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!!