Del Ceneren Polvo de Oro Registry

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Del Cenere Gang's off-board outpost is an estimated 16 miles from Portland and operates as its own trade post. Long-term aNPCs will be moved here.

Quick Map
Polvo with Partial Roach and Running Plait, by Despi
Polvo de Oro
Project Founder

Nazario del Bosque


Del Cenere (2020)

Breed Traits

14 - 16.5 hands
(56 - 66 in | 142 - 168 cm)


1000 - 1400 lbs
(453.5 - 635 kg)


Light Warmblood Grade

On this page... (hide)

  1.   1.  Characteristics and Standards
    1.   1.1  Build
    2.   1.2  Temperament
    3.   1.3  Coat Color and Color Naming Convention
    4.   1.4  Disqualifying Factors
  2.   2.  Registry
    1.   2.1  Stud Log
    2.   2.2  Registered Horses
  3.   3.  Training and Handleability
    1.   3.1  Methodology
  4.   4.  Tack and Culture
    1.   4.1  Tack Guide
    2.   4.2  Ceremonial & Event Appearances

➵ The Polvo de Oro Horse
polvo de oro (pull-voh de ohr-oh) : Dust/powder from/of gold; the Gold Dust Horse

It is no secret that Del Cenere is a pack in which livestock – and, perhaps more importantly, horses, are held in notably high regard for their utility, companionship, and the symbolic nature of their very existence. Harkening back to the age-old mythos of an untamed and wild west, the horse has always been acknowledged as a metaphor for freedom without restraint, limitless possibility, and the wistfulness of hardships paired with the ability to overcome adversity. As such, the culture is almost something akin to an unspoken law – Treat thy horse as thyself.

Founded within the reign of the first Rey Salvaje, Nazario del Bosque, the Polvo de Oro horse project is yet in its fledgling stages, and aims to encompass more than just a simple breeding project, but to deepen the understanding between rider and steed as a whole. From training methods to tack, the project seeks to develop its own likeness in behavior, appearance in garb, cultural influence, as well as produce quality trail horses suited to high maneuverability and workloads with other livestock, suitable mostly for Coyote means.

While not every horse within Del Cenere may hold the title of a Polvo de Oro, Del Cenerens may exalt their horses to the same standards in the trappings of the project through training and physical expression with tack and barding.

As of 2023, Del Cenere has put a limitation on "First Generation" Polvo de Oro horses - foals born of two non-contributing horses within pack territory are no longer considered Generation One Polvos as the Gang starts gearing towards a breed standard.

Rules and Guidelines...
  1. Only horses born within the territory of Del Cenere may carry the title of/will be recognized as Polvo de Oro.
    • If a Polvo stallion is studded out to a mare, and the resulting foal is born elsewhere (eg. in the territory of another pack, in neutral territories, etc.), the foal may only be referred to as a descendant from Polvo de Oro stock, and will not be recognized in any official manner.
    • Similarly, if a Polvo stallion or mare is traded out of Del Cenere, any/all of its future offspring will also only be recognized as descendants from Polvo de Oro stock, and will not be recognized in any official manner. This is due to the horse being taken out of the Polvo de Oro program, and, thus, there being no control over breeding constraints to ensure they fit the breed's standard.
  2. Polvo de Oro have trading constraints within Del Cenere. The Gang will only seek to trade eligible communal Polvo stock once a year during the Lancaster Stockshow in auctions. Additionally, Del Cenere gelds communal stallions that are slotted for trade, in order to keep a semblance of exclusivity to Polvo accessibility abroad.
  3. Del Cenere takes exceptional pride in its horses! As such, they seek to keep the Polvo's breeding exclusivity amongst their ranks; privately owned Polvo de Oro horses may be traded out of Del Cenere, however, characters seeking to trade out any Polvo de Oros they own must geld the stallions leaving Del Cenere. This is to prevent the muddying of the Polvo de Oro registry and links to the rules above - any foals born abroad will carry no official recognition of the Polvo de Oro title.
  4. Del Cenere will not trade out untrained Polvos. Any and all horses which leave Del Cenere's custody must fit the rigorous training regimen, and thus, will not be eligible for adoption until gentled at two years of age, if not older.
  5. To ensure the quality of the breed's structure and apply consistent training across all Polvos, Del Cenere limits yearly studding to five projected foals a season. Del Cenere Players seeking to breed a Polvo de Oro foal for themselves should make their request each spring to Leadership, and preferably breed to existing Polvos in order to create consistency with successive generations.
    • Polvo mares may only be bred once every two to three years to allot for an appropriate recovery period between pregnancies. Due to this higher rate of pregnancy, most mares are retired from breeding after three foals to ensure their continued health.

1.  Characteristics and Standards

1.1  Build

The Polvo de Oro is a medium sized warmblood-grade horse, balancing out size and musculature to produce a sturdy and steadfast workhorse with high handle ability. These moderately sized animals, while hardy, are generally not large enough to carry large luperci. The average height tends to lean within the realm of 15 hands (60 in | 152 cm) at their pronounced withers, with the average weight lingering around 1200 lbs (544 kg).

Robust, yet lithe bodies harken to a more wild-type build, with a short back and lean legs positioned well beneath the barrel, though the subtle slimness in their limbs and their facial features speak to the domestication of their phenotype. Their ears are small in size, and tips have a subtle inward tilt. Muzzle profiles are straight and refined. The head should be situated on a muscled, yet 'ideal' neck conformation with a modest fatty crest that is more defined in stallions than in mares of the breed.


Generation Two Polvos and onward are naturally gaited, in which a single foot is generally on the ground at all times in their intermediary gaits. This reduces verticle motion of the horse as there is no 'suspension' state; and thus results in a smoother, more comfortable seat for the rider as well as benefits the horse in utilizing less energy to push from the ground. While capable of galloping, the long-suspension of the movement may not come as comfortably for the Polvo, and thus they should not be pushed to gallop for excessive periods for riding sessions. Their canter tends to be mildly smoother than the average, and consists of a rolling motion.

Two intermediary gaits replace the trot in the Polvo de Oro horse, both of which are faster than the standard trot in most horses:

By Despi
» Broken Pace

This gait consists of lateral movement, where both legs on one side move and results in a side-to-side sway in the body's movement; however, unlike a standard 'pace' gait, there is zero suspension in the movement as the rear foot of the lateral motion hits the ground before the front foot will, thus reducing the severity of the body's roll. This gait is considered the smoother of the two intermediate gaits of the Polvo.

Sounds like: paca-paca-paca-paca

By Despi
» Broken Trot

Nigh indistinguishable from a standard trot to the untrained eye, this gait is a diagonal movement and considered the more 'athletic' of the two. Slightly faster than the Broken Pace, this motion results in a subtle 'bobbing' in the body as rear foot makes contact with the ground before the first foot does, thus eliminating the 'suspension' stage of the step and the 'bounce', while improving comfort for the rider. The time in which three feet linger on the ground is reduced in this gait compared to the Broken Pace.

Sounds like: p-pac p-pac p-pac p-pac

1.2  Temperament

Polvos are anticipated to be responsive to handlers whilst still retaining high energy and intelligence. They bond tightly to handlers and are easy to train, however, most individuals of the Polvo breed are high-strung and confident, and require regular stimulation both physically and mentally to be satisfied, making them less than ideal for beginning equestrians. Puzzle-minded horses may exhibit less than desirable behaviors of escapism or destructive habits if left to their own devices, and may resort to lignophagia (wood-chewing) or cribbing to sate boredom or stress, both of which may lead to health problems.

Polvo de Oro, given their somewhat intense nature surrounding their bonding, are considered exceptionally sensitive to their handler's moods or temperament and will often respond in kind. Polvos which are not tended to with regularity may grow recalcitrant to handling or behave with defensive aggression with biting, nipping, or stomping. Without regular handling, they will go barn sour relatively quickly.

Predominant Uses and Skills

While the Polvo de Oro is a largely versatile and horse that can be trained in a litany of fields, they are best suited for:

» Trail Riding

The Polvo de Oro's responsive handling and gaited nature make them ideal riding horses. They are quick, light, and remarkably sure-footed; They provide a smooth ride, and, thanks to being gaited, possess a remarkable amount of endurance, at the expense of jumping or extensive gallop abilities. They are confident over terrain of all sorts, and are well-suited to the mountainous trails around Del Cenere's Ganglands.

» Reigning, Roping, & Livestock Work

The Polvo's lissom and nimble movements make them excellent reigners and quick-turners. Additionally, the more intensive work engages their active mind and makes them all the more willing to put their all into workload. Thanks to their handle-ability and obedience to handlers, these highly driven horses can start and stop quickly per instruction, and are intuitive enough to avoid conflict when given their head.

» Hunting, Scouting & Pack Usage

As with trail riding, these horses excel with uneven terrain and are excellent scouting partners given the quick-step of their prolonged, rolling canter which takes the place of a gallop - and, when engaged in a working mode, the Polvo is genuinely a quiet partner with proper training. As with all horses, their social acuity makes bringing a secondary 'pack' horse on hunting trips is a breeze with training to 'pony on' being instilled with early halter training.

1.3  Coat Color and Color Naming Convention

Due to the highly varied nature in the base stock of the Polvo de Oro's progenitors, all base colors (black, bay, and chestnut) are either present, or have a potential to yield in progeny. Most Polvo are generally affected by dilution genes of Cream or Champagne, and to a far lesser extent, Silver, and dilution genes are considered desirable for the Polvo standard over clear-coated base colors. Due to the nature of dilution genes, Polvos may commonly experience 'sun bleaching' through warm summer months, only to darken in pigment come winter.

However, regardless of the base coat's color, Polvo de Oro generally fall beneath one of the following categories:

» Soot (S)

Soot is the Del Ceneren colloquial term for the expression of the Sooty gene on a Polvo de Oro. This modifier refers to the spread of black (or diluted equivalent) hair throughout the coat in a form of counter-shading, along the horse's topline. It can be either an even dispersal, or, more commonly, expresses as "reverse" dapples.

Soot is not to be confused with primitive markings like a dorsal stripe, as the pigment is more of a gradient than a solid line, and can be interrupted.

  • Naming Examples: Buckskin Soot, Palomino Soot, Cremello Soot
» Ash (A)

Ash is the Del Ceneren colloquial term for the expression of the Dun gene on a Polvo de Oro. This modifier refers to primitive markings as well as additional dilution of the coat of the horse's barrel and neck. Primitive markings include a solid dorsal stripe from poll to tail (with or without shoulder shading), leg barring, ear barring, frosting of the mane and tail, and, rarely, cobwebbing.

Horses only fall into the "Ash" category if they express both primitive markings and body dilution.

  • Naming Examples: Smoky Black Ash, Fox Red Ash, Perlino Ash
» Smoke (Sm)

Smoke is the Del Ceneren colloquial term for the expression of the Roan gene on a Polvo de Oro. This modifier refers to the even dispersal of white hair through the horse's adult coat on the barrel and neck, while the head, ears, and legs remain pigmented. Not to be confused with Gray, this gene is non-progressive - once the foal's solid coat color molts out, the adult coat will grow in with interspersed white hairs; should the roots of these hairs sustain damage, the horse will express a 'corn mark', where the original coat's pigment grow back. Smoke horses, additionally, will not have white hair dispersal in the mane or tail as a result of roaning.

  • Naming Examples: Silver Black Smoke, Bay Smoke, Lilac Smoke


» Facial Markings

All facial markings are considered permissible for the Polvo de Oro. Markings can be comprised of any of the following, or the combinations or aberrations therein:

More Examples:

» Leg Markings

Most leg markings are permissible, however, stockings exceeding the height of the knee or hock are not desirable for breed standards. The following markings are permitted:

  • Half/Heel/Interrupted Coronet
  • Coronet
  • Pastern
  • Sock
  • Half-stocking
» Luperci-Influenced Markings
Brand Del Ceneren Brand

All Polvo de Oro horses are branded at one year of age denoting their origins in the Gang. This branding is considered mandatory - and only Polvo de Oro horses may bear the DC Arrow brand on their left shoulder.

Clipped Patterns

Some Cenerens may choose to alter the appearance of their Smoke horses; Given the nature of roaning, close clippings to the root of the hair will result in solid base pigment (corn marks) hair to regrow. Such alterations are considered permanent, like branding or scarification.

1.4  Disqualifying Factors

» Disqualified Builds

Builds favoring cold-blooded or hot-blooded standards are not permitted within the Polvo project. Horses exceeding or falling short of height or weight standards may also be removed unless other extenuating factors exist which will provide favorable yields in progeny.

Baroque, Draft, and Arab Hotblood features are disallowed - this includes close coupled neck conformations, high-defined crests, roman or concave profiles, high-positioned tails, or other faults in the build which deviate from the norm that would otherwise compromise the breed's gait.

» Disqualified Coat Colors

Clear-coated base coats - or horses which are not affected by modifiers like cream dilution or the Polvo categories, are generally disallowed from the project unless other qualities in conformation or temperament supercede what is considered either excessively dark or excessively saturated pigments that contrast to the breed standard.

Variances of clear coat color shades are included in this in any range (mahogany bay to wild bay, liver chestnut to sandy chestnut, etc). The Pangaré modifier is also barred.

» Disqualified Markings

Paint Markings: Tobiano and Sabino markings may be permitted provided they cover under 25% of the body. Horses exceeding this amount are barred from the project. After a case of partial deafness was discovered on a minimal splash overo, Overo markings are disallowed in their entirety. Rabicano is disallowed as it interferes with roaning yields.

Appaloosa Markings: Minimal blanket Appaloosa, where white markings cover less than 25% of the body and exhibit moderate to high spotting may be permitted. Leopard Appaloosa, snowcap, and varnish roans are barred from the project.

Belton Spots: While aberrations and interruptions are permitted within facial or leg markings, the excessive freckling of belton spots are not permitted within the project.

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2.  Registry

B - Black Base Coat
By - Bay Base Coat
C - Chestnut Base Coat
Cr - Single Cream Dilute
2Cr - Double Cream Dilute
Ch - Champagne Dilute
Sl - Silver Dilute
Gr - Gray
S - Soot
A - Ash
Sm - Smoke

Non-Contributing Parent
Horse is an outcrossing and not a part of the Polvo de Oro project

Horse is either barred from the project, or otherwise retired

Horse has faults in conformation or color, and has breeding restrictions

Horse is exemplary of breed standard and a project participant

2.1  Stud Log

Generation One

Below are all Generation One Breedings, organized by Foaling Year and Alphabetized

Confirmed or Contributing Polvos are notated in bold. Deceased horses are notated with strikes.


Stud Dam Offspring
Evelyn's Blackjack x Evelyn's Vegas Saratoga (B Cr Sl) ♀
Santiago's Dutch x Santiago's Bruni El Paso (B A) ♂
Jefe x Maricopa Miskey (B Cr Sm) ♀
x Catin Whilk (B Cr Sl A) ♀
Saguaro x Imrah Midas (By Cr Gr Sm) ♂


Stud Dam Offspring
Bairre x Briarblack's Taja Atascadero (By Sl Sm) ♂
Morrigan's Barclay (ne. Friday) x Rhoda Peta (B Ch) ♀
x Telluride Ouray (By Ch) ♂
Evelyn's Blackjack x Hell's Bells Capella (B Cr) ♀
x Imrah Pigeon (B Cr Sm) ♀
x Wynona Providence (By Cr S) ♀


Stud Dam Offspring
Ares x Hosea's Voodoo Fancy (By S) ♂
Aelin's Lindir x Maricopa Cimarron (C Sm) ♀
Unnamed x Nazario's Riselka Huldra (C Cr Sm) ♀

Generation Two

Below are all Generation Two Breedings, organized by Foaling Year and Alphabetized

Confirmed or Contributing Polvos are notated in bold. Deceased horses are notated with strikes.


Stud Dam Offspring
Esperanza's El Paso x Sean's Butter Croissant ???
Midas x Rafaela's Amadahy ???
x Colter's Little Miss ???
x Sugabear's Pollyanna ???
x Whilk ???


Stud Dam Offspring
Atascadero x Bennett's Juanita ???
x Providence ???
Esperanza's El Paso x Peta ???
x Briarblack's Taja ???
Midas x Tallahassee's Ida May ???

2.2  Registered Horses

Animals logged in our Registry only account for horses present within Del Cenere until traded out, and will be marked as removed via their Status. Hover over a horse's Status for information pertaining to disqualifying factors. Horses are organized by birth year, then alphabetically.

Generation One Horses (Hide)

Stallions & Geldings (See Horses)
El Paso | Disqualified (Privately Owned by Esperanza Tejada)
by Despi
  • Birth Year: 2020
  • Coat Color: Black Ash
    • Markings: Tobiano
  • Size:
    • Height: 17.2hh (68.8in, 174.7cm)
    • Weight: ~1600lbs (725.7kg)
  • Personality: Intelligent to a fault, and tests boundaries. Not aggressive, yet eager to push limits and belligerent at times.
  • Studded: 2022 - 2023
    • Retired from the Polvo de Oro line after the 2023 foaling season due to outstanding issues in conformation
    • Gelded in 2023


  • Sired one foal in the spring
Midas | Good (Communally Stabled)
by Despi
  • Birth Year: 2020
  • Coat Color: Gray Smoke
    • Markings: Front socks, rear half-stockings
  • Size:
    • Height: 16.2hh (66in, 167cm)
    • Weight: ~1300lbs (589.6kg)
  • Personality: Confident, demanding and personable. Stubborn, willful, and haughty, but likes affection and scratches.
  • Studded: 2022 - Current
    • Remains a primary stud of the Polvo de Oro line


  • Sired five foals in the spring
Atascadero | Borderline (Communally Stabled)
by Despi
  • Birth Year: 2021
  • Coat Color: Silver Bay Smoke
    • Markings: Snip, rear stockings
  • Size:
    • Height: 17hh (68in, 172cm)
    • Weight: ~1500lbs (680.3kg)
  • Personality: Headstrong and fearless. Willing to listen to handlers and friendly enough, but patience is limited and his mood can sour quickly. Driven.
  • Studded: 2023 - Current
    • Remains a primary stud of the Polvo de Oro line


Ouray | Disqualified (Traded to Casa di Cavalieri)
by Despi
  • Birth Year: 2021
  • Coat Color: Sable Champagne
    • Markings: None
  • Size:
    • Height: 17hh (68in, 172cm)
    • Weight: ~1400lbs (589.6kg)
  • Personality: Dainty, fussy, hot-headed. Obedient, yet food-aggressive, and thus is best suited for stable living.
  • Studded: --
    • Removed from the project


Fancy | Good (Privately Owned by Peony Braithwaite)
by Despi
  • Birth Year: 2022
  • Coat Color: Bay Soot
    • Markings: Star, stripe and snip, lip mark, rear socks
  • Size:
    • Height: 16hh (64in, 163cm)
    • Weight: ~1400lbs (589.6kg)
  • Personality: Sociable, agreeable, though can be flamboyant, excitable and antsy with other horses. Playful, and relatively gentle. Mildly possessive.
  • Studded: --
    • Immature animal


Mares (See Horses)

Gasp! Still need to do this!

by Despi

Capella : Status

  • Coat: Smoky Black
    • Markings: Minimal splash overo
  • Size: 15hh (60in, 152.4cm), ~1200lbs (544kg)

Personality: Spirited, wily, and fast. Difficult to stop once she's going. Stubborn, and has some aggression issues - potentially linked to partial deafness.

  • Birth Year:: 2021
  • 2022:
    • Received DCG's brand
    • Partial deafness discovered
by Despi

Cimarron : Status

  • Coat: Lilac Roan
    • Markings: Blaze, lip mark, front coronet, front heel coronet, rear pasterns
  • Size: 15hh (60in, 152.4cm), ~1200lbs (544kg)

Personality: Bold and skeptical, and tests her boundaries. Puzzle oriented and nosy. Expressive, and seemingly opinionated and communicative. Escape artist, if left to her own devices.

  • Birth Year:: 2022
  • 202-:
    • Note
by Despi

Huldra : Status

  • Coat: Palomino Roan
    • Markings: Minimal sabino
  • Size: 16.5hh (66in, 167.64cm), ~1300lbs (589.6kg)

Personality: She is an attentive worrywart - deeply curious, yet deeply cautious. Unpredictable, and doesn't take well to surprise. Overcompensates her position in pecking order.

  • Birth Year:: 2022
  • 202-:
    • Note
by Despi

Miskey : Status

  • Coat: Smoky Blue Roan
    • Markings: Star, rear sock
  • Size: 17hh (68in, 172cm), ~1400lbs (589.6kg)

Personality: Subdued, submissive, and somewhat flighty. Aloof, and cautious - but is calmer and more emboldened by regular companion, Whilk.

  • Birth Year:: 2020
  • 2021:
    • Received DCG's brand
  • 2022:
    • Received rider and pull training
by Despi

Peta : Status

  • Coat: Classic Champagne
    • Markings: Stripe, rear sock, rear pastern
  • Size: 15.5hh (62in, 157.5cm), ~1200lbs (544kg)

Personality: Dainty, shy, and mildly recalcitrant. Works well with those she trusts - however, earning her trust takes time and consistency. Tends to hyperfixate on bonded handlers.

  • Birth Year:: 2021
  • 2022:
    • Received DCG's brand
by Despi

Pigeon : Status

  • Coat: Smoky Blue Roan
    • Markings: Interrupted star and irregular stripe
  • Size: 16.2hh (66in, 167cm), ~1300lbs (589.6kg)

Personality: Confident and confrontational. Unbridled punk energy and habitual kleptomaniac; Playing keep away is a favorite pass-time. Tenacious and fool-hardy, but sweet, and makes attempts to co-groom handlers.

  • Birth Year:: 2021
  • 2022:
    • Received DCG's brand
by Despi

Providence : Status

  • Coat: Sooty Buckskin
    • Markings: None
  • Size: 15.5hh (62in, 157.5cm), ~1200lbs (544kg)

Personality: Flighty and mildly nippy - Providence is a proud horse that doesn't tolerate handlers who lack confidence. She does enjoy ear rubs and is easy to ply with snacks. Does things on her terms, and doesn't yield her space, nor attention, easily.

  • Birth Year:: 2021
  • 2022:
    • Received DCG's brand
by Despi

Saratoga : Status

  • Coat: Smoky Silver Black
    • Markings: Blaze, lip mark, kiss mark, front pasterns, rear socks
  • Size: 16hh (64in, 162.5cm), ~1200lbs (544kg)

Personality: Intelligent and inquisitive, Saratoga has a tendency to push boundaries and test limits. Appreciates challenges, while also posing challenge of her own. Even tempered, and fearless.

  • Birth Year:: 2020
  • 2021:
    • Received DCG's brand
  • 2022:
    • Received rider training
by Despi

Whilk : Status

  • Coat: Smoky Silver Grullo
    • Markings: Apron, kiss marks
  • Size: 15.2hh (60in, 152cm), ~1000lbs (453kg)

Personality: Mischievous, playful, and overtly friendly. Seeks attention, and enjoys puzzles, but is a habitual treat-thief, if given access. Inseparable from companion, Miskey.

  • Birth Year:: 2020
  • 2021:
    • Received DCG's brand
  • 2022:
    • Received rider training

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3.  Training and Handleability

3.1  Methodology

» Standards and Trust Building

Del Cenere utilizes very specific standards when it comes to training all of their horses - regardless as to whether or not they are Polvo de Oro. Rather than train their animals via forcible methods, or negative association, Ashen handlers are expected to be exemplary with their patience when it comes to their approach with horses, deepen bonds through positive touch reinforcement communication, and enforce trust between horse and rider. As such, horse handlers undergo training much the same that the horses do, each learning method and tactic to which to best suit their equine companions and learn how to best understand the care to which these animals require.

Trainers and riders alike should be expected to understand how to read the nuance in equine body language - while low speech is something some Luperci may learn and utilize, learning to associate movements and actions tied to the wordless language horses speak is more immediately available. It should never be a handler's goal to subjugate the horse to their will, but rather to make a request, and have the horse heed it through repeated training and groundwork without the need for excessive force.

Handling happens young with the Polvo breed. While the first year is spent with the foal's mother, handlers are expected to give them each plenty of care to start the positive association with Luperci young - and the foal is only removed for short stints of time and given the beginning of halter training once weaned to help bolster the animal's confidence and independence. Trainers should be averse to utilizing treats when teaching the horses, especially when young, to avoid bribery for good behavior, and instead instill positive reinforcement through touch - such as giving scratches in 'hard to reach' areas on the horse's withers, hips or croup, or wherever else they may so favor.

With regular handling, horses are expected to participate in routine medical check up (ears, eyes, lips, teeth, hooves) without incident.

» Liberty Training

What is Liberty Training?

Once young horses are of the appropriate age and weight, at about generally a year old, they are brought into either the Arena or a pen for small socialization sessions alongside other horses of similar size, sex and age. This is the foundation for all of Del Cenere's trust building and horse work - After being turned loose and being allowed to settle in and communicate with one another, the handler then can engage in a liberty-training session. The goal of these sessions is simple - to reinforce the idea that the handler is a high-ranking herd member to the young horses, to assess the animals' well-being and cooperation, and to teach communication when making 'requests' on shared language.

While horses may not speak Luperci, Luperci may pick up on the quieter language of horses.

Handlers will engage the horses by seeking to 'drive' them - this is to say that they will make approaches and do what's called 'sending', where a raised hand, or shuffled feet, pass on the quiet request to move the horses from whatever area they occupy. Generally a handler will seek to move the group together as a 'herd', and will follow the horses in order to make the request clear. Similar to lunging, yet much more at-will, this low-pressure environment teaches rider and horse alike how to make, and anticipate, requests. Once properly driven with sending, the handler may choose to 'cut' pathways by intercepting the perceived trajectory of the horses on foot, or separate them by using presence, and send them elsewhere.

Handlers should always monitor the horses to ensure that they are 'checking in', to which the horse will pause in motion and regard the handler (Head turned towards them, ears alert and listening), and should always reward attentive behavior with touch to communicate.

While Liberty Training may start young, every horse should experience regular sessions in order to maintain the relationship.

» Gentling and Taming

In more extreme cases of unresponsive horses, or more commonly, in green or wild horses, gentling may be a required course of action in order to reprogram the animal's unwanted behaviors. Rather than 'breaking' the horse by throwing it into the deep end by chasing it down and tossing a saddle onto its back, experienced Caballistas will seclude the horse, bring it to a round pen, and work with it in sessions in methods similar to Liberty Training, yet much more intensive with its one-on-one nature.

Handlers will drive the horse continuously in these sessions, seeking to implement a persistent presence - while this causes the animal stress, it is only continued until the wild horse seeks to stop and 'check in' with the handler, to which the handler will reward the horse with a pause in movement, and space. Movements in these instances will be slow, and careful, but the moment the handler loses the horse's attention, the driving will resume, thus instilling and reinforcing that non-responsive behaviors results in stress.

While not preferable, some handlers may choose to wield flags (sticks with tassles, cloth, or leather attached to one end that makes ruffling or clapping sounds when moved) in order to aid in driving and to ensure that the horse does not counter and, in turn, rush them. These tools are frightening for the quick movement and noise - they are never utilized on the animal with touch, but are rather lifted and waved to induce discomfort or fear in order to command space and respect. This tool is used sparingly, and mostly only utilized in dire situations, of course - where the horse may have violent tendencies, or in persistent moments of non-responsiveness towards handling in order to draw the equine's attention.

Through repeated exposure, Caballistas are able to gradually build up a foundation of trust and eventually close the space between themselves and the horse, and begin associating positive reinforcement with touch. Once this point is achieved, gentling sessions may move into larger pens, or the Arena, and transition into the general Liberty Training sessions.

» Desensitization and Repetition

Horses can be fickle! Some horses may not be patient when it comes to removing halters, some may threaten or attempt to nip when getting cinched up in their saddles, some are reluctant to hand over their hooves for inspection and cleaning - and all of these are examples of poor behaviors which are certainly undesirable. Structure, schedule, and repetition tends to help in breaking bad habits, or stopping them from developing in the first place; and handlers are expected to catch these behaviors and correct them before they get to be problems.

Training sessions for desensitization and repetition tend to be done in one-on-one instances, and generally begin after groundwork has been laid with liberty training and a foundation of trust has been built with the horse. While on a lead, horses are brought outdoors into pens, or the arena, where they may be exposed to distractions, and they begin their work. Many poor behaviors regarding tack tend to stem from anxiety or excitement, and thus, re-association with items that may cause these stresses need to be reprogrammed into good stimuli. Each training session starts off with a de-stressing groom session, in which the horse is thoroughly brushed out and cared for. Not only does this help in the case of tacking up horses to keep from getting uncomfortable grit ground against their skin, but it strengthens bonds between rider and horse. In the case of saddling, which is a common trouble with young Polvos undergoing rider training, handlers will tailor a training session involving throwing the weight of the saddle over the horse's back, removing it, and repeating the motions until it no longer prompts the horse to move away, or turn, before moving onto actions like cinching the girth, where the process begins again. Once the saddle is in place, handlers will reward the horse with a good itch and scratch session around points where the saddle makes contact, thus relating the unfamiliar pressure and rather frightening object (saddle) with good stimuli. The goal is to exercise patience and calm - and in time, the horse will mirror that as well.

Repetitive exposure is not only useful in breaking habits, but is vital in instilling new ones, as well. Whether pull training, rider training, or preparing an equine for a job as a warhorse, handler teams are encouraged to find ways to slowly introduce these new behaviors into the horse's lives through small increments until the animal is used to whatever stimuli is being introduced. Horses working livestock may end up doing liberty training or otherwise having sessions alongside small hoofstock or cattle, a secondary handler might make noises outside of the arena or wave a weapon if the horse is being trained to handle the stressful environment of warfare, etc. - Handlers, however, must be mindful of the horse's limits, and take care not to push them too far too quickly.

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4.  Tack and Culture

4.1  Tack Guide

» Saddles
Visual Examples
General Use Saddle : Trail Saddle (Blank) General Use Saddle : Trail Saddle with Breast Strap General Use Saddle : Trail Saddle with Flank Cinch General Use Saddle : Trail Saddle with Breast Strap and Flank Cinch General Use Saddle : Trail Saddle (Triple-Tone Dyed Example)

Trail Saddle (General Use)

  • Weight: 35 lbs (15.8 kg)

A western styled saddle of relatively light weight for its make - this saddle is generally favored in day-to-day use by most Del Cenerens thanks to it's utility. This trail saddle is sturdy and designed for prolonged use without compromising the comfort of rider or horse - with a moderately high profile and rounded, medium-length skirt to help in distributing weight most effectively. The horn has a somewhat high profile and is well suited for the prominent-withered build of the Polvo de Oro - and it's sturdy enough to fulfill it's use for tethering and roping, and the padded seat has an equal heighted back support to assist in keeping the rider seated and in place over the uneven terrain of Del Cenere.

The bulk of the saddle's weight comes from it's very sturdy saddle tree, made of wood, and then is followed secondary by the amount of leather and padding therein. Saddle padding is generally made of coarse-grade wool, valued for its inflexibility which makes it more liable to hold its shape and provide ample suport. The leather itself is generally sturdy pig skin or doe skin, and tends to be dyed per the rider's preference. Del Cenere does prefer that riders have tack that keeps to earthy tones - though will permit redder dyes as accents. The stirrup is wooden, wrapped in skin, and then further padded with wool wrappings. Generally this saddle only has the single girth strap for the horse's comfort - it has a broad, fine-quality woven wool band that will flex with the horse's body and provide lighter weight as well as amplifying comfort for the animal on its sensitive skin of the belly behind the elbow. If riders desire more stability with the saddle for certain work, they may add a secondary strap for the mid-barrel referred to as the Flank Cinch, behind the stirrup, and a breast strap at the front of the saddle. The flank cinch is generally used with roping work, or when strain is put onto the saddle horn. Generally, the saddle's trim is decoratively accented with braided leather cording.

The saddle also possesses three anchored tie-downs on either side of the saddle: In front of the saddle horn, beneath the seat, and at the rear of the saddle. These are used to attach small game, weaponry, or, in the case of the longest tethers at the rear of the saddle, to attach a bedroll to the back of the saddle in the case of longer trips.

» Saddle Bags, Luggage, and Accessories
Visual Examples

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» Bridles
Visual Examples

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» Halters and Leads
Visual Examples

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» Cart & Pack Gear
Visual Examples

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4.2  Ceremonial & Event Appearances

» Ceremony Bardings
Visual Examples

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» Ceremony Grooming
Visual Examples

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Category: Del Cenere Gang