Avenger: 2008 Reg. Morgan Chestnut Gelding with the Appalachian Trainer Face Off

Consider adoption if looking for a horse. Our horses are fostered in WV, KY, PA and OH, and we adopt nationwide.



Sex: Gelding
Breed: Registered Morgan
Coat:  Chestnut
Height: 16hh Approx
Foal Year: 2008
Fee: $500 starting bid during approved adopter auction August 25th
Location: NC

Trainer: Richard Hames. Follow the Journey on FACEBOOK 

Please reach out via the trainer link to ask any questions about suitability, training and progress.

Avenger is part of a training challenge called the Appalachian Trainer Face Off. Horses in the ATFO will be in training for 100 days. This training began May 15th, and it runs until August 24th and 25th.

All horses in this event are undergoing extremely thorough training.

To learn about this event and about adopting this horse or another ATFO horse, please visit:

Adopt an ATFO Horse

Apply to adopt:

From Richard, his trainer:

60 days update, even though it’s not quite 60 days for him yet.

Registered Morgan Gelding (JML Morning Starlight)
10 years old
16 hands tall
Riding Level: Intermediate
Handling Level: Beginner
Herd Mentality: Sits comfortably at the bottom, wont allow himself to be hurt by others, but loves ALL animals. (Dogs, mini horses, all horses, and people)

Avenger spent a life that I would never wish upon any horse. A life in which instead of being trained out of his spooky, fleeing tenancies he was hitched double to use another horses confidence or simply tranquilized into driving single without fear. This all means as a 10 year old he has seen very little on his own and didnt set him up for a successful life in the long run. When the amish family that owned and ‘worked him’, using that term loosely, were finished with him and didnt want to care for him after a right front torn suspensory he found his way into a Kill Pen.

Thankfully, Morgan Safenet found him and took a chance on him. They received him from 5he kill lot, quarantined him and set him up in foster care. He was assessed to be green broke due to his quirkiness when being saddled and was worked with on being saddled and accepting a rider calmly.

He made his way into the Appalachian Trainer Face Off once my original horse would need extensive time off due to injuries she required before being owner surrendered for the Competition. I got him about 2 to 3 weeks behind the original draw and we began work. He came in with some issues wanting to lead you instead of the alternative, thankfully you could pretty much handle him unless he was frightened.

Once we began his under saddle training we made a lot of progress fairly quickly, but unfortunately the last 2 weeks we had some set backs. He began to spook at various objects he has seen thousands of times, began to sidepass away from things he deemed to be scary and would refuse to make forward motion to even approach them. Yesterday, me and the big guy had a few “church meetings” in which I knew one of us would find Jesus, just want sure which one. Lol. We spent hours working through his refusals and focusing more on getting him back to the place of finding his confidence in me as his rider.

Today, I came to the farm skeptical of how he would handle today’s ride after yesterday’s somewhat frustrating moments. When I arrived at the farm I pulled Avenger and Confetti out as a part of their normal routine and proceeded to feed as usual. Once they had finished eating and got some water, we tacked up. I proceeded to calmly walk him through the obstacle course, patiently stopped him at the end and mounted, and wouldnt you know it….. today we had a completely different horse. He figured out his little arsenal of tricks didn’t get him anything, except for working harder. We made it through all of the scary things we completed yesterday, just without the hassle. We finished our warm up in the back field and walked all the way to the house where we stopped and rested which isn’t something he normally does. We then proceeded to go check the mail box without any spooking whatsoever. Came back up to the house, walked through the carport, which made an echo I was sure would scare him, yet he handled it like a pro! We even managed to successfully step into the porch, walk through walk ways, and left back under the carport in which we then completed the entire obstacle course like it was nothing.

I took all of this time to type these things out in detail to say, life doesn’t always go smoothly. Horse training can be a tough and tough day by day, especially when working with horses that clearly haven’t had the best life. But all in all, I understand Avenger. I spent majority of my years in this life scared to death of what people would think of me when I finally started living life in my truest form. The thing about horses like Avenger are this, there are good days, and there are not so good days. It isn’t my job as a trainer to make horses PERFECT. After all if I can’t expect or see perfection in myself why should I expect it from any other living being. You take every good day with every not so good day, you take every setback and you set it up for a comeback. Avenger and I still have a lot left to do before the competition hits, but as with any horse we will take it day by day, obstacle by obstacle, and work to make him the best equine partner he can be.


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