Tennessee Shelter: Busy Hay Days

We have some very exciting news from our TN shelter.  In December we assisted the Sheriff Department on an absolutely horrible case of horse abuse.  3 horses had already died, leaving a remaining 8 horses and 1 donkey clinging to life.  The owner of the horses was finally arrested and charged with animal cruelty.  Her bond was set for $50,000 and the court date is June 8th.  To read a news article, click here.


We are really hoping that these animals will get the justice they deserve and this owner will appear on the Tennessee Animal Abuse Registry.  She would be the 3rd person in the database since it started in January.  It is similar to a sex offender registry.  Tennessee is the first state to have an animal abuse registry.  To see the registry, click here.


We took some of our adoptable horses on a 2 day trail ride camping trip.  It was a great experience for them and we got some excellent video of them on the trail to show potential adopters what great horses they are.  Our trainer brought Blaze and Annie to the camp and they did great on the picket line.


There was a large group of folks who all help our shelter that also attended the trip with their horses.

6-1-16-2  The trails were beautiful and it was so nice for our staff and the horses to have this experience.

6-1-16-3Since the camping trip, two of the horses have been adopted.  Blaze is still available though, you can see her video by clicking here.


After the camp trip the trainer dropped Blaze and Annie off at the shelter.


The next horse he would be training is Diamond, a 2 year old we rescued from a slaughter auction.  She was not trained at all and very nervous around people.

6-1-16-6The next morning Diamond was settling in at the trainer’s.  He was trying to show her that humans aren’t all bad.

6-1-16-7After working with her awhile he gained her confidence and he was able to get a halter on her and start working on training her to lead.  She is doing really good!

6-1-16-8Tawnee got a call from some people that she bought hay from last year.  It was some of the nicest hay she has seen in TN so far.  Last year she told them when they started cutting she would buy it all.  The call let her know the hay was cut and rolled, ready for pickup!  She made arrangements to pick it up after the weekend.

6-1-16-9On Sunday Annie, who had been on the trail ride, was being adopted.

6-1-16-10It’s a really sweet family with an adorable little girl who absolutely loves horses.  Tawnee led Annie around and the little girl had such big smiles.

6-1-16-11They posed for their adoption photo.  We know this family will make lots of happy memories with Annie.

6-1-16-12The little girl was so excited to be getting her very own horse.  She has been taking lessons and Annie was a perfect fit for her.


Monday Tawnee headed out to get the first load of hay.  When she arrived the big round bales were in the field waiting for her.


Since the bales were out for a few days the outside is a bit bleached, but the inside is lush green full of clover and pasture grass.


What a beautiful sight, big round bales of hay.  There is nothing like the smell of freshly cut hay.


Each bale was purchased for $30, making this entire load of 10 bales only $300.


Tawnee took the bales to the new leased shelter property that we will be building the shelter at.  Since there is no tractor to unload them, Jason and Tawnee pushed them off.

6-1-16-18Tuesday Tawnee was back at the pasture getting more hay loaded up.

6-1-16-19  We have a large flatbed trailer that would be perfect for hauling hay, but the hydraulic horse squeeze is still on it while the quarantine barn is being built.  Since the borrowed trailer had sides, they had to put blocks and square bales in the center so the round bales would ride straight.


Back at the shelter the hay was unloaded and Tawnee headed back for more.

6-1-16-21Tawnee made trip after trip.  It was about a 2 hour round trip with loading and unloading.

6-1-16-22  On one of the trips Tawnee got a call from the local newspaper about the abuse case we shared above.  It really made Tawnee’s day.  The horses and donkey in this case were so abused and neglected, justice needs to be served!


And of course on one of the loads there had to be a flat tire.  For those blog readers from years back, you know we get a lot of flat tires on the trailers.  It just seems to be our luck.  Tawnee was thankful that it held up until the hay was unloaded and Jason could swap tires.


Finally the last load was loaded up.  Tawnee had hauled 10 bales the first day and 38 the second day.  All the bales cost $1,440.  It’s equivalent to 430 three twin bales, which would have cost about $6,000 in California.  TN definitely has cheaper prices on hay!

6-1-16-25It was a long day of driving, but Tawnee was happy with the huge amount of money that had been saved.  She knows she couldn’t have found better hay either.  The next cutting will be in a couple months and they are guessing they will get 70-80 bales.  Tawnee is hoping the squeeze is off the big flatbed by then so she won’t have to make so many trips!

6-1-16-26The next morning when they unloaded the last load, one of the bales became untwined and pretty much exploded, filling up the whole trailer with hay.

6-1-16-27Tawnee drove it to the temporary shelter where the animals are being housed to unload the broken bale.  Ivy couldn’t believe her eyes as she looked at all that yummy food with wonder.


Parcey wasn’t about to stand there staring.  He just wanted to dive in and start enjoying it.


Tawnee put some hay on his back and he just couldn’t be happier with a huge mouthful of hay too.  He is such a goofy boy.

6-1-16-30Tawnee found a nest in one of the barns.  It was made of mud and horse hair.  There was tail hair that was hanging down from the nest.

6-1-16-31The tail hair hung almost 2 feet from the nest.  Quite the stylish nest!

6-1-16-31-1Inside there were four tiny speckled eggs nestled in horse hair and feathers.


In Columbia TN there is an annual Big Lick show called the Spring Jubilee.  Last year some of our staff attended a protest, but Jason and Tawnee were at the CA shelter and were unable to attend.  They are planning on attending this year and share their voice against animal abuse.

6-1-16-38  The show started yesterday and the “trainers” were out there showing off how they could make 2 year old horses do the big lick with their stacks, chains and soring.  This is wrong!  They are beautiful horses, they do not need their natural gait exaggerated to an unnatural, painful gait. It’s sad that these baby horses have to go through such misery.  To watch the video from yesterday, click here.
TN Walker 6-2-16  Thank you for your support!  We couldn’t rescue and care for the horses at our 3 shelters across the United States without your support!  Please donate to help, click here.