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Big Book of Breeds
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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Costeno   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Costeno (also known as 'Costeno de paso aclimatado a la altura') is a gaited Peruvian breed, that is sometimes considered to be a type of the famous Peruvian Paso. However, while the two share the same ancestry and have similar appearance and gaits, they are not one and the same, and in Peru they are treated as different breeds.

The ancestors of the Costeno and the Peruvian Paso are Spanish horses who were introduced to Peru in the 16th century by the Spanish conquistadores. However, while the Peruvian Paso was developed in coastal regions, the Costeno was developed in mountainous regions. This created a key difference between these two breeds, as the Costeno was bred to withstand altitudes of 2,700 or more meters above the sea level, and is therefore more suitable than the Peruvian Paso for traversing high-altitude, mountainous regions.

In addition to being able to cope easily with high altitudes, Costeno horses also have excellent endurance, and a comfortable ambling gait. All of these qualities make the Costeno an outstanding trekking horse for those who want to travel the high mountains of Peru. Furthermore, Costeno horses also have cow-sense, and for many years, Peruvian cattle workers -- especially those who lived in mountainous areas -- used them to work cattle.

In terms of conformation, Costeno horses are smaller and shorter on average than Peruvian Pasos. They have a compact build, which is characterized by a wide but short head, a small muzzle, a short, arched, and muscular neck, a short back, a rounded croup, a deep girth, and short legs.

Costeno horses come in the colors of bay, brown, black, chestnut, grey, roan, dun, palomino, buckskin, and smoky black. Similarly to the Peruvian Paso, dark skin is preferred, and therefore horses who are double-cream diluted (CC for cream), pearl, or cream-pearl in color, will be penalized. Costeno horses stand between 14hh and 14.2hh.

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