Bon Jovi: 2014 Chestnut Morgan x Hackney Gelding with the Appalachian Trainer Face Off

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Sex: Gelding
Breed: Morgan x Hackney Pony
Coat: Chestnut
Height: 12.3 hh Approx
Foal Year: 2008
Fee: $500 starting bid during approved adopter auction August 25th
Location: Ohio

Trainer: Jessica Runkle Follow the Journey on FACEBOOK 

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

Bon Jovi 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 will undergo extremely thorough training, and all of these horses were previously untrained or very green.

To learn about this event and about adopting this horse or another ATFO horse, please visit the event page.

You can follow the progress of this horse daily and weekly in photos and video on the ATFO page:

Adopt an ATFO Horse


5 year old hackney/Morgan cross from Kentucky. Stands around 13 hands give or take an inch or two. Three gorgeous socks and a blaze with a spot inside it. Half of a freezebrand.
30 days with Bon Jovi have flown by. Partially because I’ve worked with him maybe 20 of those days (due to breaks earned). But out of those days he has come a long way. He has a real fear of strangers, men, dogs, and new horses. He constantly watches everything. He’s not offered to bite or kick any people. He’s kicked at dogs. But that has toned down a lot since he is stuck with dogs constantly running around the place. He has bit at other horses but in a playful instigating manner.
What I’ve noticed about Bon Jovi is he has a real bright future in store. He can literally go any direction. He is so curious and eager to please that he gives his all when he realizes he can trust his person.
So far he’s been under western and English and bareback. He has ridden bitless and with a full cheek snaffle.
From what I’ve put him through so far, I believe he will make an excellent trail mount, or even a search and rescue horse. The trail mount reasoning is that he really thinks about the obstacles in his way. He will drop his nose to the obstacle and then think his way through. Or he just plows right along like it’s no big deal. I honestly think he’s half hackney and half mountain goat because he has no worries about rocks or weird terrain. He handles it like a pro. I’ve taught him the command step up, which makes life so much easier when it comes time to load, or cross bridges, or step into pools.
I think he would make a wonderful search and rescue horse for multiple reasons, first of which being he feels the need to smell everything. He wants to smell every pile of poo, every obstacle, every new thing. If someone had the ability to harness that sniffer of his he could very well be helpful in finding things.
Bon Jovi has wonderful hard hooves. He went on a 10+ mile ride and about a third of it was on gravel road and he was barefoot and never ever missed a beat!
Bon Jovi has a few things that he has ingrained a fear of. Otherwise he learns easy and retains new lessons well.
He will make someone a wonderful horse when this competition is over. That said, he will do best with someone that understands his quirks and can be patient and easy going on him. He needs a person to put his trust in. He definitely softens around children. But is not currently to the point that I would consider him for a lesson horse. Maybe towards the end of the competition. But for now he is still green and learning.
Bon Jovi is being exposed to a lot of things while he is with me. He’s already dealt with gunfire, trail rides, obstacles, archery, trailer rides, train robbery, hundreds of kids and adults wanting to pet him, horses bumping into him, horses working around him, saddlebags flapping and Velcro opening and snack munching on him. And so much more.
Bon Jovi has a good mind on him.
Things that he needs more work with and he will be focusing on during the rest of his training here is stranger danger: allowing people he doesn’t know handle him he needs to know that just because a person isn’t me doesn’t mean they will eat him.
Water crossings: creeks and mud puddles have proven to be pony eating monsters. Bon Jovi will need to learn how to cross water and mud safely and confidently.
Dogs: Bon Jovi will continue his dog socializing skills. He has relaxed a lot around them, but not quite where I want him yet.
This guy is one that you won’t want to pass up. Though he be but little, he is fierce!


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