(Darkhawk of Hideaway X Avondale Berne's Hope)
1994 black mare, 15.2, 100% Foundation

My "holy grail", ever since I was a child, has been a pretty black mare. I got serious about the search in 2003. Not just any black Morgan mare would do; she had to be beautiful, correctly put together, have an excellent temperament, and I wanted bloodlines with no modern outcrosses. This is NOT an easy list to satisfy! I inquired after SO many mares who qualified by bloodlines but whose conformation, once I received more photos and/or video, were a huge disappointment. Those that met my criteria were not for sale. Finally, I found two contenders in late 2008, but after much deliberation, could not pick just one. If I couldn't decide, perhaps neither of these mares were "the one"?

My former stallion Gone Gold went up for sale in August 2009, and suddenly I had to scramble to find a mare to breed to him to in order to use my retained breeding. The owners of one of the black mares I had considered graciously agreed to a lease-purchase, with the purchase happening only if the mare got in foal. She was quickly on her way to be bred to Roadie. Unfortunately she retained fluid after breeding, resulting in an infection, a lot of expense to clean her up- and no foal. With much sadness, I sent her home.

In late October 2009, a few days before we laid our beloved old mare Reminiscing to rest, my old friend Tom Bainbridge emailed me and said he would part with his stunning black mare, Avondale Sweet Rosie. I have loved this mare since I first saw her on Tom's website, and had told Tom if he would ever consider selling her, to please let me know. Bless him, he remembered, and his promise that this beautiful black mare would be mine helped ease my sadness over Marie's loss. It was meant to be, and it is impossible for me to ever thank Tom enough for his kindness.

Rosie spent almost two years on lease to my friend Charlene Cook of Edgefield Farm in Goshen IN. She foaled a lovely palomino filly, Edgefield Ivory Rose ("Ivy") for Char in 2011. Rosie arrived home to Georgia on October 21, 2011. She lost the 2012 foal she was carrying for me early in the pregnancy. We re-bred her in 2012 to my former stallion Gone Gold, but she sadly lost that foal, a beautiful black colt, at 9 months gestation in February 2013 due to placentitis. In April 2013, Ivy joined her dam here at Brookridge for a few months. She now resides in CO with fellow artist Jennifer Scott, though I have an option to lease her back for a foal in the future.

Rosie is broke to ride, although much of her life has been spent out to pasture or raising foals. She was used in a handicapped riding program while with her second owner, Liz Banks. She has the Funquest curviness and big trot, and her size comes from her Blackwood Correll breeding.

Rosie came to me with a reputation of being aloof with people and dominant in the herd. Here, she is near the bottom of the pecking order and I find her to be most affectionate. It is not the pushy, in your face sort of Morgan friendliness. It is more subtle communication, always polite and very regal. What is more (and I know it sounds a bit corny) I swear she knows how much I love her, and she reciprocates. While most of my other horses seem only interested in me for the food they get, Rosie enjoys companionship. When she sees me she will nicker. When I turn her out in the evenings, instead of heading off to the grass she will linger beside me for a pet and some scritches.  She is the most amazing mover and a sensitive but calm riding horse. Enough of my gushing- I think you get the message. I am so glad Rosie ended up being "the one".

Darkhawk of Hideaway

Sunup Mike Funquest Falcon
Funquest Modana
Hylee's Firefly Torchfire

Avondale Berne's Hope

Blackwood Correll Red Correll
Lady Rockwood
Cotton's Susie Kay Kenney's King Cotton
Kane's Sistie Kay
You can view Rosie's complete pedigree here.
It includes pictures of many of her ancestors.

More photos of Rosie
(click on a thumbnail to enlarge)

Rosie shortly after her arrival at Char's, November 2009. Look at that trot! Char says she put on quite a show!

Char is not a short lady but 15.2, upheaded Rosie makes her look short!

Such a beautiful creature... someone pinch me!!

Rosie in the crossties getting tacked up for her first ride with Char. I will not mind looking at THIS head every day :-)

Rosie's first ride with Char, November 2009.

Late December, 2009: Rosie is a somewhat aloof horse (and the definite herd leader). But she has learned that Char means good things, especially food.

February 21, 2010- I been checking the AMHA registry online regularly to see if Rosie's transfer had gone through, and lo and behold a few days ago it did and she's officially mine :-) I am ecstatic! I had asked Char to get me a few snapshots so I could post the news here, with a visual :-). Well last night, email after email of GORGEOUS Rosie pix rolled into my inbox. OMG- my jaw was on the ground as I looked at each one. Her hubby Greg took most of these and he is really a very talented photographer.

I look at these pics of this mare and get the oddest feeling... the one I get when I look at that rare something that is so beautiful I can hardly believe it is real. Thank you Greg and Char, for these beautiful pictures and for taking such good care of Rosie!

Pretty black horse in the snow!

I think the first picture in this group was my favorite. Gabby the Golden Retriever is part of the welcoming committee at Edgefield. She is such a sweet dog. She wanted to tag along with Char and Rosie.

This should be a painting. It has that timeless quality to it. It looks peaceful and quiet. I think it is the starkness of the snow and Rosie's casually cocked hind foot that gives that impression.

The End :-)

Rosie is a little sun faded, but still beautiful! I think it is amusing how her forelock hides her eyes in so many of the pictures that Char sends me. Rosie definitely has the "hair gene"! July 2010.

There's her eyes! She has a roany marking up under her forelock too. Not sure if this is age related or if she's always had it. My late mare Reminiscing (Marie) had a roany star, and since Rosie was offered to me just before we lost Marie, I got a little catch in my throat when I saw this roany marking on Rosie.

August 2010.

Standing or moving, this mare is a dream come true for me :-)

Rosie foaled a big palomino filly for Char on March 23, 2011. Char named the filly Edgefield Ivory Rose, "Ivy" for short. Ivy is by Edgefield Sun Gold (by Sunup Neptune).

October 22, 2011- Rosie is home- finally! Hard to believe I've owned her almost two years but am only just now meeting her. She arrived the evening of the 21st, and had a good rest in the barn overnight. Here she is meeting Charli over the fence the next day. I had bathed and clipped her and trimmed her feet before turning her out to stretch her legs. I am very impressed with her excellent manners. She reminds me of another mare I owned years ago, Radiance Eliza Babe, who had a similar calm and accepting attitude, even in new or strange situations.

Getting the traveling kinks out. She is a beautiful mover- prettier than I even imagined.

Rosie caught sight of our neighbors' goats and could not seem to figure out what they were. Good photo op for me :-)

November 5, 2011- My first ride on Rosie. We did not do much, just some walk and trot. She was a bit tense and seemed worried about doing something wrong. She is not the deadhead my other horses are! Plenty of gas in the tank. There was some pronking when asked to canter on the lungeline (she finally did canter) and a lot of head movement, up and then down behind the bit, both on the lunge and under saddle, and this on a relatively loose rein. She did have hooks on her upper incisors which were removed and her teeth floated about 10 days ago now. I felt bad for her as she seemed uncomfortable; hopefully it is just needing to relax and settle in more, and me get used to her and her, to me. Jim joked "she thought she was retired" ;-).

January 2012- These were not the best pictures, as Jim took them with the zoom from the back porch. Rosie and I are now a team. Every ride she is more settled and quiet on the bit. I added some extra padding under the saddle, and switched from my usual French link snaffle to a regular D ring snaffle, which I think helped a lot. But also important is that she seems to understand that I am not going to hurt or scare her, or work her hard, so she has relaxed.

April 2, 2012- My friend Lucy Ray up on Rosie, April 2012. Lucy came to see my two new Black Beauty mares, Rosie and Kyrie. It was neat to see how great Rosie looked under saddle. Lucy might have been more at home in her western saddle, but she looked darn good up there!

May 2012- Rosie is shed out, so I gave her a bath and got her first glamour shots since she has been home. She has the most incredible floating trot and canter. I loved this picture for the absolutely even diagonals it shows (note the parallel cannon bones on the diagonal legs), as well as the beautiful length of stride.

Jim helped me by holding Rosie for some conformation shots and in less than 10 minutes I had so many incredible pictures I had a hard time choosing between them all.

Either side is her "best side" :-)

More from May 2012.

To demonstrate how smart this mare is, she simply circled me at a trot and occasionally a canter while I took pictures, with very little encouragement needed- which is exactly what I'd like them all to do, though of course, they tend to want to stop and eat instead! She just seems to "get" me and what I want, and I can read what she is thinking too. Which of course adds to her appeal! I could not stop telling her how beautiful she was as she floated around the ring. I wish I could have had her ten years ago. But I am grateful to have her now!

June 30, 2012- After a very mild spring and early summer, Georgia is sizzling, like a lot of the rest of the US right now. I've been forgoing my usual late night habits and instead getting up early in the AM to bring the horses in before it gets hot, and ride. I have friends coming over the weekend to ride, so needed an extra saddle. My old Circle Y got pulled out of storage, cleaned up, and I polished up my antique sterling bridle to go with. I don't have a silver snaffle bit or snaffle reins so forgive the hybrid look with my English bit and reins. Rosie is really not a western horse- her gaits are too "big"- but I thought she looked pretty spiffy any way.

My favorite picture from this morning.

Rosie's soft side is to the right- that is, she likes to fall in (drop her shoulder to the inside of the circle) on this side. Here I am asking her to keep that shoulder up and move over to the left.

After our ride, smart girl that she is, she just stood there ever so nicely for me (not tied in any way) while I took pictures of her in her bling :-) Jim found it quite amusing.

Pretty girl!

July 1, 2012- Here are my friends Cassidy and Katie on Pat and Rosie. They switched horses halfway through the ride so each got a taste of a forward, sensitive horse (Rosie) when they are more used to riding the laid back (PC for fat and lazy ;-)) Pat.

July 29, 2012- Jim organizes a bike ride each Sunday morning which is attended by his fellow cycling enthusiasts. This Sunday, Trish Albert joined the ride. What could be better after 4 hours of peddling in the hot sun but to visit with some pretty Morgan Horses? And then get out in some more hot sun to ride one? Ha ha, Trish was up for it. I am not sure how she had the energy. I have ridden bikes with Jim. Let's just say I am not up to the task :-) Please forgive the unorthodox riding attire. Trish did not have long pants or riding shoes with her, but she did have her helmet.

Rosie seems to be my "most photographed" horse lately! Trish came armed with carrots for all. Rosie has turned into a mooch. She knows Trish has one in her pocket! Trish's usual ride is a Dutch Warmblood. She has been around my Morgans in the past but it has probably been 20 years. She used to be involved in the model horse hobby, which I am still somewhat involved in, and that is how we first met.

I had actually ridden Rosie first since Trish wanted to see how she moved. I told her "not as well as when I am NOT on her" :-)

End of the ride. Thanks for my new Facebook profile pic, Trish! Trish is actually a very accomplished photographer and does lots of cycling events in the southeast.

This is Rosie's M.O. when the ride is over- she yawns and yawns. Such a character. I guess you all know how much I enjoy her :-)

Late October, 2012- beautiful, dappled Rosie!

Rosie on the left, Kyrie on the right. Kyrie is really the only horse Rosie, who is a loner, will tolerate, and they are often seen hanging together in the field.

Rosie in the foreground and Kyrie behind her.

May 29, 2013- Kyrie and her best buddy, Rosie, mutual grooming.

February 13, 2014- Although Rosie lived most of her life up north, she did not seem amused by the snow. The other mares played in it for awhile, but Rosie was more interested in the hay I put out.

May 10, 2014- My neighbor Elizabeth Allen has been visiting with the Morgans regularly. As a child she had a traumatic experience with a horse who grabbed her by the throat, and by the grace of God and a turtleneck sweater she survived. She loves horses but was understandably timid around them. We needed to remedy that, so the Morgans have been getting extra attention and Elizabeth has been gaining confidence. She has been comfortable haltering, leading, and grooming in the cross ties or in the stall, and has learned to move the horses where she wants them with just a touch. So though she didn't know it when she arrived today, it was time to progress :-) Normally I use Pat for the introductions to riding and for lessons but he is recovering (hopefully) from EPM/neurological injury, so Rosie was put to "work". We actually progressed much further than I thought we would today with Elizabeth riding off the lungeline on her own for a bit- and she worked up the courage to pick up Rosie's hooves today- YAY ELIZABETH!!

July 5, 2014- Cassidy Sutherland and Rosie.

August 14, 2014-I forgot my old Nikon on the barn and we got a gullywasher that rained in where it was laying, ruining it :-( I was in camera withdrawal for a week or so... and then Jim came home with a used/reconditioned Nikon D7000. It is way more camera than I will ever understand but since we got it used and we only needed the body (our old lenses fit it) it was fairly priced. Here are some casual snaps of Rosie and me with the new camera. It does video too which will come in handy. THANK YOU JIM!

August 16, 2014- I was attempting to do button braids on Rosie for some photos, but her mane was just too long. So I did scallops instead- my first time doing them. It was an experience!

October 4, 2014- Our annual fall event, the Southern Model Horse Convention, has been held here for 27 years. SouthCon was designed as a way to promote Morgans to model horse hobbyists. We always have a Morgan available for rides. For the past 20 years this was my gelding Patented. Unfortunately Pat came down with EPM this year. Rosie became our new "pony ride" horse and she certainly rose to the occasion, carrying everyone, beginner to experienced, safely. Here she is being groomed by some of the show attendees prior to being ridden.

Some of the folks riding Rosie during SouthCon, clockwise from top left: Lisa Garcia, Lori Monk, Ashley, Stephanie Blaylock, Deidre Rogers and Jen Bui.

October 23, 2015- This is a somewhat bittersweet picture. Had she not lost it at 9 months due to placentitis, Rosie would have had Roadie's last foal, and looking at them together- what a Morgan it would have been! At any rate, Rosie, who generally doesn't like other horses all that much, tolerated Roadie, the new addition to the herd, pretty well. In the weeks to come, she decided she really "loved" him when she was in heat, LOL!

October 23, 2015- I thought this was hilarious. What a Mutt and Jeff pairing! I actually had to measure Roadie the next day, as standing next to Rosie, he looked so much smaller than I had thought he was. Yup- he is maybe 14 hands on his tiptoes, LOL! Rosie is every inch of 15.2.

January 16, 2016- Although Morgan owner/breeder Rory McGoff has lived less than 40 minutes from me for the last few years, we had never met, only exchanged emails. I can always count on Lucy Ray to drag me out of my hermit status! She invited me and Rory to lunch (they had gone trail riding that AM) and afterwards we headed back to Brookridge so Rory could finally meet my little herdlet. Great conversation ensued and if Jim and I hadn't had a dinner planned with his cycling team that evening, I think we'd still be talking :-) It was muddy and the horses were not clean due to rain the night before, but the pictures are fun any way, so I'm sharing! Thanks for taking them Lucy Ray!  Rory is moving to Michigan - Georgia's loss is Michigan's gain- you're getting a great Morgan person and great Morgan horses!

May 6, 2016- Sara Amerman, who now owns our 2015 filly Fantastical, and her friend Pam Gipson came down from TN to watch the Dixie Cup Show. Pam took this picture of Sara's ride on Rosie after the show, on a visit back on the farm. It was great to hang out with you ladies- let's all show at Dixie Cup next year!

May 29, 2016- Do you remember when you were a 12 year old, horse-crazy but horse-less teenl? When you would do anything to just be around them- grooming, mucking stalls, just stroking those soft velvety noses? One of my friends from the online game Howrse was in Jasper GA for a graduation this weekend and she wanted to bring her family to meet our Morgans. I love sharing about the breed, and they are their own best ambassadors, so of course I said yes! I mean, how awkward can it be to meet someone you've never met before, only "talked" to online a few times via a game? No worries at all- we had a great time! Mary Frances and her daughter Phoebe (12) and son Peter (15) were a delight. Those are two of the most kind, polite, caring kids we have ever met. Mary Frances, ya done good. Jim and I were suitably impressed. Also impressive was Phoebe's horseback riding skills. I have never seen Rosie look better, and both horse and rider were beaming. We went out to dinner at the Mystic Grill (of Vampire Diaries fame) afterwards, sitting outside on the rooftop, in the beautiful evening weather, enjoying good food and chatter. The family lives in the D.C. area so it might be awhile before they get back this way, but we are already looking forward to it!

October 1, 2016- Rosie was once again our designated "pony ride" Morgan for SouthCon, the model horse show we host each fall here at the farm. I always let the show attendees groom the horse in preparation for riding. There were still classes going on inside the barn so we had a little wait before most of our riders showed up. Here is Olivia Tierce's Mom Darlene brushing Rosie and Kendall Atkinson on the lead.

October 1, 2016- Rosie patiently and safely carried riders of varying experience during the riding time at the show. First photo through sixth photo: Kendall Atkinson, Olivia Tearce, Kennedy Olson, Jennifer Bui, Valerie Rice, Hannah Yi.

October 7, 2017- Rosie and her riders at the 30th Annual Southern Model Horse Convention. Classes conflicted a bit this year which prevented many people from partaking in the riding opportunity, but those that were able to ride seemed to enjoy themselves. Pictured from first through last pic above are Cindy Dilks, Taylor Joplin, Erin Chalmers and Jennifer Bui.

This year's show drew entrants from Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and even from as far away as Massachusetts! Our guest judge Karen Gerhardt is from Colorado, and she did an excellent job in a quick and efficient manner, a reflection of her many years of experience in the hobby. Karen's resume includes several pieces created for Breyer, and we were very fortunate to have a judge of her caliber here this year. Karen had an unfortunate experience while riding many years ago, and had not been on a horse since. We convinced her to try Rosie, and after thinking about it awhile and watching the other entrants ride, she decided to go for it. Things went swimmingly - Rosie was bored by the whole thing, as you can see in the first picture! We are honored that it was a Morgan who finally got Karen back in the saddle!

March 17, 2018- I was out taking pictures of Sweetie and Rosie was intently watching me and my "attention getter", a big exercise ball.

October 6, 2018- Despite the heat, the 31st Annual Southern Model Horse Convention was a success, and Rosie did her part to introduce new people to the Morgan breed by once again offering rides. First photo is Emily Jones, then Jennifer Bui, Susan Candelaria, Donna Artega, and Celsie Rae Abelt. The last picture is also Celsie; Rosie is particular about who she likes, and Celsie seemed to pass muster!

January 11, 2019- We just had a lovely visit with Helen Prentice- from England! Helen's Mom lives in Ocala, FL and Helen is in the States visiting her. It was a relatively short trip (5 hours from Ocala) for her to come and see the ancestors and relatives of her colt, Pepe. Pepe (registered name Divine Intervention) is by Coulee Bend Talisman, the gorgeous silver dun son of Unconventional (aka Connor, who was bred/foaled here). His dam is Helen's own mare, Withecott Celestial Star. Pepe got his sire and grandsire's silver gene- he is a beautiful bay silver colt. It was a clear sunny day with temps in the 50's- perfect riding weather! We took advantage and rode both Roadie (Gone Gold, sire of Unconventional- so, Pepe's great grandsire) and Rosie. Helen thinks Pepe will end up Rosie's size, so riding her was a good way to get a feel for what's to come!

October 5, 2019- Rosie was once again the designated horse for anyone who wanted to ride at the 31st Annual Southern Model Horse Convention. Juantonio Garcia (son of my friend Lisa Garcia) is a helpful old soul in a ten year old body. Here he is grooming Rosie, getting her ready to give rides.

Rosie with Kendall Atkinson, Juantonio Garcia, Katherine Bone and Erin Walden up at SouthCon 2019.

My former neighbor Elizabeth Warren on Rosie at SouthCon 2019. E was badly bitten by a horse as a child and had a fear of them for many years. Well you cannot have a neighbor with a herd of friendly Morgans that she loves to share without being encouraged to get over that fear. And E has done that- I am so proud of her! She helped me tack Rosie up and once everyone who wanted to ride had their turn, she volunteered to go for a spin! It has been a few years since she was last up there (she got married and moved) but she rocked it! So much confidence!

October 17, 2019- The scene from our back porch on our first chilly fall morning of the season. Hard to believe it was a record breaking 97 degrees two weeks ago! Foreground is my much-loved 25 year old Rosie and behind her is her old(er) man, 30 year old Pride. Rosie has been pastured next to Pride since early spring, keeping him company.

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Learn more about the very rare silver dapple gene at the Silver Dapple Morgans Project.

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Jim and Laura Behning
75 Glass Spring Rd.
Covington, GA 30014
(770) 385-1240
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