The Costarricense de Paso is the end result of two influential breeds, the Andalusian and the Peruvian Paso.
The Andalucían breed of horse has a long and distinguished history developed in the Spanish Peninsula, it was a blend of the Arabian and Burba horse with some mixture of English blood. Their fame spread as formidable war mounts in the Iberian Cavalry of the Carthaginian Army that fought against the Roman Legions who in turn captured and bred them to help conquer the known world.
They soon became the standard by which all war horses were measured and were prized for their agility, temperament, endurance and depth of character. It is a breed that has great stamina coupled with its stance, power and the rhythm and grace of its movements. It has always instilled in spectator and rider alike a feeling of grandeur.
The Peruvian Paso, like the Andalucían, was brought to the New World with the Conquistadores and its influence was so great, it was deemed to be the national horse of Peru.
The Peruvian Paso is a gaited breed, meaning it moves laterally rather than diagonally as most horse breeds move. This exceptionally smooth gait made it widely used and highly prized for its ground covering smooth as silk gaits.
Both of these breeds are influential in the Costarricense de Paso.
It is an easy and soft to ride horse, warm blooded, and the product of selective breeding which is improved constantly in its care, and managed based on the advances of technology and agriculture as well as the commercial practices for many years.
It is a riding horse because in the mountains of Costa Rica it’s easier to ride a horse than go by wagon, even if the horse was small as it was at the beginning of the breed. Being a horse of light saddle, defined as a luxury, and that has brio by excellence of soft riding and really comfortable for the most demanding rider, this makes him functional for pleasure riding, for sight seeing, long riding trips, to work with cattle in plains and mountains, for sports, training and camp drafting events.
The criteria of judging and the rigor of its application have driven breeders to go for a target horse, an ideal.
The horse that we are looking for and the one that is looked upon as the prototype of the breed.
This is a light horse, agile, with good temper and brave. This prototype or standard is defined as “mid-line, with and erect profile or slightly convex, with shining airs and great elegance, excellence in its movements, a very defined and noticeable energy”, which shows a great accuracy in it’s walk, with big flexion in the knees and hocks which it does with rhythm, harmonically and softness that could be appreciated as a whole in its action.
In his height to the cross, the males, that have a great deal of arrogance and masculinity attain a minimum height of 148.5cm and the mares, which show remarkable femininity and softness in her lines, attain a minimum height of 146.5cm. Their manes in the neck and rail are fine, on the body the hair is short and the skin is thin and soft, any colour is acceptable except the pinto with close spots.
This horse has a great resistance with a brio temperament, but with a good attitude to be tame, has a medium body mass is well balanced, agile and is a good runner.
The leg is wide and long and well developed, slightly rounded. A tail of middle implantation and extended when develops its movements. The posterior extremities have wide, parallel, strong, dry hocks with mid long quartiles, oblong, well defined, strong and flexible that provide them with a powerful push as well as elevation of the posterior members while going forward, which could be appreciated in the movement by the coverage of the anterior hoof print by the posterior hoof. Also the anterior extremities are well developed in muscular tone and bone strength, with outstanding tendons with oblique quartiles, flexible and nit which provides a natural elevation distinctive in the Costarricence De Paso.
The Costarricence de Paso has an official genealogic register that is regulated by the Costarricence De Paso Breeder Association, ASCACOPA. Each animal, male or female, that is registered is identified with a microchip implanted in their neck that has the examinations and DNA information that an independent lab runs. This microchip provides the information of the identity of each horse, as well as their relationships and blood lines.
With all this and a bit of the passionate ingredient that this beautiful animal provokes in us, the slogan that is a characteristic of the breed is strengthened: “ THE COSTARRICENCE DE PASO HORSE IS BEST …… AND IS OURS”
Standards of a Costarricense De Paso Horse
We define as Pure Costarricence De Paso a horse whose parents are registered in the Genealogic Register of the Costarricence De Paso Horse. We define as Foundation as horse that one or both parents are not registered in the Genealogic Register of the Costarricence De Paso Horse. In both cases the horse has to have the morphologic and physiologic characters that are accurate to the next racial prototype:
1. Head: Proportionate to the body, stout at the base of the head with well-developed jowls thinning to the muzzle, well sculpted and lean. Ears of average to medium size, well positioned and alert. Straight profile and slightly convex, wide forehead, well defined arched cavity of the eye, large eyes, separated, expressive and located downward, flared nostrils while in action, small lips, strong and contracted.
2. Shoulder: smooth, well inclined from the withers to the shoulders
3. Point of the shoulder: wide, deep and full in proportion to the body.
4. Arms and Elbows: well developed bone and muscle structure.
5. Forearms: long, strong with well developed musculature along the bones.
6. Knees: Knees that standout and flat, the size gradually diminishing in thickness towards the cannons. Anterior cannon: Between medium to large size with strong bones and tendons, and evident.
7. Pastern: strong and lustrous.
8. Extremities: Perpendicular, with good bone structure and musculature, tendons well defined and separated and well proportioned to the body.
9. Height: Female – Minimum 1.465 metres
Male – Minimum 1.485 metres
10. Neck: Arched, varying from large to medium, flexible, wide at the base and narrowing toward the head forming and lustrous arch in the throat and along the crest. Spine – with a smooth continuity.
11. Withers: smooth, not very tall, having the same height as the highest point of the coup.
12. Back: Short, wide, strong well joined with the withers.
13. Rib Line: Wide, congruent with the spine with the rib line being longer than the spine.
14. Horses’ hoof: Proportionate to the body, solid and well inserted without deviation.
15. Action: Extraordinarily agile in their moverments, well defined with good flextion of the knees and hocks. With rhythm, gait and easy riding. Without deviation – no sidestep.
16. Mane: Fine in neck and tail
17. Loin: Short, wide and strong. Well joined with the spine and croup with which it should maintain harmonious movement.
18. Croup: Wide, large and well developed.
19. Tail: well implanted and graceful.
20. Thighs and Legs: Strong, firm, well muscled with proper angle for smooth gait, elastic and resistant.
21. Color: with preference toward solid and brillant colours, a shite strip on forehead and socked legs.
22. Hocks: Wide from the front toward the back, clean and strong and parallel and protruding consistent with the croup (Flexible Pastern of medium size at a 45 degree angle).
23. Posterior Cannon: Long proportion to the body with strong bones and tendons well exhibited.
24. Fetlock Joint: Flexible and not very long.
25. Male: Exhibiting musculature throughout the body.
26. Female: feminine and most refined.
27. Skin: Fine with short hair.