I was recently engaged in a conversation regarding the gait of the Peruvian horse whereby a man trying to sell his horse had insisted his Peruvian racked.  Apparently I insulted him as I told him I would not want a Peruvian that racked as the rack is not exactly what a Peruvian does and that the gaits while similiar were not equal.  He clearly stated that his horse "racked" and was not about to back down on his terminology backing up instead his statements as "this is America, I will  (blank well) call it what I want and take your blah blah blah.. spanish arrogance elsewhere.. "  WHOAH! 

Call it what you will  "Sir" but calling it wrong to others and then to call others who know better names in public is wrong and will not serve to help anyone.  No one here was degrading the horse or the person who was trying to sell it, just questioning the animals true ability and trying to get clarity as to the exact performance of said animal. 

There seems to also be discussion elsewhere in this website regarding gaits of the Peruvian and the display in photos of such, case in point the discussion of the paso llano.. When someone says it does something, then the other person should then expect it to do what the the other says. One would think the Association of the breed would have it clear in their standards what the public should be able to discern as to what the breeds correct attributes are.  To me its a shame to hear the words from buyers on how they got taken... when first of all they understand not the correct form of the gait and its function and they also then get a pitch from someone who is equally lost.   Sad, but that is a fact and that is the truth and consequences. 

In this day it seems people cannot take on accountability for their own actions.. they always have to blame and bad mouth another and not admit that it was really themselves that are at fault. In this day and age its the guy who is actually and factually right who is always the one who is wrong.  Yet the other is the one being offended.  Arrogance before education as it were.  My thoughts... if you want to get in on it.. then educate yourself and research >research > research before you put blame on someone who does not deserve it.  Clearly the fellow I was engaged in that conversation with was not going to change his as he called it American mindset on how he felt and clearly I was not going to buy into a horse that was being confusingly represented.  Or perhaps... misrepresented.  I walked away form the entire conversation only to think about what else was wrong with that horse and what else was going to be clear as mud to the next interested uneducated party.  I pity the person who buys that or any animal not direct and honestly represented only to hear the words from their lips later on how they got taken.

Is it any wonder why there are so many horses in this world that that end up in homes where in the end they are not wanted.  Yes, another fact and truth and sadly with consequences.

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Comment by Brad Kruger on October 26, 2014 at 10:02pm

I will say a Peruvian horse with depth of gait will not trot under saddle. Those that may trot under saddle certainly do not have the proper gait genes irrespective of how well bred they claim to be.

To work all the muscles I would suggest a relaxed walk, loping, and running but not trotting.

Saying collection is simple is certainly not the case. If you tighten the reins and raise the head it will stiffen the back and make the horse move laterally. To have a horse move in a proper collection is one of the more difficult parts of training. I would not want people to think if they just raise the head they have properly collected the horse.

"some Peruvians trot as well as gait. OMG! That's right, I said it in public. Some very well gaited horses also trot.

At a show down south many years ago, I was talking to a very respected breeder/judge/trainer from Peru. I told him I was devastated because my "well bred" mare trotted and no one in the US would even talk to me when I asked "how to make my trotting Peruvian gait". He laughed and told me some Peruvian horses DO trot. He also said that the trotting horses were actually very strong because they moved both laterally and diagonally - working all their muscles. He gave me some techniques to try and told me to collect her more - get her more upright. SIMPLE! It didn't take much and she was the smoothest gaited Peruvian horse I had ever ridden! I started to refer to her as my 5-gaited Peruvian."

Comment by Karen Nesbitt on October 9, 2014 at 7:32pm

Personally and rethinking my conversation with this man, I have come to the conclusion he simply did not want to be educated.  I think he had another agenda and perhaps was more interested in using the horse to chase skirts than a sale.  He made that perfectly clear in how he was treating the people also engaged in the conversation... if you were an old skirt he was weeding you out for a younger person.. perhaps looking for some nieve young lady to dump the animal on hiding maybe other issues with it.  And in which case only further put the conversation of the animal on a total BUYER BEWARE mood.

Interesting thought though, on a comment he did make after the hallabaloo with me and that was to say  hmmm  something to the effect that he might  just keep the horse and go try to show it  He probably realized at that point he had been had.. but.. Im like  Son, if you did not like my gentle comment then you are going to absolutely be a JUDGE hater because they will have more of the same things I was saying to be said.  And  if he thought my gentle comments were offensive.. DARE I say more!  Yep, the last place his BOY needed was to be is in a showring, especially by him!  But then and I have to question...  is that the rage today?.. cussing and swearing at people who have a different opinion than yours?  Well I guess it is for some that  disrespect 

Sadly this man is the reason why there is so many problems  and  why that there is confusion about the breed.  My take on it.. had it been a burro and he was misrepresenting it, its WRONG.  As for supporting him??? there is a saying... it goes like this.. Right is right even if nobody is doing it.  If it was not me, it surely would have been someone else  that was going to tell him the same thing and yep, someone else told him as well. 

If you acquire something and you in the end want to get rid of it.. and say sell it.. you have a duty to know what it is you are selling to represent that correctly to another party.  If you clearly dont have the education to do so.. its best to then say so.   Thats my take.   Its sad these days there are so many horses, yet so many  people have no clue about ownership, the breed purpose etc and then later they learn  the hardway and have to try to re-home it.  People treat so much these days as it it was garbage.  No respect.  If the horse is not right for him and his election was to get rid of it.. the only thing I support with a person like that that refuses to be educated is to move it on down the line to someone else.. and hopefully the next person will be better than he was.    Clearly he was overhorsed and had no business having it.

As to those who are interested in the breed.. I say go to a clinic and show and talk to folks who are already in the know about the breed and learn before buyng.  As for this redneck with the spanish horse and the arrogant hatred he had for what appeared anything spanish.. I clearly have to ask then why  did he acquire it in the first place if his hatred for the heritage was so deep.  That kind of disrespect is dispicable.

Comment by Jen Heinitz on October 9, 2014 at 7:52am

My thoughts on this subject are that the best promoting and educating others about Peruvian horses is when we are out camping, trail riding, going to clinics, ect.  There are a ton of misinformation out there regarding our horses and gaited horses in general. 


Yes, this person was using incorrect terms, but shouldn't we be supporting him?  I don't know the whole story or if this person just doesn't care about the breed, history, ect.  I saw the tail end of the post.  My thoughts are that I don't care how the person got into the breed, got the horse, but shouldn't we help support him and encourage him to stay with the breed and help him understand what us as owners already know to be true and why our Peruvian horses are so special? 


Michelle knows me and was around me when I was really young.  I had my first Peruvian at the age of 13. We stumbled into her actually.  We saw an ad for a Peruvian while we were at a Laundromat washing horse blankets (shh, don't tell!), knew they were gaited and thought the ad sounded close by so we wanted to check the horse out.  A week later and I was the proud owner of a Peruvian horse.  I had no idea how lucky and spoiled I was! ;-) I was doing breed demos and loved showing off my horse.  I didn't care what the gaits were called...I knew them, but I didn't care. My young friend and I enjoyed showing off our horses at the breed demo, doing drill team or while we were camping on the weekends and trail riding.  It didn't matter to us.  People were always watching us and admiring our horses! My friend and I just loved our Peruvian horses. period. The rest didn't matter to us.  My family ended up with multiple Peruvians after that.  

Fast forward a bunch of years....I lost my mare.  I was devastated....I still get teary eyed thinking of my grey mare.  I had already sold my short do anything Peruvian mare to a family that lived on the trails and her job was to teach their grandchildren to ride.  So now, my last Peruvian was gone.  I watched her have some issues and I had some heartache and very much liked the breed, but decided that I was going to try some other gaited horses out.  I switched breeds and ended up losing my confidence and actually being scared to ride.  Yup, it wasn't an easy thing to admit.  I was SCARED to ride a horse. People would tell me that I was a good rider and to just ride, it will be fine, but I was plain scared. The one thing that could always make a day feel better no longer felt like that anymore.  I wanted to ride so bad, but the thought actually made me feel ill. If I knew that I was going to ride, I couldn't eat as I thought I might be sick.  I had rode all of my life....my friend and I were known to ride our horses bareback, backwards and were always doing silly things...we were fearless.  Well, that run had come to an end.  I am not sure if it was due to age, being involved in a motor vehicle accident and being unable to ride for some time, having a baby, getting the wrong horse or a combination of all of those....I didn't know what to do.  I would go horse shopping and be telling everyone what both my Peruvian mares were like....they would tell me they had the horse for me....I would go and look and be disappointed every time.  It always felt like something was just missing with the horses that I tried.  I couldn't put my finger on it....but it just never felt right.  Finally, I reached out and contacted a Peruvian Farm here in Wisconsin.  I explained my fears and what I was looking for.  She invited me to her place to come and ride.  There was no pressure, it was just simply come and ride and enjoy a Peruvian again.  I went there, got in the saddle and after about 15 minutes in the saddle, I felt it....it was the thing that felt like it was missing.  The horse that I was riding wasn't the horse for me, but I was elated that I felt that I was finding what I had been searching so hard for.  I now knew what I was looking for...it wasn't just a gaited horse that I wanted, but I wanted a Peruvian again.  With the help of friends, I began on my journey again.  I ended up with a wonderful mare.  This mare has been fantastic.  I began trail riding and camping again, we have attended some cowboy dressage clinics, and this year I even went to a show! My confidence is back and I have been learning more about the Peruvian horse.  I actually use the terms of the gaits now and am more interested in the history of the horse.  ;-)

I guess that I went down quite the bunny trail, but my point is, maybe it shouldn't matter how this person or others got into the breed.  They will see what is so special with the horse. The more they get involved, the more they will learn and pick up things.  I have more of an appreciation for the Peruvian horse now, but I always knew they were special. 


This is all just my personal experience and my opinion.  I got lucky, stumbled into the Peruvian horse and ended up making some awesome friends in the process.  It wasn't a charming or romantic story, but it took me and my family to the Peruvian horse.    


Comment by Karen Nesbitt on October 7, 2014 at 5:39pm

Unfortunately, that  more than likely would never happen and that is precisely why there are breed demonstrations where people in the know get together to present the breeds that they are so fondly of.  It does take a dedicated bunch to get the education out there.  And it makes so much sense to do the research before you buy so as to avoid issues later.  Especially for those who a horse is a once in a lifetime investment. 

Comment by Michele Ripley on October 7, 2014 at 1:27pm

Yes, and yes! We have a long running discussion... should novice horse owners have a Peruvian? Other have felt yes, because they are so smooth, smart, willing, forgiving, accommodating... My answer is always "no" for the exact same reasons. I think people should have to earn and sometimes learn the hard way to appreciate the Peruvian horse. They should have to know about horses in general before they have the opportunity to learn the exceptional qualities of the Peruvian. Someone as arrogant as your "redneck" should not have a Peruvian Horse!

I wish someone would acquire the rights to the documentary "The Peruvian Paso, An Oasis in the Desert". It does an amazing job of showing what makes the Peruvian so special. It should be "required viewing" prior to owning a Peruvian Horse.

Comment by Karen Nesbitt on October 7, 2014 at 12:43pm

I think what that young man that I had engaged in conversation failed to realize in his comments about racking was there was much more criteria.  It disturbed me when the admin of the website told him, its ok, let the buyers learn elsewhere.. so I was like, pardon me Mame, if and Sir.. if you are trying to sell these horses or even buy one then the SELLER has a DUTY to represent the horse correctly.  Sad fact, some dont know what they have and then they try to attach what they know to it and then that get passed down and passed down and then you got a generation of ignorance.  Yes, and You are so correct about the Peruvian Paso Fino...  and I also am well familiar where that comes from.. it was and still is from breeders melding the two and the Paso Fino horse association years and years ago would allow for the horses to be registered as long as they possessed the foiur beat gait.  While it was acceptable to refer to the Puerto Rican Paso Finos as such and the Columbiano as well.  It was not appropriate to call them Peruvian Paso Finos... however many people did and forgot about the termino that should have not been pressent in the melding for the PASO FINO gait.  

When he said it racked, he posted that in writing on a poster in his video.  So I would expect the horse to rack.  What I did not see in the video was any clear shot of the gait.  He had put such obnoxious music redneck twangy with the video, it was actually painfull to watch in my opinion because it did not portray the beauty and romantic charm that is so special within the breed and the total thing was a turn off to me from the get go even though he had a beautiful animal. The music was head jarring and not four beat so the impression it totally left me was also very much the horse perhaps was gait flawed or maybe the papers with it were not matching either.. The whole thing just made me walk from the consideration of that animal because, I guess, I am looking for something more!  At my age, I want to feel the romance! I want to hear that paca paca paca paca!  I want the DANCE! He may have had a gem, but I was not wanting a turkey in the straw if you will pardon the expression!  What I think is bad  too these days as so much of HISTORY is being rewrote and  its like.. so sad.  Then to tell me to take my a-hem Spanish and well..   you know.  I guess it is better this young lad and I had parted company.  Have it your way Sir.. but here is hoping you change your ways in more than one way.

Comment by Michele Ripley on October 7, 2014 at 9:47am

There has been a HUGE lack of education/information on the breed. How many times have you heard them referred to as the Peruvian Paso Fino? Or that Peruvians and Paso Finos have "the same movement"? The young man you spoke with was certainly illuminating his ignorance with a SPOTLIGHT!

One of my favorite Peruvian stallions, *MVM Sagrado 1983 ~ 2009, worked for a living. He worked cattle for a large portion of his life. Breeding was just a bonus. These horses were bred to work. To RIDE. To travel long distances. In Peru, some horses are ridden MILES to the show grounds before they ever perform for the judges.

NAPHA does list a description of gaits for the Peruvian Horse. But it would help to have some "video support" with the description. 

Sec. 4. Breed Standard - Gait
           a) Qualifying Gaits:
                1) Paso llano: Equally spaced, four beat gait. Timing and footfall:
                    1 - 2 - 3 - 4; LH - LF - RH - RF
                2) Sobreandando: Usually faster, slightly more lateral than the Paso llano. Timing and                      footfall:
                    1 - 2 3 - 4; LH - LF RH - RF
                3) Walk: The walk should be a relaxed, four beat movement. The horse may be on                          the bit, but the contact will be light. The walk should exhibit a free, loose                                    movement. A horse should be penalized if it does not cap or does not walk.
           b) Elements of Gait for Judging by Priority:
              #1 Rhythm of the Footfall (footfall, timing, thread)
                    Paso Llano (most desirable gait)
              # 2 Smoothness (so long as it does not originate from weakness of the horse)
              # 3  (a) Advance, extension of the forelimbs, and impulsion.
                     (b) Overreach
                     (c) Elements of # 3 (a) & (b) stem from energy, engagement, and impulsion
              # 4 Elegance, style, execution
                     (a) The horse should have presence, charisma, and be graceful
                     (b) The horse should have termino and lift without excessive pounding.

Comment by Karen Nesbitt on October 6, 2014 at 8:24pm

While I have no arguement that the rack has the same footfall.. the motion is different.. YOu cannot let it go at calling the paso  llano a rack.  The YOUNG man was irrate to say the least.. I was called every name under the sun, to the point of threatened.  OUCH!  And here is the thing too, while I can agree with some points that Mr. Don West brought up on his website..  He leaves me wondering does he really know the breed as well?  To say the Peruvian can be used to move cattle to the back forty would be an understatement I would think!  His words, he would not suggest using a luxury vehicle to do the work of a pickup truck... Hmmm  now Mr. West I have to ask, what do you know of the past history of these magnificent animals as their history  leans hard to the bull rings of old...  Take the dance the Marinera.. it is actually  manuveurs that are also consitant in those used in such a ring as the Picadore  would spar with the bull.  Funny, put the horse in motion to a dance that uses a hankerchief as a romantic enticer for her dancing partner and suddenly the bullring disappears.   I have the cowhorse advisarios that fail to acknowledge the spanish horses as par excellance  when it comes to equines and cattle.   They apparently like to rewrite history and forget the spanish roots to the American culture.   Shame on me, but yes, press one for spanish... and I dont mean this about a telephone!


Comment by Michele Ripley on October 6, 2014 at 11:31am

You said a mouthful! When we sponsor training clinics, we always start with "What is Gait". So many people don't know! Especially people who stick to the trail and don't show. Not that there is anything wrong with that... it just limits a rider's exposure to education. I'm going to throw out something else considered blasphemy... some Peruvians trot as well as gait. OMG! That's right, I said it in public. Some very well gaited horses also trot.

At a show down south many years ago, I was talking to a very respected breeder/judge/trainer from Peru. I told him I was devastated because my "well bred" mare trotted and no one in the US would even talk to me when I asked "how to make my trotting Peruvian gait". He laughed and told me some Peruvian horses DO trot. He also said that the trotting horses were actually very strong because they moved both laterally and diagonally - working all their muscles. He gave me some techniques to try and told me to collect her more - get her more upright. SIMPLE! It didn't take much and she was the smoothest gaited Peruvian horse I had ever ridden! I started to refer to her as my 5-gaited Peruvian.

I was lucky to have access to some really wise people in the last 20+ years of my life with Peruvian horses. (Some are no longer with us and sadly missed.) But not everyone has had that opportunity. Peruvian Horse World allows people from all over the world to share their experiences, their failures, their successes, their happy times and their sad times with other Peruvian Horse enthusiasts. It also provides access to breeders, trainers, judges and a wealth of knowledge.

One of the best training video sets in my library is the Benni Batro collection: Beginning Bozal Training; Advanced Bozal, 4-Reins & Bit Training; and Conformation & Gait. I think in the least, everyone new to Peruvian Horses should watch the Conformation & Gait DVD. These are still available in DVD format on eBay and directly from Lopes Productions.) 

Comment by Karen Nesbitt on October 4, 2014 at 3:40pm

Adding to this I can really appreciate what Don West has to say about the paso breeds in general...   http://www.horseadvice.com/horse/messages/22/15777.html 

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