”.  Call or email today.

Joni Lund – Equine Services
Rafter J Bar, Manager
1295 1st ST S
Carrington, ND  58421-1905

(701) 652-1986


web site

This entire article is copyrighted to Joni Lund. 
No part of it can not be reproduced or copied without my specific written consent.
General Education of Equine:  Horse, Mule, Donkey, Zebra, Hybrids.

Economic Impact of the horse industry on the US economy is $112.1 billion.
7.1 million  Americans are involved in the horse industry.
1.4 million - full-time jobs are provided by the horse industry.
6.9 million - horses in the US.
The horse industry's contribution to the US GDP is greater than the motion picture services, railroad transportation, furniture, and fixtures manufacturing and tobacco product manufacturing industries.
The horse industry is only slightly smaller than the apparel and other textile products manufacturing industry.

One of the ND Horse Council's goals is to conduct an economic impact study of the state's horse industry. We are looking for volunteers to assist with securing sponsors for the project, research, designing questionnaires, etc. If you would like to help with this project,  or need other information please e-mail


Cathy Kraft
Executive Director
ND Horse Council
Toll-free: 877-561-9846


Do not ride your horses before the age of 3 yrs!  Save their backs and hips.

Please wait until they are at least 4 years, when the majority of growth plates are fused.  Use lightly only.  

Wait until 6 yrs, if possible to work or ride.  Most growth plates will be changed to bone at 6 yrs.  At this stage a horse can take an unbelievable amount of work or physical stress.  In the US most horses are never worked to their physical potential.  However, remember they must be mature physically to do no harm.

Birth to 6 months   short pastern.
6 months to one year     long pastern.
8 months to 1.5 years    cannon bone
1.5 year to 2.5 years      small bones of knee
2 to 2.5 years                 bottom of radius-ulna
2.5 to 3 years                 weight-bearing portion of glenoid notch at top of radius
3.5 to 4 years                  Scapula- glenoid or bottom (weight-bearing) portion
Hind limb same as lower portions of forelimb.
4 year to 4.5 years         Hocks  so don’t drive young horses plowing or doing deep, sticky footing, jumping them
into heavy loads.
3 to 3.5 years                  Tibia top and bottom
3 to 3.5 year                    Femur
2.5 to 3 yrs                      Neck
2.5 to 3 years                   trochanters
3 to 4 years                     Pelvis, at point of hip, peak of croup (tubera sacrale), and
points of buttock (tuber ischii)
5 ½ yrs to 8 yrs               the vertebrae, capping of centrum

For Males you can add 6 months to these figures.  The bigger, heavier, taller the breed & bloodline more time needed.


Habitual stiffing of the back is done in fright, back pain or lack of back strength.
It produces a hard trot or in the case of gaited horses, a tendency to hard-pace rather than four-beat gait. 
To get rhythm  a back needs to be relaxed to move left and right, up and down in  motion with their legs.


Forage:  Fescue grass/hay eaten or put up for hay in drought years/seasons causes umbilici cords to be so thick they don't separate.  Bags will be to rubbery and may not tear open.  Stock will prolapse.  Can cause a chemical build up in a horse causing them to colic.

Pricing Horses
What every horse is worth
$_______3 times the stud fee.
+   $1,000. if it rides safely.
       +   $1,000. if it drives safely.
+    $ extra   if rides and drives ultra well experience/willingness/professional training.
+    $ extra for Champion lineage
+    $ extra because offspring are excelling financially  in Show or Sports.
+    $ potential at being a successful RACE HORSE.
+    $ extra for Horse's own Show record, some for successful sire and dam.
+    $ for the horses keep
+    $ extra for dun, palomino, buckskin, pinto, paint especial. black,
  black with socks & blaze, other markings.  Or oddity that is stunning.
+    $ exceptional temperament especially if proven to pass it on to it's offspring.

All Paso Finos
All Paso Finos should start at the pricing of $3,500. as foals.  Excluding those with obvious faults.

Pasos with us.
We have invested $3,000. to $15,000. for each of our Paso breeding stock as babies to produce quality working, riding, driving, racing stock.  This doesn't include the show stock we bought.

Outside stud fees are costing us $2,500. to $3,000. per mare as part of the upgrading process.

It costs us $1,000. 00 to bring a foal to 3 months of age. Barring stud fees, travel, shipping, labor or special needs.

It costs $1,000.00 per horse a year for up keep barring anything unforseen  and another $1,000. per horse for advertising.

In an ideal world we should be getting $1,000. for feed bill expense of horse, $1,000.00 per office, advertising, rent expense, purchase prices, equipment, $1,000.00 for labor.  Equals a minium of $3,000. per horse.

Just figuring our purchasing  stock from other farms costs:
The mares we bought at $13,000. as foals will have to be bred 13 yrs to pay for the mare at that rate. 
Studs we bought at 5,000.-15,000 as foals will have to produce five to fifteen foals to pay for themselves. 
That leaves $1,000. for wages, advertising and feed bill.
That is why at most farms you see price tags of $5,000. for young breeding stock.  $4,000. goes to expenses & $1,000. goes for wages.  That figures out to be .48 cents an hour in a 40 hour week, 52 weeks a year.
With stock that is being shown, you'll pay even more.

American Paints with us.
We didn't pay as much as for the Paso Fino, but we didn't go cheap either.
Most of the horses offered are well under what they cost us.

Pricing Services

At the very least you should get an fair hourly wage, which should include medical, social security, workmen's compensation.
Have you been trained?  Do you have alot of money invested in educational materials and start up cost?  Even packers in pasta factorys earn $13.00 an hour. No less then $10.00 per hour as new employees.  Do you realize, cost of equipment, work area, work injuries?  Have you gotten real good?  Then ask $17.00 to $20.00 per hour remember to figure in your ss, medical insurance, workmens compensation expenses.  OR why do this as a living.
Ecomonic Impact of the horse industy US economy.
Growth Plate Closure of Horse Bones - protect your horse.

Horse Information
Training ~ Breeding ~ Sales:  Horses & Mules

Joni Lund - Equine Services & Trading Post,  1295 1st St S,  Carrington, ND  58421
Phone 701- 652-1986
Paso Fino Movement
Classic, Corto, and Largo  are executed the same as the equine walk but with a difference in the speed executed.  They can walk, canter too.

What makes it smooth.  Short backed.  The Lateral movement, which moves the riders hips as if the rider was walking themselves.  (Not the constant pitching a rider to the forward left or forward right as with other breeds.) When the Paso Fino executes it's paso with an even rhythm, it is the smoothest in the world. Equal timing between each foot fall and equal timed transition from lateral to diagonal and back to lateral is the major keys to smoothness.  When done equally, it can not be felt! (If not SMOOTH when ridden, they where not in Paso Gait.)  Often if rider and horse are in sink, the rider is pulled to the horse's center of gravity and down into the seat. While feeling a many legs or high end sports car type suspension feeling beneath.  This an unparalleled feeling. Once you have felt this, you'll just have to try it again.  Hence the saying "Once you try a Paso Fino, you'll buy one".  A rider with a correct and relaxed posture can have a FINE - FINE ride.

The quality of gait varies between individuals, like horses of all other breeds. 
What will improve the gait/ride?  Strengthening and maturity of the horse.  As well as with the improvement  in a rider's riding skills.
The less the rider interferes with balance, & rhythm, the better any gaited horse can move.  Collection by impulsion of the rear verses pulling the head in, greatly adds as well.  This collection can be best accomplished with strengthening at a walk.  Remember Paso gait is a walk in all speeds.  Riding up and down hills and 100% lateral work and flexing.

If horse is in pain, or their balance is thrown off frequently, they will break gait.  When  in pain, they will most likely do a broken pace or a broken trot.  Which help relieve the pain.

Remember, the Paso Fino breed stays in gait more consistently when ridden, then any other gaited breed.

Animal Identification Pros and Cons and Theft

Upon a lengthy conversation with our state brand inspector this is what we learned.

In 2005 we learned that horse theft a lone had gone up 30% in North Dakota.  North Dakota has a LOW crime rate.  This doesn't take into account any of the other states.
The majority of the horses where stolen by people whom live within 400 miles of the horse's owner.  The thieves where aware of horse owners stock.

Premise ID system tag is the size of a quarter to fifty cent piece and about 1/4" thick.
It is an unsightly thing if it where to be installed in a horse's ear.  Definitely something one would not put in a show animals ear without it being forced on everyone nation wide.
These tags are sensitive to pressure.  Too much and they don't work.
Thieves are doing others things so the numbers are unidentifiable by the scanners.
The inspectors are already seeing animals stolen by having the tags cut out of the animals ear or cutting off the ear all together.
Is this identification system state by state, or will it be one nation wide system?.  It looks like it will be state by state. 
Will the soft ware and scanners by able to read all?  Again they don't know.

Computer Chip IDs:
There is not a system set up by which all scanners and computer systems could read any tag.
Will all systems be inter-readable?  They don't know.
Will everything be only brand specific?  They don't know.  (That would be a royal pain for the law abiding)!
In addition, they have seen MANY cases where a chip was put in the horse's upper neck and they have re-checked the horse and the chips were elsewhere in the horses body.  Including in the feet.  Or no longer in the horse's body.

Personally, the computer chip idea is good, when used in conjunction with branding if
1. all chips where readable by all scanners.
2. one data base
3. the chips didn't travel once implanted.

However, we were informed that the best and hardest thing to alter is a HOT brand.
The second best identification is freeze branding.
With a good brand and the paper trail, the brand inspectors can do a good job tracking horse movements.  Any time the paper work is not in order, the horses and/or everything are impounded, fines assessed, & the horse's owners looked for and proven.



You will have a permanent way to protect yourself from theft.  You will have a record of ownership transfers.  You will also be able to contact previous owners to find out the history of your horse.

If your horse is ever stolen when you own it or after is has sold; authorities can find the original breeder and trace the line of ownership up to the rightful current owner, and return the stolen horse to the rightful owner.

THERE IS A MINIMIAL FEE OF $10.00 FOR A PERMANENT BRAND CARD PER HORSE.  THIS IS GOOD FOR AS LONG AS YOU OWN THAT HORSE.  This way you don't have to go get brand releases to travel.  Just health certificates & a current coggins test.  Not having a permanent brand card: means you will have to go get a brand release each time you transport your horse.  Which will cost approximately $2.50 each time & time.

Branded or not; a brand inspection/release needs to be issued for transporting a horse, unless you have a permanent brand card for that horse.  It needs to be done if you are riding or transporting within one mile of a state border to be legal.

We brand everything that hasn't sold before birth.
Click here to add text.
Click here to add text.
The Puerto Rican Paso Fino

Many of the good LARGO horses in the breed today go back to these Puerto Rican Stallions:
BATALLA, (by Dulce Sueno), and his sons:  TRIUNFO and KOFRESI.
The American Paso Fino Horse Assoc. chose as one of there foundation sires the Puerto Rican FAETON LaCE.  Who also goes back to Dulce Sueno.

The following information is copied (partly) from this web site:

Information for this article was provided by Sr.Eduardo A. Quijano Rivera, Sr. Aristides and Sr. Josef Pons.
The best researched and most valuable source of information was the fascinating book "Breeding Better Paso Fino Horse" by Dr. Carlos Gaztambide Arrillaga, Ph.D.

The Puerto Rican Paso Fino
by Heinz Reusser
The establishment of the particular breed of Paso Fino Horses may have had its origin at the time the San Juan Races (shows) began in 1610.  These races were celebrated to commemorate the "San Patron" of Puerto Rico, San Juan Bautista.  In theses races all the citizens of Puerto Rico participated with their horses.
The most prominent and successful lines in today's Pure Puerto Rican Paso Fino are the descendants of the two famous Dulce Sueno sons Guamani and Batalla.  Guamani is said to represent the "Andalusian type", well rounded with great beauty, somewhat longer and taller and with a very pleasing disposition.

By the 1880's these competitions took place in several different locations with more new facilities.  More emphasis was now being placed on maintaining gait and on stamina.  Horses over three years old were entered in a 1000 meter long gait competition with the judges looking for easy movement and a smooth ride.

To create the present day Paso Fino, the influence of the more "Barb type" line of Batalla was used also.  Built lighter and somewhat angular, this type added the very delicate and smooth way of going and the highly valued brio and stamina.

The best representative of the cross of these types and lines was the immortal sire KOFRESI.  Bred by Sr Wifredo Bertran and born in 1958, he was nominated the "Best Producer of Paso Fino for the last 20 years".  After having recovered from a fractuered leg, Kofresi returned to the show arena 10 years later to win the title of Grand Chanpion.  He died at the high age of 27, in a time when his fame and prestige as a sire was still growing.

(We, Joni Lund,  breed back to the following lines as much as possible:  Dulce Suenco, Batalla, Guamani, & Faeton LaCE.)

In 1906, at the new San Juan Racetrack, the famous stallion Manchado of Don Nicolas Quinones Cabezudo of Cagus made history when he gallantly performed the correct and wlegant "paso fino" completely natural and without a rider around the public square.  From Manchado later came the infamous mares Flores and Deseada, both considered to be part of the foundation of today's Paso Fino Breed.

The Columbian Paso Fino

Two types:  First the Pistoneos
The gaited horses used for herding cattle and travel in the rough mountain area were called PISTONEOS, because they moved their legs in a piston like fasion, straight up and down with little extension.  this allowed the horses to step in and out of ditches, or step into low spot or onto a high one, without losing rhythm or throwing the rider off balance.  It also made it possible for the fhorse to react to the cattle's movement and change direxction or speed paractically in mid stride.  These horses were tough and surefooted, and traveled smoothly at a fast speed.  Some of the Pistoneos later developed the very short strided and quick "Fino" gait, which is strictly a show gait  shown with so much collection that the horse is moving slower than a walk but moving his feet with very rapid rythm like a human tap dancer.  Others moved in TROCHA, the form of 4 beat gait that is closer to a trot.  It takes less energy than the square gaits of cortok and fino, and provides great balance for turns and stops (to work cattle) or on rough or slippery ground or when moving along side hills, because of the diagonal leg support.
When travel on horseback ceased in the 1950s, showing became popular.  DON DANILLO, a Paso Fino stallion whose grand sire was an imported LUSITANO (Andalusian) that had become famous in bullfights, put his stamp on the breed, as he was bred to many Paso Fino mares in the country.  Don Danilo did well in 4 classes:  fino, trocha, tracha y galope (trocha and canter) and trocha y galope (trot and canter).  Don Danilo's offspring moved with more knee action, they were taller, stocky, with well muscled rumps and a higher tail set.  Also white markings started to show up more and more, so they fit the requirement of a show horse well.
Two types:  Second the Chucuanos
In the swampy areas a different line of Paso Finos were bred, that excelled in getting around in boggy ground.
Called CHUCUANOS,  they had a longer, loose stride with a winging motion of the front feet, except that the winging was restricted to below the knee, while Peruvian moves his whole shoulder out like a human swimmer.  The winging of the lower legs helps break the suction of the hooves to the ground and makes it easy for the horses to move in deep sand, mud, or bogs.  Many people also believe that it helps throw the mud and sand off to the side rather than into the rider's boots or even up his back!  Their horses were also great travelers and very smooth to ride.  many famous Paso Finos go back to Chucuanos, both PLEBEYO (a legend among Paso finos) and MAJESTUSOS go back to the well known Chucano: GAUCHO.

Cantering was considered an important part of showing the horses, and trocha y gallop and trote y galop classes were popular.  -----In 2001 those two classes wre offered for the first time at the national competition in the U.S.
Now days the horses are supposed to stay even in gait, rather than drifting toward trocha, and trocha is not allowed except in special classes.  But most Paso Finos will slip from fino, corto, or largo into trocha, if rein pressure is relaxed and they are not a collected anymore.  Sometimes the only way to tell is by listening closely to the beat on a "fino board'.  (long strip of wood that the horse goes on in gait, to make the hoof beat loud enough to hear.)

Note: MAJESTUSOO combines in his pedigree the Chucuano line with long , loose stride, and also the RESORTE I line, with their quick PISTONEO movement, and through Don Danilo ( goes back to Restorte I also), the trocha line with high action.  Majersuoso was on the top 10 sire list in the us for 12 years in a row.

Many of the great LARGO horses, the ones that perform the fastest and most extended form of the Paso Fino gait, are going back to Don Danilo.  Some speed gaiters can largo as fast as any horse can gallop!
CORAL LaCE and his offspring are the most famous Largo Horses of the Don Danilo's get.  He was entered in the Paso Hall of FAme and also became the foundation sire of the North American Single Footing Association.

One of the most influencing Colombian  stallion of all times was RESORTE I.  Many of the famous sires go back to him, including:  ANFITRION (later exported to Puerto Rico), MONARACA, CARIBE, DON DANILO, HILACHAS (Foundation sire), CARMIN, and RESORTE III and IV.

(We, Joni Lund,  breed back to include the following in our bloodlines Hilachas, Monaraca & Resorte I.)

Sales of Retail Merchandise
Training ~ Breeding ~ Sales: Horses & Mules

Joni Lund - Equine Services & Trading Post
1295 1st St S
  Carrington, ND  58421
  Call:        Phone 701- 652-1986   for more immediate service.