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
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
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
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
likely because he was not sweating as much to attract
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
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
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
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
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
Two simply stood out as superior and exceptional in
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
Two was destined to go to Europe
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Braveheart Two and Gambler's
Aries at 7 months.
Braveheart Two and Foxvangen's
Pita at age
cross bred Quarter Horse
and Braveheart Two
Patches and Braveheart
Two and Gambler's Jasmine
Two and Foxvangen's Belle Lyra
Two and Miss Molly Fox