Updated: Jan 8
Scared, confused, afraid, emotionally drained and physically hurt describes Eden, a 10 year old rescue horse from Heart of Phoenix the best at this moment. As her sad eyes look around her small stall and her ears are pinned towards the noise coming from the other surrounding stall mates, Eden has not given up hope.
Eden is one of the 30 rescue horses that are part of the Appalachian Trainer Face off program, organized and hosted by "Heart of Phoenix", a local equine horse rescue. Behind the "Heart of Phoenix" rescue organization and the #ATFO (Appalachian Trainer Face Off) program is Tinia Creamer, the Director along with many volunteers, who's first and primary goal is to rehabilitating and helping rescue horses to find them a suitable forever home.
The #ATFO, which is in his third successful year of running, is a friendly competition among local professional and amateur trainers, but also reach trainers as far as from Indiana!
For 100 days, all 23 approved trainers will work with their chosen horse making him an accomplished, willing equine partner, and the pair will return to Winfield Arena to compete for 2 days in August , ending in a free style competition, showcasing their abilities as a horse and trainer team.
Video: Trainers are being introduced to all horses chosen for this program
After the introduction of each horse, Tinia held an orientation to go over rules, and various housekeeping items of this program. Each trainer received a ticket for the draw of a horse, professionals had first choice, then amateurs.
As many other rescues, Heart of Phoenix depends on donations and sponsors. One of them is Excel EQ supplements and is giving each competition horse a gallon jug of top dressing to help with conditioning!
Video: Trainers are being drawn for their horses
Horses are now off to their new journey and through natural and gentle horsemanship learn how trust humans again and to become a wonderful equine partner.
I can not wait to follow everybody's journey including Eden's. Over the next few months leading up to the adoption, I will "check in" with a few of the trainers and horses to document their bonding relationship and discuss struggles as well as challenges they are facing.
Pictures: Horses are taken to their trainer's home
You can find out more about the Appalachian Trainer Face off and follow each horse's journey on their Facebook Page "Appalachian Trainer Face Off". You might even find an equine you will fall in love with, and eventually adopt. So go check out their page and give them a BIG LIKE, because all rescue horses deserve a second chance.
And as I mentioned in my blog title, this is just THE BEGINNING!
Read my next blog "#ATFO | The challenge hit their 30 day mark!"