Los Ficus is one of the very few Peruvian haciendas who occasionally open its doors to visitors. Most of the other rich owners and breeders in Peru prefer to keep to themselves. But they all share a common passion with the breeding of a rather unique horse: the Peruvian Paso.

This medium sized breed (165 cm max.), introduced to South America by the Conquistadors, and distinguishes itself by a very special trot, the Paso precisely. Unlike other horses this is a unique four-time trot, which makes it particularly comfortable for the rider. To demonstrate this, a rider, a chalane, trotted a few laps in the riding ring, a well filled glass of water  by hand, without spilling anything.

Another of the Paso’s peculiarities, is the Termino, which designates their way of throwing the front legs sideways, a bit like a crawling swimmer. This is a very unusual sight for a European, but very popular, and even sought by the Peruvians. The Paso have this trot in their genes, they are not taught.

Another feature, the Arogancia:  Contrary to European schools, the Paso carry their heads high and do not have to bend their head forward under the pretext of strengthening the muscles of their necks.

Finally, the way they get ridden is special as well. The rider uses only the reins, often with just one hand; sometimes he has four in his hand. Neither the legs nor the voice are needed to guide a Paso. I could try it out myself on a short ride.

The Termino