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The Colombian Criollo is a horse breed that is indigenous to Colombia. It is commonly used for riding, and is known by other names such as Colombian Walking Horse and Colombian Paso Fino.

 

Physical Characteristics

 

Although males are about an inch taller than females, a Colombian Criollo typically stands from 13.39 to 14.57 hands high (53.5-58 inches, 136-147 centimeters). Its physical stature is vital because competitions involving the Colombian Criollo have minimum and maximum height requirements.

 

The Colombian Criollo can come in any color; however, it must have a pigmented skin to qualify for competitions. Typical coat colors for the Colombian Criollo include hazel, gray, dun, roan, chestnut, or black. In addition, some Colombian Criollo horses have white markings on their body. These markings should be continuous and not on the joints of the hocks and knees.

 

The Colombian Criollo is also recognized for its smooth, lateral, four-beat gait. In fact, this is why the horse is called the Colombian Paso Fino, which literally means "fine step." This smooth gait and fluid movement ensures a comfortable ride for its rider.

 

Personality and Temperament

 

The Colombian Criollo is a lively horse, but it is also known for its gentle nature. This horse also has great vigor or "brio" and a great willingness to obey commands. Depending on the type of training that the horse has received, it will respond to rein movements, heel movements or sound commands from the rider. Some Colombian Criollo horses will even respond to all three types of command.

 

History and Background

 

The Colombian Criollo is part of the larger Paso Fino breed, which is a descendant of the Spanish Jennet. However, due to various crossbreeding and outbreeding attempts -- especially with Canadian pacers and trotters which were transported to the West Indies during the heyday of the sugar plantations -- the modern Colombian Criollo retains little of its Andalusian ancestry.

 

The exact year or date when this fine-gaited breed came to be established in Colombia remains undetermined. However, the Colombian Criollo is still deemed to be more elegant and nobler in appearance than other Paso Fino horses because of its fine movements. In fact, it is one of the great prides for the Colombian people.

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