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My name is Wesley

My name is Wesley. I understand that it is a very special name. I was named after the brother of one of Pony Tales’ supporters. Wesley (or Wes) served 2 terms overseas and was shot twice 6 days before deployment home. He almost lost his leg due to internal bleeding as the shots hit a main artery in his leg. Many surgeries and skin grafts later, he is doing well and living a normal life with a healthy son, when they told him heโ€™d never have kids. I too had an injury to my leg. They say it looks like an old rope or fence burn. It doesn’t bother me, but at the auction, it made everyone turn away from me. Only the killbuyers saw my “value” at the slaughter plant. They bid back and forth and just when it looked like one of them was going to get me, I saw another arm pop up.

Worried that it was yet another killbuyer, I looked at the new bidder and saw so much kindness in her expression, but also worry. I could see she was as scared for what might happen to me as I was. As the killbuyers continued to bid against her, one of them finally dropped out, but one kept going. I could see the worry take over her face and I could sense that her heart was racing. Please don’t stop, I silently plead to her. I had already watched so many other horses get run out to crowded pens. I didn’t want to end up in one of them. But, she didn’t stop. And I didn’t get run into a crowded pen. I was moved out of the ring back into the pen that I had shared with one of my friends. His turn was next, and while I knew deep down somehow that I was already safe, I worried for him.

It was with great joy that he came back to our pen a few minutes later and I hoped that the same lady had saved him as well. We hung out there together and shared worried glances and tried to console each other as more and more horses were sent into the crowded pens. Soon, a veterinarian came over to us and a couple of others near us. He looked us over and poked us with a needle. The horses in the crowded pens were ran onto large trailers and we could hear them fighting and screaming and calling for those that were being left behind. I don’t know how long it was that we waited after the crowded pens were emptied, but it seemed like forever. We were beginning to wonder what was going to become of us and our heads began to lower when all of a sudden she came around the corner. She talked to us and smiled and told us everything was going to be ok, but you could see the sadness in her eyes. There were so many she wasn’t able to save, but she saved as many as she could.

And for that, I am forever grateful. Me and 3 other horses (and a couple of donkeys even!) were soon loaded onto a nice enclosed trailer so we would not get cold or wet on the drive home. It was a long drive home and it rained the entire time. Wind would blow the trailer around a bit and we would all get a little nervous, but she drove slow and careful and we all arrived safe. We were tired and hungry and were very thankful to get to lay down in fresh shavings in the barn after getting our dinner and fresh buckets of water. See my arrival video here. A couple of days later, she told me what my name would be and told me why. I am proud to be named after a real military hero and I will do my best to make him proud that I am named after him. Thank you kind lady for bringing me and my friend to safety. We are excited to see who you are able to save next! Though I do hope to have a home of my own soon! ๐Ÿ™‚ See my adoption information here.

Wesley’s story is just one of 29 from the many we have saved from the slaughter auctions this year. Next year, we are hoping to save so many more. But, we will need your help. The first auction we will be attending is in the beginning of January and we are hoping to kick the new year off with a bang! #GivingTuesday is just 3 days away. See our fundraiser post here. Our goal is to raise $10,200 that will go to saving horses in the upcoming year. With your help, we will be able to save so many more Wesley’s (and their friends). No amount is ever too small. Please. Give Now!

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53 Horses Helped in 3 days, but…there’s more…

From Friday, November 15, 2019 at 10:23 a.m. to sunset on Sunday, November 17, 2019, 53 horses of all shapes, sizes, breeds and ages passed through our gates. This was an event that had been in the making since we were awarded the Full Circle of Life Grant from Horse Plus Humane Society on May 1, 2019. The grant consisted of a check for $10,000 to go towards the construction of a new barn that we were so desperately in need of. But, while the funds were amazing and we will be forever grateful, the mentoring and emotional support that they provided during this time was far more valuable. This was hours and hours of work for not just us, but for them as well. Especially in the beginning. As time went on and we began to get our feet underneath us and were moving forward, we did not need to turn to them quite so often. But, whenever we did need them, they were there. I’m quite sure that some conversations and issues and struggles were discussed not just more than once, but likely numerous times as the wealth of information filled our minds to capacity and caused some of it to spill over at times. Lol. That did not matter to them though. And they were more than happy to help us move past each roadblock and get over every hurdle, even if it was repeating themselves time and again.

It takes very special people to do what they did for us over the last few months. So many times we would feel like we were “bothering” them with what, in the grand scheme of things, were not huge issues, but they were issues that were causing us to lose focus and distracting us from our goal. Each and every time though, they helped us regain that focus, even if it meant we just needed someone to vent to. They were there. They brought us down to their shelter in Tennessee for a week of filming for the upcoming reality TV show Horse Rescue Heroes, but primarily to give us the hands on experience that would help us continue to grow and move forward and get ever closer to our goal. This “boot camp” as we called it, taught us more than we ever could have imagined and gave us memories that will last us a lifetime. At a time for us where it seemed as though we were being blocked at every turn and feeling completely hopeless, they gave us hope again and showed us how to get around the roadblocks.

The surrender event this past weekend marked the “end” of the mentoring and the end of the filming for Horse Rescue Heroes. The number of volunteers that attended was mind boggling. We have never had so many people willing to donate their time and energy, especially on such a cold, snowy, slippery day to come out here and help. It shows the support that our mission has. The belief in what we are doing. The desire our followers have to truly help us help as many horses as we can. Every one of them was amazing. Some, lasted out in the cold longer than others. Some, didn’t seem to want to ever leave. Regardless of how long each volunteer lasted, they helped us help 53 horses. Because of their help, because of the mentoring from Horse Plus, because of our hard work the last few months, because of so much….53 horses are no longer in danger of ending up in the slaughter pipeline. And that is such an amazing thing, for not just the horses, but their owners as well. Watch a brief video here.

I want to end with this though: I am not good with words face to face. I get emotional and I don’t like people to see me cry, so I censor my thoughts and everything I am feeling, thinking, going through. So, this weekend, as we were wrapping up the surrender event and the filming of Horse Rescue Heroes and the mentorship from Horse Plus, we did short interviews, etc for the show. There was so much I wanted to say, but with people there right in front of me (and cameras right there as well…lol), I couldn’t do it. So, I am going to take this opportunity to do it and I hope with all my heart that they see this:

Tawnee. Jason. Everyone at Horse Plus that voted for us to receive this grant. You really have no idea how life changing it has been. I am already crying as I’m typing…lol…shocker, right?! Not only was this an amazing experience over the last few months, not only has our organization grown beyond our imagination already, not only do we now have the new barn we so desperately needed and had always been a dream since we opened our gates, but you made my biggest dream come true. My dream of rescue organizations working together. Helping each other. Supporting each other. We had three amazing organizations with the same goal participating this weekend, but to have such a large, established, amazing organization such as Horse Plus take us by the hand and not only help bring us out of troubled waters and help us get to where we are now and to be so comforting, understanding, and just overall completely amazing people, well…it restored my faith that there are organizations in the horse rescue world that truly have one goal: help as many horses as possible. And tearing each other down, trying to destroy others, is not helping any horses…

That has been a dream of mine for so long. And it has been crushed and stomped on and burned so many times…that to see it come true now…I don’t even have the words.

Thank you. For everything. I can no longer type as I can’t see through my tears anymore Lol. But…thank you. We are truly blessed because of you and your are truly blessed people. We cannot wait for the next Boot Camp! We will be there with bells on!!

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In 12 hours we will be on our way to the auction.

In just 12 hours our rescue team will be on our way to the auction. I need to get to bed. But, I don’t even know if I’ll be able to sleep. So many things are running through my mind right now. I can barely even form a clear thought. The auction. The horses here. The work here that needs to be done. The surrender event next weekend. The two horses picked up today that are on their way here. My husband. My dogs. You name it. I’m thinking about it. In just 12 hours, we will be pulling out of the driveway with an empty trailer. In just 12 hours, my husband and our friends will be outside in the cold working on getting the new barn ready for the surrender day next weekend. And I feel guilty not being here to help. I feel guilty that, besides that work, he will have to be in charge of the horses, the dogs, the everything that goes on around here on a daily basis. I feel like I should stay home….

But, we are going into winter here. Actually, sadly, we are pretty much in winter already. Temperatures have been 15-20 degrees below normal for weeks now. And so many people out there are not prepared, or are simply unable (for whatever reason) to get their horses through what is shaping up to be a nightmare of a winter. The surrender day will help. Some. It will help those that are willing to let their horses go for free, and even willing to pay a low-cost surrender fee, to be sure that they will not wind up in the wrong hands. But, those people are the exception to the rule. Most people, unwilling to, God forbid, PAY someone to take on the responsibility for their horse(s), will ship them to auction so they get “paid” for having ever even owned a horse. But, I digress….

Those are the horses that need our help tomorrow. Those are the horses that have me feeling like I’m skipping out on work around here tomorrow. But, they are calling to us. They need us. And we can’t let them down. We need to be there to help as many as we can. The work will always be here. But, their chance at a new life, won’t be. We must go to the auction.

My husband can handle it. If he couldn’t, it would be a different story. I would like to say that I will be thinking about him and our friends out there in the cold tomorrow, and I will. But, for the most part, I will be focused on the horses who are now lost and alone at the auction. Dumped off like they never even mattered to their family. Tossed away because their owner wanted to make a quick buck and didn’t care who that buck came from or where the horse would end up.

So, tonite, I will try to sleep. I will try to make sure I have a clear head tomorrow. I will try to keep myself from bringing home more than we can. But, it will be so hard. We are hoping to save five. But, so far, we have only raised enough to save three. There will be upwards of 50 horses looking at us for help tomorrow. We know we can’t save them all, but we need to try to save as many as we can. Please help us at least save the lives of 5 beautiful souls tomorrow while my husband and our friends bust their butts outside in the cold so we can help innumerable more next weekend. Please. Give now. We are doing everything within our power here. Can you help us do more?

 

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Where were you?

Timon was saved from the auction in July. He arrived terrified with two friends who looked almost exactly like him. They were all beautiful. Their owner explained they just didn’t have time for them anymore and brought them to the auction with little thought (or care) about what would happen to them. And then walked away. Their owner didn’t even stay to see what happened to them. They didn’t stay to “no sale” them if the highest bid was not high enough to keep them off the slaughter truck. They unloaded them, filled out the paperwork so they would be sure to get paid, and drove away. We watched as the trio was unloaded and the fear in their eyes was heart-breaking. But, they still had each other and they were put in a pen together. And they found solace in that.

We watched for the three to come through the auction ring, hoping that by the time they did that we would still have enough funds to save them all. Sadly, we did not. They did not come through until near the end and there had been numerous other horses before them that needed our help. When their turn came, we only had enough for one of them. When we won the winning bid, we had .2 seconds to pick which of the three would be safe and which two would not be. The tears welled up in our eyes and our throats tightened as we fought to hold back the tears. We hoped and prayed that a home would pick up the other two, but it was not to be. Timon was moved out of the ring and back to his pen while his 2 friends were ran straight out to the truck awaiting them. Our tears overflowed from our eyes as we heard them all calling to each other. Never to see each other again. Where were you?

Timon was a basket case when we went to load him. He tried desperately to get a glimpse of his friends and called and called to them as he paced back and forth in his pen. For a while, you could hear them calling back. But, soon the banging and clamoring and the heartbreaking sounds of the slaughter truck being filled with those we couldn’t help stopped. The engine fired up and the trailer noisily pulled away as the sounds of his friends calling back to him faded into the distance. He continued to look for them and call for them. But, they no longer answered. His fear only elevated when he could no longer hear them and our hearts broke for him as we saw the desperation and terror in his eyes. Where were you?

 

The auction is such a traumatic place for horses to begin with and then to watch a horse be separated from his friends, his rocks, his security, because we did not have the funds to save all three was a horror story within a horror story. Timon is doing well now and has a wonderful new life ahead of him, but we cannot help but think of the two friends he had and the horrible fate they suffered because we couldn’t help them too. All three could now have amazing new lives ahead of them, but we were out of funds. Out of funds. Where were you?

The auction is this Saturday and we are hoping and praying that we will not be put in this situation again. Please don’t make us choose which one of a trio of friends will live and which two will not. It is the stuff that keeps us awake at night as the sounds of their calls fading off into the distance haunt us. Will you be there for them this Saturday? Can they count on you to help us help them? Or will we once again be asking…where were you?