Following the steps of the Peruvian Paso Horse

 By Rolando Garcia I have had the good fortune that in more than one occasion I have been asked to write “something” with respect to our Peruvian Paso Horse. Now my dear friends from Central America have asked me to do so. I say lucky, because each time I’ve done this, I feel the need to reflect on the issues that affect in one way or another, this exquisite and sometimes complicated hobby.

Today I would like to refer to two fundamental issues that I am convinced will have an impact on how quickly and efficiently progress toward a better breed.

We cannot, because that is the way things are, set aside some administrative issues, which for good or for evil affect the proper management of all the responsibilities in the promotion of the horse and I am thinking in particular of the role that we play as breeders and judges in the international framework to which we have referred to earlier in a way, maybe something warm.

I honestly feel that we are taking the steps in the right direction, but we have to accelerate them. We can no longer think that the Peruvian Horse is only from Peru … Is that contradictory? Not in any way. Its projection should be global, international in all aspects and it is now up to the breeders and international judges take the lead.

For those of us who have some years in this breed I ask you to support unconditionally the initiatives being undertaken in Lima, specifically in this direction and in many other countries that might not have the echo, as it should. The subject of the unification of registries, with the hope that someday, we have only one international registry, the recognition of international judges, the unification of the rules of competition, to mention just three points. They probably won’t all be perfect decisions in the early stages, but they are steps that are moving in a positive direction following the step of the horse.

In second and last instance I wanted to talk about which I know is much more complicated than the previous one, is to the responsibility that those of us who have been involved for more years, guiding in an unselfish way those who are beginning in the breed. We all know that selling a breeding, a mare or a colt is often desired, but let’s do it with all the cards on the table. I am not pointing to any breeder or seller of horses in specific, but have we all realized that “deceit has short legs”?

It is easy to “tell tales” to a novice, but how difficult it is to continue selling when the tale was really an exaggerated and unnecessary fantasy. What we are achieving? Only more distrust and unease. Let’s say things as they are! Educate them, give them quality time with a new aficionado that enters the breed with enthusiasm and joy! Aficion is creates good aficion, with all the cards on the table.

Why do we sell intact males if we know that they are not good sires? Why? The response that I hear regularly is “because” the owner did not want him castrated! No sir! Sires, one said: “May be of their descent, they appear to be by their presence and are only by their descent”…There are very, very few horses that are really sires, we should not encourage new breeders & aficionados to use stallions who are not proven. Once I read an article of the great breeder of Peruvian horses, Don José Risso Matellini, who said: “If you ever are going to use a colt that is just a promise, use him in one or two mares, not more! Assuming you do have a stock of no less than 10 mares … ” That is a wise advice. In this issue of the stallions, there are no miracles, let us be frank and open with those who are beginning to breed horses – it will be the only way they will continue in the footsteps of our horse.

I cannot conclude this article without sending a message of brotherhood to all the organizations who around this intense passion. Support the horse, let us work for the horse. On occasion I have been criticized because I say that the “horse is first”. I continue to give a hand to those who have a different viewpoint than I on specific topics, but I do this because I want to feel that we are all (perhaps from different positions) working for the same purpose. It is worth the effort, it is not worth the separation. The only way in which our horse will grow will be with all of us going in the same direction “following the step of the Peruvian Paso Horse.”

Reprinted with Permission from Paso Llano Magazine, Issue #1