The Annual Open Show we've hosted for the last 5 years has been a dip in the water, though, to help us break down the barriers, crack the ice, so to speak. It has helped build connections with the horse community in various disciplines, helped us meet trainers, judges and potential adopters already committed to being life long horsemen and women. It helped put Heart of Phoenix out into the line of vision of the horse community, to be sure. Last year, we changed it up a bit by bringing in a trainer we've met, Mike Hurst, through our efforts to be proactive, to do a demo with a previously unhandled horse, Paladin. It was a huge success. This year, the time was simply right for something more. The Appalachian Trainer Face Off brought what I believe we needed to the region we work in that had never taken place here on various levels.
Trainers responded. Wanted to help. Were proud to help. Competitive. Kind.
Judges came forward with the same attitude.
The Horse Community began to watch, comment,
take intense interest across our region.
Adopters put in applications to offer homes.
The barriers between the equine world and rescue seemed to
start to disappear.