Thank you for visiting our website. It's always fun for me to share our colorful history with the Paso Fino Horse. Working with this unique breed has been a part of our family tradition for over five generations. I’m very proud to say that my knowledge, passion and horsemanship skills have been instilled in me by my father and mother, Alvaro Iriarte and Clemencia Tobar.
The Paso Fino horse traces its heritage back to the Spanish Jennet Horses that were brought to the “New World’ by Christopher Columbus and the Spanish Conquistadors. These horses were the foundation stock for remount stations of the conquistadors. They were known for their stamina, smooth gait, and natural beauty. They were referred to as “Los Caballos de Paso Fino” – the horses with the fine walk". Selective breeding by the carribean and Latin American colonist produced variations of the "Caballo de Criollo" One of those was the Paso Fino. The breed grew in Puerto Rico and Colombia, eventually spreading to other Latin American countries such as Cuba, Aruba, Dominican Republic and Venezuela. 1 1Paso Fino Horse Association – Share Our Paso Passion. www.pfha.org/.
In 1971, at the time that my family immigrated from Colombia to the United States the number of Paso Fino Horses was approximately 500. Today that number is closer to 28,000. Throughout several decades our family was fortunate to be a part of the fastest growing breeds in the country. Breeding, raising, training and selling top quality Paso Finos. At one point our stock grew to nearly 200 horses. Caring for such a large number of horses requires a lot of hard work, patience and dedication. As a family, we all had to pull together, each contributing to the many jobs that come with running a horse business.
Through these experiences I learned some of the most important character building lessons in life. Lessons such as the value of perseverance, hard work, effective communication and trust building. What I have learned from working with horses has shaped every aspect of my adult life. Years of experience as an equestrian instructor lead me to a career as a professional educator. As a certified PFHA judge for over 10 years I was able to support and educate new Paso Fino enthusiasts whether they were exhibiting their horses in the show ring, or enjoying them on a trail ride.
Early in our marriage, Rocky and I decided that we really wanted to raise our children in a similar environment. Surrounded by the beautiful outdoors, among these special horses. It was important to us that they experience the power of unconditional love that comes from caring for animals. We wanted them not to be afraid of hard work, or back down when things get tough, but rather persevere through challenges and experience the satisfaction of knowing that they could conquer their fears and apprehensions. Working with horses is such a great way to develop effective communication skills, assertiveness, confidence and self esteem. There is a special joy in knowing that you have connected with your horse and an even bigger joy in helping someone else connect with theirs.
Now that our family has grown and we have been blessed to find ourselves here on our little slice of heaven, it is our desire to continue sharing our passion for the Paso Fino horse with others. It's our pleasure to welcome you to Starry Haven Farms. Our mission is to help you fulfill those childhood dreams of "horsing around", whether you are young or just young at heart.
Magda Iriarte Reid
Magda Iriarte Reid