Updated: Jan 8
There are a total of 24 trainers and 33 horses in this friendly 100 day competition and to get a better idea where all amateur and professional trainers are located with their #ATFO horses, I figured having a map with everyone's location would come in very handy. Google Map allows you to do just that! I color coded the trainers and added additional info.
This looks just like a perfect slice of Swiss Cheese to me. Meaning, unfortunately to my dilemma, all trainers are pretty spread out. After I weighted my options, I started with the two trainers closest to me, Seth Adkins and Kaylynn Mollohan.
Kaylynn, a 24 year old first timer in this competition, picked two horses: Minka and Eden (bonus horse*). Both horses are located at "Adkins Quarter Horses", a family owned Quarter Horse facility, located in Coal Grove, OH. Owner Aubrey Pyles is no newbie to this program and offers help and guidance to Kaylynn, as much as she needs it. In fact, Aubrey took on a bonus horse Caspien, who will be available for adoption in August but will not compete.
Here is Kaylynn with #HOPTeamMinka performing some of her daily training routines:
"Minka wasn't my first choice, but is probably the best horse I could have picked for this competition. She is extremely smart, easy going and very trainable", Kaylynn said. The flashy
12 year old Red Dun QH mare used to be someone's pasture pet until the owner couldn't afford her any longer.
So far, she worked with the mare on ground work skills, obstacles, trail riding and even had her push a few cows around! One of her challenges with Minka is, that if she had enough, she had enough! In the next 60 days she will continue to work on her lope and expose her to more trail riding.
Eden, a 10 year old registered Arabian mare requires much more work, according to Kaylynn. With an overall poor body score, Eden was never handled when she was rescued. Right now, first priority is getting her weight built up and giving her a solid foundation including obstacle work and desensitization. And Eden, just like other Arabians can be "a little diva".
Kaylynn was able to take her already on a small trail ride within the first 30 days!
I am really curious to see how far she will take her in the following 60 days. Keep an eye on this flashy Arabian!
Seth Adkins with #HOPTeamSantiago
Seth, a known local in this community, grew up around horses and learned riding at a young age from his neighbor and has been hooked ever since. He acquired his natural horsemanship skills mainly from reading books and following various known clinicians in the horse industry, such as Clinton Anderson and Buck Brannaman. A few weeks ago, he also attended the "Colton Woods" Natural Horsemanship clinic to prepare for this competition.
His horse, Santiago, a 6-7 year old Wild Mustang who according to his markings was rounded up in New Mexico, was only halter broke when Seth picked him up. According to Seth, he never handled one that green before. So the challenge is on!
Seth and Santiago start their daily routine with thorough ground work and desensitizing all zones around his body. When I watched Seth pick up his hind feed, I was quite impressed of how willingly Santiago offered his hoof after such short time of handling! Seth mentioned that he was able to saddle him only 4 days into his training. WOW!
Seth rides him almost twice daily and focuses on lots of arena work to practice his gaits. He also takes him out on trails to work on obstacles and surroundings. He can even side pass him on the fence!
As I questioned Seth about his next 30 day goals, Santiago was getting more and more relaxed and was standing patiently with Seth on his back. This "once Wild Mustang" was starting to actually enjoy the social and human interaction. I was thoroughly impressed by his kind and calm nature.
Seth is on the right path to prepare Santiago as best as he can for his new life around humans and to become a safe trail horse. The new owner should be experienced so he can continue Santiago's training. Here are some more images of this beauty!
To find out more about the Appalachian Trainer Face Off, please visit and follow their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/applachiantrainerfaceoff/
You can see Kaylynn and Seth in action as they both compete August 23rd and 24th in the Winfield Arena. The goal is to find each of the #ATFO horses a new forever home!
The competition is organized by the local horse rescue "Hearts of Phoenix".
For interested adopters, you can find additional images with Minka, Eden and Santiago here: https://creatememoriesbyanett.pixieset.com/atfo/
*Bonus Horse: Horse can be adopted during the event, but will not take part of the competition event.
Read my next follow up blog post about this event here: