Over the years, Esperanza Riding Company has collected a small herd of beautiful, island-born, Paso Fino-related horses. Each horse exhibits his/her individual character, look and gait; just like people! As you will see below, and in person, this is a very well-cared for, happy crew of steeds. Affectionately known as “the kids” they certainly do act accordingly!
The Paso Fino Association sums up why our kids are so cool: “The Paso Fino Horse reflects its Spanish heritage through its proud carriage, grace and elegance. With its lively but controlled spirit, natural gait and presence, and responsive attitude, the Paso Fino is indeed a rare and desirable equine partner.” So very true!
A gentleman in all aspects. Pepe’ is a blast to ride with his high head-set, smooth paso and beautiful, snappy knee action. You won’t be left behind!
At first glance Fred may appear to be a bit grumpy, but that’s just his macho style. When you hop in the saddle, his ears go up and he’s ready to take you right to the front of the pack. He loves his job!
Just can’t resist this tall, dark and handsome man; a sweetheart to us ladies and a dream to ride. Once my personal mount, he now joins the ranks of our most reliable, gentle and smooth client horses. My loss, your gain!
Not your average Joe, that’s for sure! An old soul with character to spare, he’ll show you the ropes with quiet enthusiasm. I’d venture to say, the most trustworthy horse in the herd.
The right guy for just about anybody, “Rescue” (English translation) was about 200 pounds under weight when we took a chance on him. Now he can pass for a pregnant mare! You won’t find him far from Joe, his best buddy. Maybe it’s because they look alike?
If you’ve seen the movie, you know who I’m talking about; Jeff Bridges in
“The Big Lebowski”. Super chill, quiet eyed, “I’ve got this” type of personality pretty much sums him up. The Dude abides.
The white guy that would just as soon be brown. When the mud is available, he’ll be diving into it. More than once I’ve wondered who that light-brown horse is over on yonder side of the pasture. Better-suited for intermediate/experienced riders, Rosco is a sensitive guy that just needs a reassuring hand.
A very handsome fellah with the most beautiful brown/orange eyes you ca imagine. I dubbed him “Rico Suave” quite immediately upon meeting him. He’s pretty independent and likes to be near the front of the line. Great for intermediate/experienced riders because he keeps a good pace, but is calm enough for beginners. Just love his color!
A horse couldn’t have a more appropriate name. “Clown” (English translation) is just that. He’s multi-colored, (a buckskin with tall white stocks and black points), and has a comical, sassy personality to match. He might be a bit smaller than some, but he makes up for it in attitude!
Don’t be frightened by his name, just be aware that he is a mover, with a quick paso and strong will. He insists on tailgating the trail guide, but could never assume the leadership position; it’s just not his style.
“Locksmith” (English translation) is the only purebred Paso Fino of the fleet. He is characteristically short strided with a lope smooth as butter. Rarely will you find him far from his bestest friend, Tornado.
A smile for miles. This gentle, tall, lanky guy has Mr.Ed beat in the dental department. Took him swimming for the first time and all we did was laugh at his toothy grin! How appropriate for such a character; he’s sweet yet opinionated, so he’ll keep ya guessing what he’ll do goofy next!
A very sweet man. Gus takes great care of our first timers and can switch on the charm for more experienced riders as well. A chill dude that happily goes about his job with no complaints…except that he loves to snack on little yellow beans and mangos along the ride. Naughty!
When the moment is right,”Jet Black” (English translation), can be quite the show-off in the pasture. Holding his head high, tail flipped over his back, this guy can move! But don’t be fooled, he’s a steady mount for children and adults alike. I swear Gus and Azabache’ are related…
A loner at heart, “Cappie” can be found relaxing in the arroyo (river bottom), in his favorite hiding spot. And if he’s not there, he’s chasing the truck (chuck wagon) through the pasture, hoping for a snack. Super laid back with clients and a handful for us guides…multiple personalities?
The only lady of the crew, Miss Karolina has the toughest job; trying to keep all these boys in-line! Although she’s eternally pregnant, (it’s just the nature of the island), she does contribute to the workforce on a lighter schedule than the boys.
He’s a spunky one – his name means male bumble bee or hornet and is pronounced ‘Abby-spone’. Don’t turn your attention off of him; before you know it, he’ll be biting the stirrup or nibbling on your shoe (while you’re in the saddle). His shenanigans don’t stop there…
The smallest members of the family, these laid back guys take great care of our smallest clients! You will rarely see one without the other in the pasture; usually picking on horses twice their size. Napoleon syndrome, perhaps?
A handsome young fellah with an ego to match. With his bright red coat and tall rear white socks, I believe him to be Secretariat’s long lost Paso Fino grandson…or of Irish heritage. Attitude for miles!
What a sweet man with a great attitude. He’ll give you a quick-paced, yet easygoing tour of the island. I swear your ride won’t be as debaucherious as his namesake; The Willy-T of Norman Island, BVI. For those of you that have been there, you know what I’m talking about.
He’s the only guy that’s not a Paso Fino related horse on the farm; Quarter Horse/Tennessee Walking Horse. I found him on a cattle ranch on the main island of Puerto Rico and couldn’t resist this big, smooth-gaited, young man. We believe he was named for his big, fish eyes (Dorado is Spanish for Mahi Mahi).
One of the relatively new guys in the herd, he just goes about his business
indiscreetly. The best laugh is when he’s play fighting with the other horses and you hear this high-pitched, girlie squeal out of him that just keeps on going! Hilarious! Funny face maker too (:
The guy that got this business off the ground. As my guide horse, Uno has worked harder and longer than any of the other boys. He might get “bubbles in his brain” from time to time, but that’s why I love him!
My favorite little guy. Now that’s a tough honor to come by, with all of the great competition in the pasture! He hates when I kiss his muzzle, but follows me around for more lovin’ and loves a day at the beach. The perfect combination of sweet temperament, spunk and “look at me” attitude. He loves to show-off. Perhaps we have more in common than I thought…
Why the long face? He was born like that; the big man in a little brown suite, with the juice in the trunk. He’s a handful, but that’s what our ladies like to ride!
Kevin (named for a coworkers not always charming ex boyfriend) is full of himself and in love with Uno’s woman, Karolina. Sassy and opinionated…see how he deserves such a name?
If he could fit in your pocket, he’d have been gone years ago. This guy loves attention, sweet feed, my seat covers, clothing, Emily’s fanny pack (complete with iPhone that he destroyed), and anything else he can utilize to make trouble. He has a slight hitch in his giddy up, but he loves to work; on a very light schedule, of course.
Sofrito – Guide Horse
His color is technically called “flea-bitten grey”, (as nice as that sounds to unhorsie folks), but coupled with his odd social behavior, I thought naming him after the Puerto Rican mix of spices was apt. He is just an odd ball and doesn’t really fit into the cool kid crowd, but he has turned into a reliable guide horse, so we’ll keep him…