The beginning of the Peruvian horse breed dates back to the Spanish conquistadors, who brought horses over to Peru during the conquering of the Peruvian Incas. These Spanish horses had Barb and Spanish Jennett blood in them, making them hardy, trainable, and with a four-beat gait. Settlers from Spain brought even more horses of Iberian breeding which mixed with the Barb and the Jennett to create the Peruvian.
In the seventeenth century the horses of Peru became isolated, allowing them to develop a distinct breed helped by wealthy Peruvian land owners who bred the horses for specific characteristics, namely a smooth and fast gait.
Today there are many thousand registered Peruvian horses in the United States. They come in an assortment of basic solid colors including chestnut, black, palomino, roan, buckskin, and gray. They measure no higher than 15 hands and are known for their distinctive gaits which include the paso llano and sobreandando gaits.
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