Breed Spotlight: Paso Fino

Breed Spotlight: Paso Fino

Paso Fino

A cousin to the Andalusians we talked about last week, the Paso Fino is a horse with two strains, one from Puerto Rico and the other from Columbia. While independently developed, both strains tend to be put together under the same umbrella as “Paso Fino” and many organizations register both, including on Astranar. This is an extra breed, so you will have to pay real-world funds in order to add it to your stable.

Paso Fino were bred by Spanish land owners to use on their plantations, using horses brought over from Spain (including Andalusians, Barbs, and jennets), and share their heritage with numerous other horses, including the American mustang. They are powerful for their size, but don’t have a consistent body type among them. The Puerto Rico line is said to have short backs with prominent withers and clean legs, at least. They are described as “lively,” with a natural eagerness to work and work with their rider.

Paso 1

The Paso Fino was bred for their endurance and the comfort of their rider. Therefore, it isn’t a surprise to horse experts that this is an ambling horse, not a traditional trotting horse. Ambling gaits are lateral movement, which gives a much smoother ride for the rider instead of the bounce of the trot or rocking of a canter. They are one of the few remaining horse breeds who naturally walk that way, and in fact many breeders actively seek out those who transition between the gaits even if they have other, less desirable characteristics. While normally an endurance horse wouldn’t fit in among the dressage horses of Emerald, the ambling gaits give the Paso Fino the edge it needs to carve out its place in the show-circle.

Paso 2

Breed Characteristics:
Paso Fino are found in all solid colors, such as bay, grey, chestnut (red coat with red mane), palomino, black, buckskin, and sorrel (red coat with blonde mane, again for our purposes, see above). No markings are prohibited. There is also a rare eye color that is only available in the Paso Fino, called tiger’s eye, where the eye appears amber, yellow, or orange.

Starting Stats: *
Speed:                    3                                              Discipline:        3
Endurance:         4                                               Agility:              3
Strength:             4

* Note, these numbers aren’t set in stone. They are Becca’s way of trying to reduce her knowledge/research of breeds and their particular skills and traits into numbers so when animators and programmers have to look at these horses, they can go, “Oh, this horse can’t turn worth beans but this one can on a dime, noted!”

Emerald District, Here Us Roar!

Emerald District, Here Us Roar!

We keep mentioning our wonderful districts, so now we’re going to start introducing them. Astranar has eight districts, each with their own individual flare, and they can be quite competitive with each other. In Astranar, the districts are named after gemstones. This week, we’ll be discussing Emerald (no wizards or tin men here, though lions, hmmm), where Air magic inspires action.


The closest thing to a tropical jungle that Astranar has, with lush greenery and a mangrove forest, Emerald is on the northeast side of the country up against the low point of the Whistlebacks and the coast, and sharing a border with the Ruby, Sapphire, and Citrine districts. Ginny looked to the interior of Puerto Rico for how the district shaped up. The forests are one aspect, covering hills and low mountains, parting to show some bits of green land and lakes. There are also underground caves of beautiful stone. Emerald is home to the Astranar Zoo, which was recently purchased by a well-intentioned conservationist, and is home to several crazy species.

The mountains and forest are dense enough to prevent an invasion, so there are no knights in Emerald, but there are a handful of nobility, with a count helping organize the four local lords, who do a fast pace in trade of the tropical crops that can only be found in Emerald. This is slightly problematic because there is a strong eco-savvy movement in Emerald that detests “stealing from nature.” They set the tone for the fashion, which is fairly bohemian in style as they work to inspire lack of waste.


Sometimes to get where you are going among the dense trees and water, you need to be in the saddle a long time. And with space at a premium, smaller arenas are for the best. As a result, the district specialty is dressage, and the local horses are a mix. For those who favor tradition, you have the Andalusian and Persano. However, if you would prefer something a little different, there is a South American horse who is actually an ambler rather than the usual trotting style: the Paso Fino.


Air magic resonates with Fa on the solfege scale. A bridge between fire and water, air is the path to goals, though it may jump around from time to time. Air magicians are intellectuals who seek wisdom…they just may be all over the place trying to find it. They are good at helping ease conflict between friends by talking it out. On the small scale, Air magic can summon a fresh breeze or help you see or hear something from far away. On the large scale, it can be a summon special types of wind, changing it from direction to properties, and manipulate the weather. Of course, if you bring a cyclone down on everyone’s head’s, you’ll have a lot to answer for!

If you following Ginny’s twitter blog, you’ll know that all of the districts, including Emerald, have their own little specialties and symbols. I won’t bore you with all of them, and I want you to get to enjoy finding them out on your own! (The name is one giant clue to one of them, fyi.) I will mention that the Emerald mentors depend on which side you choose. If you go with the Light, you will look to Elena Treeharmony (profile pending), and if you go with the Shadow, you have options: Victoria Blackpiano (profile pending) and Varteni Heatforte (profile pending).