Choctaw Sun Dance

Our famous Medicine Hat stallion was foaled April 26, 1981 in Lockhart, Texas on the ranch of the president of the American Indian Horse Registry, Rancho San Francisco. He was named by his breeder, AIHR president Nanci Falley, who believed from the very first that "Dance" was somebody special. His sire was Choctaw Ghost Dancer AIHR 0-502, SMR #1082, lovely grey and white overo by Looksee (he by Turtle out of Utah) and out of Blue Feather AIHR O-501, SMR #1003 (she by Dunny Boy II out of Mexico). Ghost Dancer's wonderful temperament and clean, leggy look became a part of his most famous son's legacy.

His dam was the tough little red roan appaloosa mare Rosario AIHR O-472, SMR #254 by Mexican Joe SMR #241 and out of Mexico SMR #240. Both of Rosario's parents were imported from Old Mexico from the Huasteca Indians. This rare Old Mexican line gave "Dance" his wonderful appaloosa gene which he passed on even more often than the paint gene for which he was so well-known. Rosario, affectionately called "Frosty", also added her unquenchable spirit to her only Medicine Hat foal.

Karma Farms purchased Choctaw Sun Dance when he was 13 months old. The clever young stallion learned round pen work, tricks, and was trained as a riding horse by Vickie Ives.

By the time Dance grew to be a mature horse, his trick repertoire included kneeling, counting, rescuing Vik when she had "fallen", saying both "yes" and "no", rearing on command and liberty jumps. He was often photographed rearing because the dramatic pose was one of his favorite tricks.

When he counted, his prowess was so remarkable that at one of Dance's many shows at a public school, one little boy commented, "I guess I can see how you taught him to add and subtract. But how did you teach him to divide? My little brother can't divide!"

Vickie and Dance set out to prove that one Cayuse with a heart as big as Texas can achieve goals of which others only dreamed. Dance won in several areas including open and Indian Horse shows, gymkana-type games--including the challenging American Indian Horse speed events which are patterned after Plains Indian and frontier period pastimes--and in competitve trail riding.

In time the Medicine Hat was to become the most decorated Spanish Mustang/American Indian Horse alive. His titles included Conquistador of both Show and Games in the Spanish Mustang Registry as well as being the first stallion ever to win SMR's highest award, the Grande Conquistador.

In his "home" registry, he won both the AIHR Hall of Fame and Supreme Hall of Fame awards, as well as being named Premier Sire #1, the only stallion ever so honored by AIHR.

Though he was a middle-aged horse before he began his competitive trail career, he did very well on the trail. Laid-back, even a bit on the lazy side, he took life pretty easy until asked to "make time". His extended trot was phenomenal, and more than made up for his "what's the rush?" walk. Photo from Country World Magazine magazine.

His lovely motion and extension was often admired by dressage enthusiasts. The gait he passed on to his offspring is being used to good advantage in the show ring, on the trail in both pleasure riding and competitive trail, and even in dressage.

Vik and Dance in Indian Horse Parade through Marshall, TX

Parades were one of the things the Medicine Hat genuinely enjoyed. He was at his best when surrounded by children. Some of his clippings below demonstrate his crowd appeal.

His tricks shows were performed for all sorts of groups--schools, retirement homes, benefits, churches and vacation Bible schools enjoyed watching Dance perform. He was a true ambassador for America's First Horse.

Once Vik and Dance performed at a Native American Powwow, and Dance had the privilege of re-introducing the Indian Horse to the descendants of those who had ridden his ancestors. The young men loved him, and how he pranced with all those bells!

By the time of his untimely death in 1994, he was probably the best known and winningest Spanish Mustang alive. Vik was away on a farm business trip to purchase Espéranza, the dam of our Breyer model and today's best known Colonial Spanish stallion Rowdy Yates. A stray pony came onto the farm property and fought with Dance through his corral fence. Boards knocked down in the confrontation fell onto the hot wires, and both wooden fence and electric restraint failed, freeing the stallion to escape down the drive and onto the highway where he was hit by a small pickup. He was humanely destroyed at Texas A&M as a result of his injuries. News of his death was carried in newspapers and television throughout the East Texas area. One headline read: "The Counting Horse is Dead". He was only 13 years old.

Karma Farms offers grand foals of this famous stallion. We have both sons and daughters are in our breeding program. His legacy lives on in his children and grandchildren. In AIHR Choctaw Sun Dance foals have names which begin with every letter of the alphabet!

Champion Choctaw Sun Dance offspring include Fernando, Leading Lifetime Point Earner in both AIHR and SMR, SMR Grande Conquistador with Conquistadors in Show, Games, and Competitive Trail, AIHR Hall of Fame and Supreme Hall of Fame, NATRC National Champion and AIHR National Championships too numerous to mention including several times Overall High Point Horse at the AIHR National; Carmelita, AIHR Hall of Fame, 1st Place NATRC Region 4 Competitive Pleasure and High Average Winner, and many "AA" AIHR Overall Championships; No Myth, AIHR Hall of Fame, AIHR Regional "O" Champion at Halter, 2nd place NATRC Region 4 Novice Heavyweight, multiple wins in show and games; White-winged Dove, AIHR Hall of Fame, many wins in AIHR and open horse shows, Mancha, National Champion Frontier Period Costume and many places in show and games; Private Dancer, AIHR National Champion "AA" Halter and Green Pleasure; Blue Sky Dancer, AIHR Hall of Fame; Ever After, AIHR Hall of Fame and Supreme Hall of Fame, Reserve National Champion Green Pleasure, and many wins and placings in Tejas Indian Horse events with youth riders; Shadow Dancing, AIHR National Champion "AA" at Halter and National Color Champion; Sundance Kid, National Champion "O" 2 & 3 Yr. Olds at Halter; Tambourine Man, National Champion "O" Weanlings & Yearlings, Reserve National Ch. at Halter; and Outlaw Blues, National Green Pleasure Champion.

He is also the sire, grandsire and great-grandsire of many other winners, as well as lots of wonderful family horses whose owners wouldn't trade them for any champion. He sired nearly 100 foals in his lifetime. His last foals were born in 1995. Karma Farms proudly owns several Choctaw Sun Dance mares today including Mora's Spring Dance, Private Dancer, Dancing Dove, and Queen of the Silver Dollar. These mares continue to produce champions like One Dance Left, Thunderheart, Fandango Mist, Thief of Hearts, Flashdance, Bright Dance and Kid Charlemagne. We stand these wonderful Dance stallions: Locomotion and Tambourine Man and Dance's flaxen dun overo grandson Under the Sun by Locomotion out of Lady Madonna. Vik is training "Sun" under saddle now, and she hopes that in 2009, she'll be riding another Choctaw Sun Dance bred stallion. Our Choctaw Sun Dance stallions not owned by Karma Farms include Your Choctaw owned by the Staneks of Whispering Pines, Troubleshooter, owned by Caballos de Destino, and No Myth and Danceman's Legacy, owned by Wildstar Ranch. If you have a winning or standing Dance offspring not listed here,

Vickie Ives training Under the Sun

Vik wrote this poem for the American Indian Horse News in 1988 before Dance's death. It sums up our feelings about this great horse pretty well.

"He is the color of clouds, grey-silvered with the distant storm.
He is the color of lightning in an early dawn sky.
His eyes contain all the sky and all the earth and all the place where they meet.
He walks on ivory hooves and wears the flecks of the spotted eagle on his hips.
He is not a tall horse, but sitting astride him is Tall Medicine. Hear me, my enemies!
When I ride him, I am invulnerable to the shafts and barbs of the world.

Save your arrows!"
--Vickie Ives

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