Tawnee founded Horse Plus Humane Society when she was only 19 years old
A Woman Who Has Saved Over 6000 Horses
I love horses and to look at me you probably think that I'm perfectly normal, but I'm not. I struggle every single day with a learning disability and an injury that left me only able to complete the 3rd grade. I have dyslexia and when I was 10 years old a horse kicked me in my head, fracturing my skull and injuring the part of my brain which does reading, math, hand eye coordination, among other things that people take for granted.
Do not let a learning disability hold you back, dream big and take one day at a time, the possibilities are endless!
In August of 2003 at the age of 19 years old I was at a slaughter auction. I had recently gotten married and didn't have a horse and was desperate to have another horse in my life. So I went to the auction to get a horse. I had heard all about this auction. When I was growing up our next door neighbor was a kill buyer and constantly bought and sold horses. He always talked about this auction where he could get top meat price for the horses he was selling for slaughter. I went there thinking I would buy a horse for myself and keep her forever. I purchased a beautiful 4 year old registered Quarter Horse mare who had never been handled before. I had trained horses for years and my first horse I got at the age of 10 was a wild Mustang straight from the BLM. I was excited about training this beautiful mare who I name Skip. I was not planning on rehoming Skip and it wasn't long before I had her under saddle and was completely in love with her. I started thinking she would have been killed in a slaughterhouse if I had not saved her from the auction. I soon realized that I had to rehome her and try to help other horses like her. I sold her for $1,800 to a good home and used that money to go back and save 4 more horses from the slaughter auction. I wasn't planning on starting a rescue, I just had to help those horses at the auction, I had to get them out of there, I had to give them the training they needed so they could live a happy life.
Over 6,000 horses later, I am amazed at what this organization has become. Little did I know when I was rescuing Skip from that slaughter auction that I was embarking on a journey to create a National Organization saving thousands horses across the United States.
Every year this organization has grown by leaps and bounds, I am an out-of-the-box kind of thinker and not afraid to try new ideas that can help horses in a positive way. Some people ask how did you come up with the idea of operating an open admission - full circle of life organization for horses. I saw a need and I figured out how to solve it and I'm doing the best I can to help make an impact in this world. Most horse rescuers pick and choose who they're going to save, years ago I did that too but then I realized I was going about rescuing horses the wrong way. At one auction I attended there were two of the sweetest most loving old horses you would ever want to meet. I knew I couldn't purchase them because they were not adoptable, they clearly had medical problems going on and they were too old. If I saved them nobody would want to adopt them and I couldn't fill up my farm, so when they went through the auction ring, I kept my hands down even though they sold for a few hundred dollars. After the auction I watched those two horses load up on the slaughter truck. I realized at that moment the way I was rescuing horses was wrong! I had to stop picking and choosing the horses, all the horses there needed help no matter what. If their owners would not be responsible for them, somebody had to step up and do the right thing for them. So many old horses are dumped at auctions who are suffering from medical problems. Their owners should have given them the Last Act of Kindness but instead they dumped them at the auction so they could get a few more dollars out of them. At that moment I decided that I would stop picking and choosing who I would save and who I would not, they all needed help if they came to us and they needed Last Act of Kindness than that is what they would get: love, compassion and somebody to stand by them and say goodbye. The auction would not be the only option for these old horses, the slaughter pipeline would not be the only option for these old horses anymore, I would make another option somebody had to do the right thing.
Horse Plus Humane Society has been an amazing journey for me. I focus on taking one day at a time and I'm so thankful for my wonderful husband who has been such a support for me. He spends hours listening to my ideas that constantly goes through my head on how to improve the horse welfare industry. Because of my learning disability I am not able to easily type down my ideas on the computer and an email can literally take me an hour to write myself. All of the material from me must be dictated and typed down by somebody else or I use a speech-to-text software. Every speech-to-text software I have found absolutely hates me and writes down very strange things sometimes. Anything I do type down myself I have to have the computer read back to me and every sentence has to be restructured because often times things are backwards or don't make any sense at all. It is frustrating because in my head I know exactly what I want to put down, I have so much that I could type out myself but It's just not what I'm able to do. I have been very hesitant to open up about how much my learning disability and injury hinder me but I want other people with a learning disability to know that they can do anything if they put their mind to it. - Tawnee Preisner
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Who Are The Horses in The Photos?
The horses seen in the beautiful photography on our website are all horses that we have rescued. Kisa Kavass Designs comes out to our shelter and captures beautiful photography of rescued horses, she does an amazing job - Thank you Kisa!Gallery