Foxvangen's Braveheart Two

V-109

FOXVANGEN'S BRAVEHEART TWO is the product of the cross between Chief's Magic Ribbon and Foxvangen's Toy Boy. This cross has proven to be such an excellent one that we have made it a number of times and each time the result is wonderful. NONE of the crosses between this pair, however, has ever been better than Two. He is just one very special horse.

Foxvangen's Braveheart Two at 1 hour

From the moment of birth Two seemed to have something special about him that was indefinable yet noticeable. He had presence and style, elegance and grace as well as a gentle, gentlemanly manner.

There was never a time during his entire youth that he was unruly or difficult. He never once offered to offend or dominate. He never at any time became a pest or a brat!

Two at the age of two weeks. His gentle eye tells the story of his nature but his body speaks to his future ability.

Two is the most responsive, intelligent, and light horse I've ever had the pleasure to work with. He is incredibly willing to please and though very spirited, he has a docile and gentle soul. He wants to do what you want him to do. The older he got the more pleased we were with him.

As a foal, Two was rather reserved and timid of people. He was not the gregarious type we usually have that become pocket pets in the first week of life and grow up friendly as puppies. Rather, Two was the sort that would come up close but keep to his space, never pushing or shoving. He waited patiently for his turn and was never out of sorts because someone else got the first bit of attention. He was utterly non-demanding

.

By the age of 10 months Two was already showing his remarkable coloring even while he was gangly and out of balance due to growth.

Because he was so unassuming I'm afraid he sometimes got left out when it came time to spend time with the foals. Those that needed work got the work and somehow Two just never needed much reinforcement, he just always was ready to behave and perform without issue.

Two was nearing weaning age when we made our move to Arkansas. He was a quiet colt and never rowdy to be around. He was obedient and very easy to handle though a little more aloof than some of the foals.

At 18 months he turned very golden! He was hip high, totally gangly and out of balance and not even close to the elegant stallion he was destined to be!

When we got to Arkansas we became very busy building a farm in the dreadful heat and humidity of the Ozark summer. The horses had a good pasture to graze and laze in while the temperatures rose to triple digits with heat indexes topping 115F at times. Two managed the heat well and rarely was seen dripping sweat like many of the others. His dam Ribbon takes the heat well also, Two seemed to have inherited that ability. He never seemed bothered by the biting bugs as much as many of the other horses either. Again like his dam the bugs just didn't seem to plague him as much….most likely because he was not sweating as much to attract them.

As a yearling, Two had an adventure whereby Jasmine coaxed him over a gate to mate with her. He was barely 15 months old at the time! He had never shown interest in the mares before and was happy with his group of brothers but one summer night that changed due to my red-headed hussy… That night Two became a sire. The result was Foxvangen's Summer Heat.

Two in the winter going into his third year.

After that episode Two did not become rowdy or a fence runner. He went calmly back to just being a yearling. I moved any open mares to the other side of the road so as not to entice him however.

That fall we had managed to develop a pasture on the hill specifically for the colts. We put Two, Chancellor, and by then Magni, whom we had purchased, in that field where they did not share fence line with any mares. That pasture is on a steep hill sloping both to the north and east. At the top near the fence line on what would be the south border there is an area that is not so steep where the boys could race and run for about 1800 feet without obstacles.

They all loved to race. Two was the faster of the three and was often way ahead of the others when they raced. As they matured, however, they began running up and down the steep parts of the hill. I often watched amazed as they raced full tilt down hill and then switched direction without even slowing down. The degree of coordination and balance that takes is astounding. Never a trip, stumble, fall…. They were agile and exceedingly well balanced.

Two the summer of his third year. He was so shiny his color didn't even pick up on camera!

Two was not as hefty as the other two young colts but he was far more supple and agile. He was able to nearly bend himself in half even at a full gallop. His motions were simply innately supple and extraordinary. This, also, is a talent and ability stemming from his dam.

Two's bone and joints are exceptionally good. He has wonderful feet that while he lived in this terrain rarely ever needed trimming. Good solid feet with excellent size and shape that he wore evenly and smooth naturally. He ran and played among the rocks, stumps and other natural hazards as effortlessly as he ran on the smooth, more level ground. He was so sure footed he just never took a bad step.

Two was not a real symmetrically growing colt. In fact he went through many awkward, unhandsome growth spurts where he was all at odds with himself. This is rather typical of Ribbon's offspring. They grow in bits and pieces. He was rather a gangly youth but if one was to look closely at him they could see the fine sinew and promise of things to come. There was no denying that he was a naturally gaited horse with exceptional smoothness and the most amazing agility imaginable.

Two at age 3.5 was starting to fill out and come together as a horse. His full mane hung on both sides of his neck and his forelock was so long it nearly reached the end of his nose.

Two began to develop an outrageously pretty coat and a very long mane and forelock. Though he sported no chrome or spots he was eye catching all the same. His forelock was so long it nearly reached the end of his nose and his full mane hung to his shoulders on both sides of his neck.

While many people will tend to overlook a solid colored horse, Two was hard to pass up. He had the most glorious color! The true depth and glow to his coat just does not record on film well. Within his dark chestnut coat glowed a living flame of color that was so brilliant his coat seems alive. People passed by in cars, stopped, and backed up to see him because when the sunlight hit him he looked like he was on fire from the inside out! It was most spectacular. It was also quite amazing that his coat glowed that way even in winter.

Two wintered out with only a few trees to act as shelter. He never appeared cold and he never lost condition even though weather in winters here can be extremely brutal.

By the age of 4 no one could deny this young stallion had the mark of good breeding. He was stylish, elegant and had a dynamic presence about him.

Another thing about his coat that was noteworthy is the fact he never got shaggy or long haired in winter even though our part of the Ozarks can have temperatures dipping down to below zero in the winter! His coat grew exceptionally dense like his sires, but never long. It was impossible to dig one's fingers down to the skin through his winter coat.

His "herd" buddies spent winter looking like woolly bears but not Two. It was as if it was too undignified for him to look anything but trim and elegant!

When shedding time came in the spring the other colts looked like hair machines shedding all over the place. Two simply and quietly shed his winter hair barely noticeably…one day he was just shinier than another and the job was done.

By the time Two was coming two years we had sold Chancellor so the pasture was just for him and Magni. Magni rather tried bullying Two and outweighed Two by at least 200 pounds! Two was not to be intimidated by him however. Magni had come to us as a yearling and was very uncoordinated and lacked balance at first because he had been raised in a small pen on flat ground. Magni quickly found it was not fun to fall down all the time and soon developed balance but along with that came his desire to dominate. Two was less bulky than Magni but he was so much more agile he made up for his lack of heft by simply out maneuvering the other colt. In an odd way that made them rather well matched.

The two colts were fast friends but they spent the day competing against one another on many levels. They tested their strength, speed, agility and overall power. Two moved so effortlessly it made Magni appear to be working hard to accomplish the same things. Yet Magni was working better and better the longer he lived on that hill!

There were days when I'd watch Magni and Two matching step to step as they foxtrotted down the fence line on the more level surface of their pasture. They matched for stride length and they matched for rhythm and style, yet Two was measurably smoother in action even though Magni was a smooth- moving horse that would please anyone.
Two simply stood out as superior and exceptional in many ways.

From Ribbon, Two also inherited a sensitivity that makes him very responsive and light to handle. From her he also was gifted the stupendous agility, quickness and speed. His lightness on his feet and eel-like flexibility also come from his dam.

Two's clean head was strikingly elegant by time he was four. He was intuitive, obedient, and more than willing to do whatever was asked of him.

Two and I began to bond. In his non-assuming way he would gravitate to me and wait patiently for me to recognize him. Never demanding yet clearly wanting contact. It was hard not to appreciate him and to want to be in his audience because he was a lovely horse with a special personality. We began spending a good bit of time together at liberty in the pasture. I also started taking him out for sessions on his own and was very pleased with his natural gentlemanly manner. He was by then getting some size on him yet he never took advantage of his size to try to control me or to challenge my authority.

He was gifted at learning and liked to play learning games. He was sensible and easy to redirect if he should happen to notice a mare or other horses. He simply never offered to be anything other than a gentleman. At times he would get so excited he would just burst out with a high jump or a gleeful leap but a quick correction was all it took to bring him humbly back to order.

Two was destined to go to Europe…Germany specifically. He was to grow up at our farm but his owner, Stephen Brook-Blaut would take him to Germany after he was old enough to be trained to saddle. During that growing time we retained certain privileges and among those was the right to breed to Two on occasion. Since his first episode with Jasmine had produced such a good foal, we decided to breed the pair again. Two was an avid student and though awkward at breeding to begin with, he was not an unruly sort. Jasmine conceived readily and from that match produced Foxvangen's Ruby Slippers who has her own story on the mare page. Ruby is much like Two in many ways and is a delightful, sensitive and sensible mare that will live with us always.

Two's quiet sensible brain he inherited from his sire, Foxvangen's Toy Boy. From Toy he also inherited his wonderful bone, joints and feet. His innate gait and lack of pace also come from Toy. The combination is simply a great match and Two got the best of both parents which of course is the goal for any mating.

He grew into a beautiful horse with an affectionate nature and a lovely intelligence that makes working with him a real pleasure. His most outstanding feature however, is his phenomenal movement. There are not enough words to describe his floating, effortless stride and action. He is simply a step above common. His motion is efficient and so effortless as to look less powerful than a horse that has to work to accomplish the same thing! His dam is like that and can go for days without showing any signs of tiring.

As our bond grew Two began looking to me for instruction no matter if he was at liberty in the pasture or under halter. If he became unsure of what was being asked of him he would come hug up to me as if to ask me to explain. He was a very humble horse in that way. He would lower his regal head and press his cheek lightly against me as if asking forgiveness for any transgression he may have committed unwittingly. THAT behavior comes from his sire. It is really a wonder to watch.

Our farm is divided in half by a road. The road is a gravel track that was once a wagon trail during the early 1800's. We pony our horses between fields when there is a need to change pastures. We ponied Two just as we did the fillies and mares.

With my daughter driving the truck I lead the horses and travel at a speed that allows for them to gait. It was a thrill to pony Two and watch him pick up his gait. He would strike his rhythm and foxtrot with reach, power and precise precision alongside that truck. His feet tapped out a musical tattoo that always brought a grin to my face and joy to my heart! Like his dam he was incredibly smooth and fast. He was one of the smoothest moving horses I've ever known in my life and we have many on our farm that were super smooth!

Two also had a range of gaits from trot to rack. I rarely ever saw him hard trot but he did have an extremely fast flat trot that was nearly as smooth as most foxtrots. His foxtrot was long and low with perfect flat kneed form. He had a very long reach and a true "chunk of meat and two potatoes" rhythm that was a thrill to witness.

Though the foxtrot was his gait of choice, Two could also rack to a speed faster than most horses can canter. He cantered a true three-beat canter that was so smooth as to absolutely appear to be floating.

On our farm we raise natural foxtrotting horses. We breed them to have multiple, non-lateral gaits but want them to prefer the foxtrot about all others. We do not breed them to pace or stepping pace but we do like them to have a speed gait so we hope to see the running walk and/or rack in there. Two performed a natural flat walk, running walk, foxtrot and rack. He did not spend any time with blended gaits and he was not ever seen to be smudging the lines between one gait and another. His gaits were decidedly crisp and proper.

When Two arrived in Germany it was winter. Stephen's daughter was home for the holidays so she took him for a ride in the snow.

 

When Two became old enough to go under saddle he was sent to a cutting horse trainer. The goal was to have a trainer that would not harden his mouth, jam his neck, or make him stilted in his motion. The following account is quoted from the trainer as he related to me.

The trainer found Two very easy to work with and willing to learn. He rode him for a couple weeks in an arena before one day a man came to the barn who actually knew something about Foxtrotters. Since this was a Quarter Horse barn there were not many gaited horse people frequenting it. The man came calling as Two was being worked in the arena so he got to see this extraordinary young stallion at work.

When the session was over the man asked the trainer where Two had come from and what his breeding was because he was the finest foxtrotting horse he had seen in decades!

That was very nice to hear, because after all that is what we are about! AND that was with Two being ridden by a man who knew nothing about gaiting a horse!

A few days later the trainer took Two out to the ranch for his first trail ride. He was expecting Two to be nervous and a bit clingy about going out alone in a strange area so he had his hired hand bring along another horse. The other horse was a Quarter Horse.

When they arrived at the ranch Two was eager to go, so the trainer started up the trail with the Quarter Horse ( a seasoned horse) next to him for "comfort".

Two walked right out and within a few strides had found his flatwalk. The trainer only knew it was a flat walk because I had described various gaits to him so he would have some idea what was going on under him as he traveled. My instructions to the trainer had been not to allow Two to hard trot or canter.

The trainer said he was just riding along and Two was not the least bit worried about anything in front or beside him at all. He just wanted to travel on. So he let him go at his own speed which was a solid flatwalk.

Within a few minutes the trainer realized the other horse was no longer next to him. Turning in the saddle he looked to see the Quarter Horse just coming over the hill a good half mile behind them! Two, at the flat walk, had distanced that other horse so far that he was nearly out of sight even though the Quarter Horse was traveling at a trot!

When they came to some steep hills, Two did not falter a bit. He just went down them like the man from Snowy River. He traveled so sure and fast that it actually struck fear in the trainer who was not used to such speed in a horse!

At the end of that ride, Two was still perfectly calm, cool, and very content from his outing. Nothing on the trail had upset him, not even the deer popping up or the odd cow in the brush. He loaded in the trailer with satisfaction and waited for the Quarter Horse to come dragging in. That horse was lathered up and dead tired from covering the same ground Two had done in half the time with ease!

Unless you have ever seen the hills of the Ozarks you would not quite appreciate that story. The Ozarks are primarily limestone, sandstone and flint rock and are quite rugged and cut up in terms of hills and footing. Two was on that ride barefooted and the Quarter Horse had shoes on, yet Two negotiated all the trails requested without a problem at all and came back to the trailer fresh!

Two enjoys a good life in Germany and is well cared for.

Following that training session Two was sent to training in Kansas City where the training was based upon Parelli methods. He spent nearly a year there where he learned reining as well as Parelli. At the end of that training he was able to side pass, half pass, perform shoulders in and other higher learned movements including flying lead changes.. He was calm and collected and could be ridden without a bridle even around other horses or confusion such as dogs or people without getting nervous or worked up.

He accepted instruction without issue and was perfectly happy to oblige any requests made of him.

When that training was complete Two was close to level 3 completion and was a solid reining prospect.

It was time for him to travel to his new home in Germany. Two was sent to Oklahoma to quarantine for his trip. He was scheduled to ship in January but for some reason instead of the customary 30 day quarantine he was shipped after only 10 days!

Imagine the surprise when Stephen received a call from the shipper telling him his horse had arrived at Amsterdam in early December! His stall and paddock were not as yet even complete! The plan was for completion during the Christmas holidays!

Was the horse waiting for pick up really TWO or was his paperwork confused with some other horse? The only way to tell was for Stephen to make the long trek to the collection center. But they were experiencing a big snow storm at the time! None the less, Stephen drove the distance. Arriving at night he found that indeed the horse waiting for pick up was Foxvangen's Braveheart Two.

All who had handled Two both at the quarantine station as well as handlers during transit took time to comment on how mannerly and easy to handle Two was. He was respected and appreciated by all who had contact with him.

By the time Stephen arrived at the pick up, it was dark and still snowing. Imagine the horse arriving in an area where no one spoke the English language he had learned his cues in. All the sites and smells were strange. He had flown many hours in a boxed stall in an aircraft for the first time in his life and he was then stalled in a strange barn where he was provided with a different sort of hay and water than he was accustomed to! Yet there he was calm and relaxed munching away at his feed.

Even though he is a stallion, Two was often ridden by a young rider without concern.

He loaded in Stephen's trailer even though it had no inner lights. That is a leap of faith for a horse to walk into a strange trailer that appeared as a black hole! Yet load he did and they were on their way to what was to be Two's new home!

It was late when they arrived home. Two was installed in his new stall where feed had been set out for him. He looked around and simply went to eating as though he had merely been out for a stroll for the day!

As soon as he was settled, Stephen called me. "Guess who is standing in my barn?" he asked? I could not believe it, yet I was very gratified that Two, that special horse who owned a big piece of my heart, had arrived at his new home, safe and sound. He would have a far better life than I could offer him and would live with people who cared and appreciated him for the fine animal he is.

Foxvangen's Braveheart Two produced a few foals while he was in our care. Foxvangen's Summer Heat, Foxvangen's Ruby Slippers, Foxvangen's Pharaoh, Foxvangen's Solaris, Foxvangen's Aries, Foxvangen's Finnegan, Sweetheart Two, and Pita.

It was through his offspring we came to realize that Foxvangen's Braveheart Two carries a curly gene. While he does not appear curly himself he does have a patch of wave on his neck/shoulder area and curl to his fetlock hair. He is likely hypoallergenic because many of his offspring have tested so. Specifically, Pita, Ruby Slippers, Solaris, Pharaoh and Summer Heat have all tested hypoallergenic and are considered by us to be smooth coated curly horses. The others to my knowledge have not been tested so we simply do not know whether they are hypoallergenic or not.

The tendency for this valuable quality stems from Two's sire, Toy Boy. View his page for more information on that issue. With so many people having allergies to horses, these hypoallergenic horses provide a real service. People with allergies have no reactions to them making horse ownership a dream come true!

Two has a happy life living with his mares and enjoying lush pastures.

We retained Foxvangen's Solaris and Foxvangen's Pharaoh as junior stallions at our farm. We bred Pharaoh who is the elder of the two, for two seasons to give him a test for his produce. His brother, Solaris was tested the next year. We then decided to geld Pharaoh and retain Solaris as our jr. Stallion. They both produced well and we were pleased with their get, however we did not need THREE stallions of virtually the same blood and there is little demand for stallions in the marketplace. We will not sell a stallion to a home that does not allow them freedom of movement and a quality of life, therefore it was best to geld Pharaoh and allow him to have a better life than many people afford a stallion.

We have found Foxvangen's Braveheart Two's offspring amazingly easy to work with. They all seem to have a great will to please and are exceedingly people friendly horses with extremely gentle natures. Besides being conformationally strong and superior in their gaits, these horses all tend to have a super smooth way of traveling and a solid, natural foxtrot as their gait of choice.

Overall, we were and are very proud to have produced Foxvangen's Braveheart Two.

In February following Two's arrival in Germany with snow on the ground and everyone having the winter blahs, Stephen took Two to a horse event. It was to be his first time out in public and Stephen was taking him more for the experience than anything else.

This event is an annual meeting where all the best gaited horses and trainers from Europe meet with the year's judges to demonstrate their breed specific gaits for the show ring. In Europe most of the shows are not breed specific and often include horses from many different countries. In this way the judges learn what each breed should be producing by way of gait in the ring so as to better judge them fairly.

During these events vendors and clinicians come and make it a rather interesting event. That particular year the clinicians were a group from Brazil who brought along a machine developed to measure and grade gait. It is a very interesting piece of equipment that includes a camera and computer. The horses are ridden down a mat in view of the camera and are only given a few yards to hit their gait at peak performance.

The camera records their feet and legs traveling at an intense number of frames per second. It then feeds that data into the computer where 22 points of the stride sequence are analyzed and graded. This machine is called the Analoc E machine.

Even though both Stephen and Two were nervous and a bit rigid, they performed and were graded by the Analoc E machine with amazing results!

The beauty to this system is that it judges every horse with the exact same method devoid of personal preference, opinion, or point of view. Each horse is analyzed at the same points in the exact same way so the judging is perfectly even and fair to all who participate. It is a totally objective method of gauging and judging performance and eliminates subjective judging entirely.

On average the scores run between 4-9 with 10 being virtually a perfect score. Rarely do horses achieve a 10 or for that matter even a 9! That night, prior to Two's performance the highest score was made by a Marchadore who produced a bit over 9, all the rest fell way below that on the scale even though they were the best of their breeds.

The best score to that date was awarded to a Marchador mare from Brazil who was a highly trained show mare with 12 years of experience. Her score was a remarkable 12.15! Very prestigious to say the least.

Braveheart arrived at the event a little on edge. It was his first time out in public and at the event were a number of raucous stallions challenging one another. There were people milling about speaking a language he did not know. There were all sorts of tables, booths, products and equipment inside the arena leaving little space for much else and there was Stephen himself a bit nervous due to not knowing what to expect from Two either!

All together that made both of them a bit more tense than they would normally be. All the same when it came time to test the horses on the Analoc E machine, Stephen decided to have a go with Two!

Two on the analoc pad being tested. His tail carriage is absolutely natural as is his gait. He never had a day of gaited training in his life!

Unfortunately no one in that arena thought Foxtrotters were a gaited breed! Evidently some Foxtrotters had been tested on the machine before yet had tested to be non-gaited in their travel. Whether that was simply because they couldn't hit their gait before the camera picked them up, or whether the horses were simply weak gaited is unclear. Even so, the fact is all that were there the night Foxvangen's Braveheart Two and Stephen Brook-Blaut were tested were surprised to see anyone wanting to test a Foxtrotter on a gait analyzing machine!

In order to be tested a horse has a very short distance to go from a stand still to the edge of the mat upon which they must gait. They have to be in full stride and as we say "hitting a lick" by that time if the camera is to get a clear shot at what they can do while in gait.

Stephen was a bit up tight because he was presenting a young stallion that had no gait training at all, before an audience comprised of the best gaited trainers, riders and owners in all of Europe! He had no idea if Two was up to the challenge having had little time to actually ride him due to the inclement weather and the fact the horse had been in Europe only two months! But Stephen is first and foremost a competitor. He braved the challenge and decided to give it a try.

When they hit the mat Two was a bit stiff and nervy. He was picking up on the tenseness in Stephen but was also on edge due to those rowdy stallions still making challenges around him and the fact this was a totally foreign environment for him!

They started down the mat… Two was foxtrotting even though not as well as he normally does.

I cannot say if the machine shows the scores as they are being made or whether the man operating the machine announced the scores but at the end of Stephen's and Two's attempt a hush fell in the crowd. Foxvangen's Braveheart Two, a totally untrained for gait horse in a totally new environment with a rider who had very few rides upon his back, had scored a remarkable 11.35!!!! That is less than one full point off the world leader to that date after over 1,000 horses had been tested. That is an extraordinarily remarkable accomplishment!

That night, not only did many gaited horse enthusiasts witness a phenomenal feat, they learned that indeed Missouri Foxtrotters are a gaited breed!

Here are Foxvangen Braveheart Two's American offspring.

Foxvangen's Summer Heat:

Braveheart Two and Gambler's Jasmine

 

Foxvangen's Aries at 7 months.

Braveheart Two and Foxvangen's Aysha

 

Pita at age 2:

cross bred Quarter Horse and Braveheart Two

 

Sweetheart Two:

Patches and Braveheart Two

 

Foxvangen's Ruby Slippers:

Foxvangen's Braveheart Two and Gambler's Jasmine

 

Foxvangen's Solaris:

Foxvangen's Braveheart Two and Foxvangen's Belle Lyra

 

Foxvangen's Pharaoh:

Foxvangen's Braveheart Two and Miss Molly Fox

 

Foxvangen's Finnegan:

Foxvangen's Braveheart Two and Foxvangen's Aysha

 

Click Here for Pedigree

 

 

 
 

2009--11 © Foxvangen Farms :: Dyan Westvang :: All Rights Reserved

No portion of this website may be copied, altered, or stored in a retrieval system. This includes content,
graphics, and photographs. Contact the website owner at Foxvangen@yahoo.com for permissions
before using any articles, photographs, or any other material contained on this website.

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected