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History and Culture / Paso Horses

Paso Horses

I once read that cats look down upon humans, considering us inferior to them; that dogs look up at their masters, and consider them as their betters; while horses consider themselves equal to us. What do you think about this?

Another thing I know is that all horses are wary of us and have to be domesticated, because it is not so long ago that they were hunted for food by men. In France, for example, you will see horse meat shops.

Horses are admirable, beautiful and aesthetic. In Peru we have the Caballo de Paso, or Paso horse, now exported to many places. It was a combination of ambler horse training with the beauty and grace of Arab horses, coming through Spain during the Conquest.

On a Paso horse the rider doesn't jump up and down as happens with other horses. It moves its delicate feet sideways, as though sweeping the terrain, and they are extremely graceful.

Every year there is a championship of Paso Horses in Lima. I know they do it to give prizes and thus sell them at better prices to foreign buyers. But Paso horses are a noble and wonderful tradition. They even know how to dance the Marinera!

The Marinera is a dance from the Coast of Peru, with black, Spanish and maybe gypsy influence as well. A woman and man, both wearing traditional costumes, start some distance apart: they step closer, circle about and greet one another with their handkerchiefs. Then there is a second encounter, but at the third pass he doesn't let her go by, and the flirting starts at its best. The women sweep the floor with their feet with great rhythm, and men imitate the Paso horse steps.

In the Paso horse exhibitions the band of musicians play marineras, and the lovely horses dance it so beautifully, it brings tears of joy to my eyes.