Written by victoria_BC• March 21, 2021•
Photo, Travel, Video, Wildlife
Wild Paso Fino horses roam the tiny island of Vieques – their history interwoven with the unique island itself.
Over the years, locals and traveling organizations like the Humane Society have stepped up to provide veterinary care or sanctuary to horses in need, even birth control to help control their growing population.
The horses are not native to the island. Paso Fino horses, translating to “fine step” or “the horse with the fine walk” were brought by invading Spanish conquistadors in the 16th Century. They’ve made the place their home.
It’s hard to believe that from the 1940s until 2003, this lush U.S. territory was used for military training – specifically, to practice bombing.
“So far, crews have removed munition including 32,000 bombs, 12,000 grenades and 1,300 rockets from Vieques,” reported NBC in 2021.As we sat in a horse-caused traffic jam, we heard a local riding his horse in his front yard. I assumed this was a phenomenal horse trainer – the quick clop-clop-clop-clop of its hooves were in perfect rhythm, its legs moving mechanically like a marionette. Descendents of breeds like Andalusians, Barbs, and Spanish Jennets, which are now extinct, Paso Fino horses naturally exhibit this rhythmic gait from birth, with varying degrees of pacing.The wildlife of Vieques, including these somewhat-wild horses, make it a beautiful destination for nature lovers. Viequenese locals and tourists are welcoming and appreciative when travelers boost their ecotourism economy. Enjoy a few clips here that star Veiquenese horses and other wildlife on the island.
May 9, 2017
Filming and birding our way through Arizona.
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