We have 13 paso finos and they are truly a delightful breed. Our youngest is 4 months and our oldest is nearly 28. We have two stallions who are also riding horses and we ride all but three of our mares - a two year old that is pretty short, the old mare and one we took on as a project. We have done LD endurance rides, speed events like barrel racing, pole bending, parades, demos, shows, trail rides and just riding around for fun.
The great thing about the breed besides the wonderful gait which they do from birht is the variety you can find. So many different colors, sizes, dispositions from very laid back to very goey, different appearances from chunky baroque to tall and slim and everything else between.
AND you can keep on riding them even if you have back problems or arthritis or hip replacement or are just plain too old for a trotting horse.
Yes they can trot and pace and canter and gallop as well as gait. What training does is tell the horse which of the many gaits they can do that you want them to do at that moment. We've come upon several paso finos that were western trained to walk trot and canter and the owner had no idea they would gait until an experience paso fino owner and rider got on and they gaited immediately. Using a snaffle with low headset and loose rein is just asking the paso fino to trot and in many cases they will do just that. Lift the head a bit and they immediately gait and will gait on loose rein also. They just have to know what you want them to do since they can do it all.
Gaiting at a hunter pace ride
New baby colt
Forgot to mention NC has the greatest number of paso finos in the US second only to Florida so lots of paso fino riders up there.