LIMESTONE, Tenn. - Kaycee Gracia has always seemed to be in step with horses.
"We've always really had horses," she said. "I got my first miniature pony when I was three years old."
Then she stepped up to Paso Fino horses.
"They say a horse is a horse is a horse," Gracia said. "But that's not the case especially with Paso Finos."
Paso Fino means fine step. Kaycee tells us that's one of the two traits that make Pasos a horse of a different color: their unique four beat lateral gait.
"So it sounds like one, two, three, four, a continuous sound," Gracia said. "It's like a train. And the smoothness of the gait is unlike any other we've ever experienced or that the world has ever experienced. The Paso Finos are known for being the world's smoothest breed."
With a smooth but energetic personality to match.
"People compare Paso Finos to Jack Russell terriers because they're so small but so full of energy, they're very personable," Gracia said. "When you ride them you just feel that energy like you're on a hurricane or something. Between their personality and their ability they're pretty phenomenal animals."
And now Gracia has harnessed a phenomenal honor. She's been picked to represent the USA youth equitation team in the Paso Fino World competition in Colombia, South America July 4th through the 6th.
"Oh my gosh, it's an honor to be able to represent the United States of America in such a high caliber competition," Gracia said. "It's basically the Olympics for the Paso Fino breed."
So with 14 grand national championships already in her corral, don't bet against Gracia riding high in the saddle again and bringing home more horse hardware.
Gracia says the U.S. equitation team works strictly on donations. They still need funds to help send team members to South America. For more information on how you can help, log onto www.pfha.org
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