Corto in to the North Florida Paso Fino Association!
We are happy to share our love and knowledge of the Paso Fino breed and to invite you to join our club activities in the North Florida area. There is no membership fee for our club -- just designate "North Florida" on your PFHA application or renewal -- it's that easy!
The Paso Fino is famous for its smooth gait, and you have to ride one to believe it. This horse is amazingly versatile: from the show ring to trail riding to pulling carts, herding cows, endurance and competitive trail riding, the Paso Fino has the heart and the endurance to work and play hard.
We love spending time with these horses and their people, and the North Florida Paso Fino Association (NFPFHA), a regional affiliate of the Paso Fino Horse Association (PFHA) offers opportunities ranging from monthly trail rides to the annual PFHA-sanctioned (POINT) show. Whenever and wherever we gather, there are always things to learn, tips to share, stories to tell, stuff to swap, and plenty of learning moments. Our executive committee members keep business chugging along year-round. We are always open to new ideas and new members.
Please join NFPFHA (no fee is involved!) and check this site often for events and news. You can read reviews of our recent activities (clinics, campouts, demonstrations, shows, trail rides) on the Recreation page, and we have lots of pictures on our Photos page. And make sure we have your email address so we can send you updates and news alerts of interest to you and your riding partners...
Ride a Paso Fino...you'll be glad you did!
Our Members Write - February 2014Today I picked up my manure fork…again. This makes it Day 11,551. Figuring that I don’t do it for one reason or another about 35 days per year, this means I’ve been cleaning up after my horses for 35 years. But this is not about my barn chores, or what I know about each of my horses by doing them myself.This is really about the North Florida Paso Fino region membership. It’s about the vast majority of our members who perform the same chores I do every day. We are not a region of professional trainers or amateurs with a trainer, barns of show horses, and staff. Instead, NFPFHA members are primarily small-acreage or backyard owners, in love with their Pasos, intimately acquainted with each horse and its habits, relying on their horse to do everything, and to do it well. You can call us a region full of “recreational riders.”
Yes, we show our horses in PFHA point shows. Yes, we have some dedicated show members and professionals. The rest of us? Showing is just one more activity on our list. In 2013, the calendar for our horses (often the same horse), looked like this:
- Demonstration at Mission San Luis at the Blessing of the Animals
- Train for endurance ride
- Participate in obstacle training
- Compete in ACTHA Competitive Trail Challenge (CTC)
- Leisure trail ride
- Compete in distance ride
- Compete in ACTHA Arena Obstacle Challenge (AOC)
- Demonstration at Red Hills Horse Trials
- Compete in endurance ride
- Participate in Celebration of the Spanish Horse
- Compete in regional PFHA show
- Go horse camping
- Participate in a benefit ride
- Participate in the PFHA national show
- Compete in local show
In March, the Red Hills International Horse Trials 3-day event in Tallahassee, with regional, national, and international level competitors, drawing 50,000 spectators who come to watch the dressage, cross-country, and stadium jumping, will once again showcase the Paso Fino. For the 7th year as the only invited breed organization, members of NFPFHA and their horses will demonstrate the versatility of this historic breed on Sunday, March 9. The demo is to introduce the general public to the Paso Fino by showing off our national quality show horses, recreational horses, therapy horses, and endurance horses. We strive to show the uniqueness of the gaits along with the versatility of the breed. While the Red Hills eventers get lots of attention from a distance, it is our Paso Finos that are approachable, with carrots to share with the horses for a job well done and plenty of petting and photo opportunities.The Paso Finos will also be represented, along with approximately 20 other breeds, in the Parade of Breeds. Spectators will have the chance to see a Paso Fino Grand National Champion in the parade. Last year the Paso Fino was selected to lead the parade!
On April 26, NFPFHA is holding our annual regional show, Gait-way to Fun, in Marianna, Florida. With double points and minimal fees for the usual Paso classes, this is the show to attend! We are also known for our fun classes, which are open to any breed. For example, there’s the donut race. An event coordinator will stand in the arena beside a barrel, holding a cane pole outfitted with a bungee cord looped around a powered sugar donut. The riders must gait to the pole, get a bite out of the donut, and go back to the finish line. The winner will be determined by their successful bite and time. Don’t worry, each rider gets a fresh donut! Other fun classes include pole weave, largo race, egg N spoon, and champagne ride. For more information on the Gait-way to Fun Show, contact Robin Ratliff.
Our regional members have a lot of interest in obstacle training and competition. On April 27 NFPFHA is holding its first ACTHA Arena Obstacle Challenge. In fact, at the 2013 Nationals, North Florida members sponsored the obstacle challenge classes, as well as designed them, set them up, and judged them!!! ACTHA is the American Competitive Trail Horse Association. ACTHA is open to all breeds, with Competitive Trail Challenge (CTC) and Arena Obstacle Challenge (AOC) competitions and its own award point system. The most recent series of events culminated in a winner of a brand-new horse trailer! ACTHA’s mission is “to bring recognition to the great American trail horse” – and what better example of that than the Paso Fino?
Out of 65 approved obstacles, the course designer will select 6-8 for the AOC. Each person rides through the course (in-hand is also permitted) and judged individually. Awards are presented at the end of the event, and points are accumulated for bigger awards later in the year.
NFPFHA believes that hosting this AOC is a first for a region, and certainly a first in combination with a regional show. Placing these events back-to-back gives us all a chance to “show off the gait” on Saturday and “show off the sense” on Sunday. With our Gait-way to Fun show and our AOC, we are working to satisfy all of our members (go back and read paragraph two!).
On a national level, NFPFHA is working closely with the PFHA Recreational Rider committee to gain approval for all ACTHA events to be “sanctioned” and thereby automatically qualified for the Ticket to Ride and other programs.
For more information on ACTHA and to register for our AOC, go to https://www.actha.us/ or contact Barbara Bland, NFPFHA President.
Our Members WriteRead the Tribute to A Mare by Henrietta Ratliff.
NFPFHA Selected Benefit - Hidden Springs Horse Rescue
You may be environmentally active ...saving wolves, whales, salmon, trees, etc. We hope you are also willing to spend some time and $$ giving in a way close to all responsible horselovers: saving abandoned and neglected horses.
NFPFHA strongly supports Hidden Springs Horse Rescue in Marianna. http://www.floridahorserescue.com/Hidden_Springs_Horse_Rescue/Hidden Springs operates through donations only. These animals are desperate for the basics: hay, water, love. We hope you will send anything you can to help these beautiful horses to a happier life. If you are local and have some time to spend, that will be gratefully accepted, too. Horses are available for adoption and/or sponsorship; there are Paso Finos and other breeds available.