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Norman learns about the Dominican Republic's horse history!

August 21, 2014
Stuffed animal.

Norman neighed hello to the Dominican Republic and was excited to learn more about its history and culture. Norman recalled that during Christopher Columbus’ second voyage in 1493, Columbus returned to the Dominican Republic bringing oranges, limes, citron, olive and walnut trees, wheat, rice, cinnamon, cloves, peaches, apricots, sheep, goats, cattle, pigs and of course horses!

Settlers used these horses in farming, gold mining and mercantile enterprises. Their descendents are today’s Paso Fino, a clever and planned mix of several Spanish breeds. It is the oldest native breed in the Western Hemisphere. Paso Fino translates as “fine step” in English. Its premier characteristics are a smooth and even gate and it’s known for its hardiness and natural presence. Norman noted how remarkably versatile the Paso Fino horse is. He was hoping to meet some Paso Fino horses on his journey but first he had to meet with Carolina Orizondo, a competitor in this year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy.

Norman meets with an Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy competitor

Norman was delighted to hear that Carolina Orizondo discovered her passion for horses when she was only five years old. Carolina told Norman that she has spent her whole life surrounded by both the equestrian and farming world. Her father introduced reining as a discipline in the Dominican Republic, where he trained his daughters in the sport. One of Carolina’s sisters participated in the World Equestrian Games some years back and that encouraged her to compete this year. The national qualifying rounds were among 12 horse riders and Faunty Garrido and Carolina Orizondo were selected to compete at this year’s Games in Normandy.

Before leaving, Carolina brought Norman to meet some Paso Fino horses in a nearby stable. Here Norman swapped tips on health and nutrition. The Paso Fino horses told Norman he must eat well and get plenty of rest during his journey around the world.

As Norman left the Dominican Republic he already looked forward to catching up with Carolina at the Games and he thought of all the other competitors he would meet on his global trot.