Tennessee Shelter: Busy Winter Days

A quick update before we get into our TN shelter blog.  I want to thank each and every person who donated for the emergency repairs needed at the California shelter.  The storms out there have been devastating to our facility, but thanks to your support, the funds have been raised!  Thank you so much!


I want to introduce myself, as I know we have many new blog readers and followers.  My name is Tawnee Preisner and I am the founder and president of Horse Plus Humane Society.  I founded this organization with my husband, Jason, when I was 19 years old.  I had no idea what this organization would grow into.  Horse Plus Humane Society is now a national organization with three shelters across the United States.  We have rescued nearly 5,000 animals, mainly horses, since 2003.  I founded the organization in California, and since that time it has grown so much, and now I am overseeing all the shelters and directly managing the operations at our TN shelter.  Our TN shelter blogs follow my work, and our staff, here in TN.  Our other shelter managers write blogs for the shelters they manage.  To learn more about me,  click here.

1-1-6-17-1(Photo: Alan Poizner / For The Tennessean)

Our TN shelter has been very busy and we didn’t get many blogs out in December, so this is a catch-up blog of the happenings.  In December we were busy caring for all the horses at our shelter and finishing up the first phase of development.  Trooper and Sequoia like all the progress they have seen at the shelter, and approved of all the hard work we have done.

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The cold weather set in and made the morning chores a little chillier.  It’s amazing how cold it can get so quickly.

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We had 5 lucky horses getting adopted in Florida and we were able to take them down during a cold spell in Tennessee.  I told Dumpling that he was a lucky little guy.  He and his two friends, Blackberry and Stormy, were going to leave the ice and head to nice warm Florida.  He looked confused by what I told him.

1-1-6-17-3Diamond was also going to Florida with another horse named Lucky.  All Diamond was concerned about was staying in his shelter and eating his hay.

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I told Diamond and Lucky to take one last look at the ice covered pastures.  It should be the last time they ever feel ice under their hooves.

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It was a long drive, but we made it in one day.  The new family was so excited to be adopting these precious horses, big and small.

1-1-6-17-6  Before long, they found themselves in over-sized immaculate stalls with fresh water, grain and hay waiting for them.  Lucky wasted no time in going for the grain.

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Dumpling, Blackberry and Stormy each had their own pile of yummy food.  They settled right in and started eating.

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Diamond was too busy eating to get a good picture.  He was just enjoying the comforts of his new home.

1-1-6-17-10I got a chance to see them all before we headed back to freezing TN.  I did a Facebook live video of them all content and happy in their new home.  To watch it, click here.

1-1-6-17-12Right down the street was two horses that I was excited about seeing.  Cruzo and Durham (who really don’t need blankets but their mom loves to spoil them) were adopted from our California shelter in 2008.  I rescued both of them from a slaughter auction in California and I hadn’t seen them since they were adopted from us. When they were adopted, their mom lived in Missouri, but then she moved to Florida and took them with her.  It was such a treat to see adoptees so far away living life to the fullest.  I did a live video with them too, to watch it, click here.

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To read their amazing rescue story straight from the kill buyer’s trailer, click here.

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Back at our TN shelter we were very excited when our new tractor arrived!  We so desperately needed a tractor at the Tennessee shelter as the 1,200 lb round bales are practically impossible to move and feed to horses without a tractor.  We have been dragging them around with a truck, but with the winter rain, mud, ice and snow coming quickly, that would be impossible.  We would like to thank Columbia Kubota for giving us a nice discount on this tractor.

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What an amazing difference it makes having the right piece of equipment!

1-1-6-17-16The winter rains came and the tractor became more needed than ever.  There is a seasonal creek that flows through the pasture, but it didn’t have a creek bed.  It literally spreads out and flooded all the pens, making a mess everywhere.  I got to work making a creek channel for it to stay in as it flows along.  Parcey was quite curious about what was happening.

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Lady and Dixie were also curious and came over to investigate the tractor.  Parcey assured them it wasn’t scary at all.  It made it a little harder for me to work since I had to keep watching to make sure no one was in the way.

1-1-6-17-18We also had drainage running through the arena.  The tractor made short work of a ditch on two sides to keep it dry.  What an amazing piece of equipment to have at the shelter and it saves so much time!

1-1-6-17-19Promise has been in our rehab program for some time now.  She is the mare who is missing a section of her neck that I saved from slaughter.  At first we thought she was pregnant, but she’s not.  She has been having a hard time gaining weight, plus…

1-1-6-17-20…it turned out from her injury she had an ongoing infection in there that was causing her health to be extremely poor.  Her infection ended up having an abscess that opened up.  The vet is happy with the progress she is making now, and we did blood work to make sure everything is ok.

1-1-6-17-21 The blood work showed that her infection is finally gone and all her other levels are great, so she should be packing on the pounds and getting healthy finally.  Poor girl has had such a rough go of it.

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It stopped raining and it started snowing.  We got about 2 inches of snow and it got very cold.

1-1-6-17-23It was in the single digits a few mornings.  The horses were happy to have shelters with nice dry hay inside.

1-1-6-17-24The tractor makes feeding such a breeze.  I couldn’t help but think about what it would be like to try and move these bales without a tractor.  The horses are getting used to the tractor now and hardly pay any attention to it, other than one Amish horse that can’t wrap her head around the noisy machine.

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Brighty was supposed to be delivered to his new home the day of the snow storm, but he had to wait for the roads to clear.

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His new mom was so excited to finally have him at home.  He is going to be a companion for her elderly pony and he is going to have an excellent home.  We are so happy for them.

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Comanche was adopted too!  We are so happy for this guy and his new family.  Look at that huge smile!  Comanche is such a beautiful horse and I couldn’t help but notice that the horse on her shirt almost looks exactly like him.

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Thank you all so much for your support!  We couldn’t do what we do without you.

-Tawnee Preisner