To advocate for and rescue, protect, and defend equine from abuse and neglect in Tennessee.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Introducing Surprise Last-Minute Sub Dancer - David Margetson!!

David Margetson
is the husband of the the Executive Director of Horse Haven of Tennessee. He enjoys riding his Harley with his friends through the beautiful countryside of Tennessee. He is employed through Knox County Schools first as a Vocational Computer Repair teacher but now serves as an Information Technology Specialist. He has been a long time supporter of HHT and its cause. He has dedicated plenty of sweat hours while supporting the work of HHT. When a fill in was needed to replace a dancer for this event he stepped right up to the challenge.

To cast your vote for David and help him catch up after a late start, please visit:

The current standings are:
1. Heather Craig - 490 votes
2. Dr. Steve Adair - 450 votes
3. Erika Adams - 346 votes
4. Kathy Kear - 215 votes
5. Jamie Lynn Drohan - 200 votes
6. David Margetson - 55 votes
7. Mike Hammond - 40 votes

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Introducing Dancer #7 - Heather Craig!

Heather Craig is an attorney with Holbrook Peterson & Smith, PLLC. The firm specializes in estate planning and charitable planning.

She became interested in Horse haven after seeing a booth set up at a local horse show. She grew up in Knoxville, graduating from Farragut High School. Proceeded on to Hollins University in Roanoke, VA where she received her B.A, and then went on to UT College of Law and earned her J.D.

She has been riding for many years and currently owns 2 thoroughbred mares (mother and daughter), ages 21 and 7. Heather has competed in several disciplines, including eventing, hunter/jumper, and dressage.

To vote for Heather, please go to:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Introducing Dancer #6 - Dr. Matthew Lester!

Dr. Matthew Lester
has been a licensed Chiropractor since 2000. He attends numerous seminars around the country to bring the most current and effective techniques back to the Knoxville area.

He is a Logan Chiropractic graduate and has been freeing people from pain since 2001 in his clinic at 901 Merchants Rd. in Knoxville, Tn. As a Chiropractor with experience, he is committed to promoting the health and well being of his patients. Dr. Lester uses a "whole person approach" when taking care of his patients. By combining the very best hands-on-technique and state of the art physiotherapy procedures, Dr. Lester is able to help you to accelerate and/or maintain your journey to good health.

To vote for Dr. Lester, please visit:!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Introducing Dancer #5 - Erika Adams!

Erika Adams was raised in Knoxville and she graduated from Farragut high school. After earning her bachelors degree in communications from the University of Tennessee, Erika moved to Atlanta, Ga to pursue her horse career with 3-Day Event Olympians Stuart and Julie Black.

Erika Spent a few years working under the Blacks, and then she moved to Middleburg, VA to train under equestrian great Jimmy Wofford. After spending a few years in Middleburg, Erika decided to move back home and pursue her goals in the area she grew up.

She has spent the past 7 years competing and teaching local enthusiasts how to event. Erika is a big supporter of United States Pony Club and feels strongly about giving back to the community.

Some highlight's of her career are:
* Competed to the CCI*** level
* Longlisted for the Athens Olympic Games
* Longlisted for the 2010 World Equestrian Games

Right now Erika is in a very close second place in our voting! She is nipping at Dr. Adair's heels and just needs a few more votes! To vote for Erika, please go to:

Monday, September 13, 2010

Introducing Dancer #4 - Dr. Steve Adair from UT Vet School

Dr. Adair earned his D.V.M from Auburn University after receiving his Bachelor's and Master's from Auburn University. After receiving his D.V.M., Dr. Adair spent two years in private equine practice and completed a surgery residency at the University of Tennessee. He is presently an Associate Professor of Equine Surgery, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville.

Dr. Adair is board certified as a Diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and as a Diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. He is also Certified in Animal Chiropractic by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. Dr. Adair’s primary research areas include Equine Laminitis, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Equine Rehabilitation. Dr. Adair has been conducting research since 1986 and has been published in numerous journals, including the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Journal of Veterinary Research, Veterinary Surgery and the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Equine Practioners.

To cast your vote for Dr. Adair (he's currently in first!), please visit this link:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Introducing Dancer #3 - Kathy Kear!

Kathy Kear is a professional writer and the owner of The Horse Emporium in Knoxville, TN.

She is a native Knoxvillian holding B.A. and M.S. degrees from the University of Tennessee. She has been a professional writer for 25 years and has been published in numerous national publications as well as being a free-lance journalist for The Knoxville News Sentinel. She is also a public relations consultant.

Being a lifelong horse lover, Kathy decided in 2006 to pursue her dream of opening an equestrian retail store designed to enhance the equestrian lifestyle and thus, The Horse Emporium was born. The 2000 square foot shop is located at 6210 Chapman Highway in Knoxville and serves English and Western riders, catering not only to horse owners but to all who love horses.

Kathy and husband Russell (a building contractor) have two daughters (Candace and Ashley) and enjoy life on their farm with their animals including horses of course!

To cast your vote for Kathy, please go to!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Introducing Dancer #2 - Mike Hammond!!

Mike Hammond has been selected as Chairman of the Knox County Commission for the coming year. He was elected as Commissioner at Large Seat 10 with 86 percent of the vote. Hammond was first elected to the Knox County Commission for a partial term in 2004 and elected to a full term in 2006.

A native of Hawkins County, Hammond graduated from the University of Tennessee and is director of Operations for Citadel Broadcasting of Knoxville. He and his wife, Vivica, have four children, all of whom are married and three grandchildren.

Mike is the newest member of the Country Radio Hall of Fame having been inducted in February of 2010 by Taylor Swift. He has been named Broadcaster of the Year by the Associated Press, Program Director of the Year by the Country Music Association, and received the prestigious Edward R. Murrow award for this coverage of Tornadoes striking East Tennessee in 1996.

He was named Elected Official of the Year by the Knox County Council of PTA and was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the PTA and Farragut Primary School. Active in the community, Mike has been Co-Chair of the Dogwood Arts Festival, and Chairman of the Red Cross as well as serving on the Boards of United Way, Tennessee Theater, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Knox County Drug Court and has consulted numerous charities regarding fund raising. He was a member of the Leadership Knoxville Class of 1998 and serves as Co-Chair of the Transportation Planning Organization.

To cast your vote for Mike, please visit:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Introducing Dancer #1 - Jamie Lynn Drohan from WATE

Jamie Lynn Drohan currently works for ABC Channel 6 WATE-TV and
Good Morning Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. She is also a columnist for HQ Magazine and writes a column entitled "Is This Thing On? My Life as a TV Host"...

Jamie worked for Westfield TV 36 from 2006 - 2009 as Director of Operations were she ran a local television station in NJ.

She also worked at Comcast during this time as an Anchor/Producer and hosted red carpet shows that aired on CNN Headline News.

She extremely excited about dancing for the horses and is ready to kick butt and take names!

Special Event Alert - Dancing for the Horses!

Horse Haven of TN is pleased to announce a very special fundraising event!

Dancing For the Horses

Monday, October 11th at the Cotton Eyed Joe!!

$10 admission gets you into the "Dancing For The Horses" fundraiser from 7 - 9 PM and there will be a Joe Nichols concert immediately following at 10:00 PM. Special Meet-And-Greet tickets with Joe are also available for $25.

We will be featuring 7 teams of dancers comprised of and judged by local celebrities. The lovable DJ Jack Ryan from WVIK will be our MC for the evening. Judges will be influenced by the number of votes each dancer earns during the online voting period!

You can meet the dancers and vote at the following page:

You can also get more information on the event at the Cotton Eyed Joe's website:

Over the next week we will be introducing each dancer here as well. Please vote for your favorite and help raise money for HHT!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Guest Post! Before and After - Chilly, Cannon County #55

Author: Samara Pitz-Riggin

I had only traveled to Nashville as a Horse Haven of TN agent/volunteer to help with this horrific rescue involving 84 starved and abused horses:

Then I saw him...Cannon County, Tennessee horse #55, a four year old, 16.1 hands high, cremello Tennessee Walking Horse Stallion. He was standing with his head down, sad blue eyes, and a nasty cough - not your picture of fine health. Between loading trailers, I would sneak down the aisle that #55 called home. Finally, I walked into his stall. He leaned over in my direction, coughed, and looked right at me. It was gut-wrenching.

On the way back to the HHT barn in Knoxville, he consumed my thoughts. As a veterinary technician for twenty years, I've learned not to bring everything home - and trust me, that's not even my nature! Nina, HHT's Executive Director, told me that she would check into his status with HSUS (the Humane Society of the United States) if I wanted her to do so....

Needless to say, I was on my way back to Nashville four days later! At the Fairgrounds, #55 was over his illness, no fever or cough, and feeling every bit like a four year old stallion! What have I done? What have I agreed to? My husband is going to kill me! (If this horse doesn't first!) But there it was again, that cool, blue look as he hopped on the trailer for the three hour ride HOME.

It was obvious that #55 had been a stall kept stud. Unlike the other Cannon County horses, he had a long, lush mane and tail. It took him over a week to leave his stall on his own. His first "room" at the new place was a 12 X 24 foot stall leading to a small 2 acre pasture with his new goat brothers, Henry and Ralphie. Grass was a new experience, as was mud, the water tank and dogs. Having six dogs, it was going to be very important for #55 to "play well" with them!

After a careful re-feeding program when his weight and health were stable, a small "procedure" was completed before Spring arrived and the mares started coming into heat. Hormones gone, it was time to see what kind of education the big boy had. Ground manners were very nice, bridling was no problem, and saddling he seemed okay with. Knowing my limitations, this is where the professional comes in! We found a fabulous trainer in Tellico Plains, TN - Rayna Granger. Within one day, Rayna called and told me I had a very willing partner and a diamond in the rough. He knew some of the basics - probably trained "old school" Walking horse style (up and down a barn isle to prep for shows). And within thirty days, we were well on the way to becoming a trail super star! Two weeks later, we headed to Middle Tennessee for a four day camping/ride. AMAZING!

We even met one of the Cannon County deputies who helped in the case. This big, burly man got tears in his eyes as he stroked #55's head. He said he was so happy that this horse was going to have a happy ending.

And he will. Number 55 has changed my life. I've already learned so much in just seven months. I can't wait to see what our future brings, including many, many competitive trail rides around the Southeast we hope!

Oh, and his name? Number 55 is now named after a Jimmy Buffett song - "Licensed to Chill" aka "Chilly". Those Cannon County horses certainly earned their license to chill!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Remembering Missy - Volunteer Guest Post

I met Missy during my first month as a volunteer at Horse Haven of Tennessee. Following my volunteer shifts, I am able to do Reiki (a relaxation and healing technique) work on the horses that our barn manager feels would benefit from the practice. I had been working primarily with a Hackney pony named Napoleon. Napoleon had a severe mistrust of most people, with the exception of our barn manager. He had been coming along nicely, so when a new group of rescues arrived, I began to work with them as well.

The first horse I chose to work with was Missy. As I entered her stall, I realized this was the type of moment I had most feared since begining my work at Horse Haven. Missy was severely emaciated, very weak and blind in one eye. She openly welcomed me into her space. She had been munching on a large pile of hay, deeply contented. You could see the relief in her face to have clean water and what probably seemed to her to be a never-ending supply of hay.

I began to let the the Reiki flow from the corner of her stall. She stopped munching to shift her stance in my direction. As the minutes rolled by, she began to lower her head into a relaxed position. After some time passed, she approached me and put her head right into my hands. This was a new experience for me as Napoleon had exclusively preferred to experience Reiki without contact. Missy directed my hands to her blind side, clearly wanting to feel the Reiki near her blind eye and on the side of her head.

After a while, she stepped forward and leaned into me so I could place my hands on her chest and shoulder. She gradually repositioned herself so that I could place my hands on the sharp prominent bones of her spine and hind quarters. It was in this very moment, while working with such a trusting and beautiful albeit severly neglected soul, that I realized that the Reiki was lifting me up and way from my fear and sorrow. The Reiki was allowing me to hold the light for Missy, creating the healing space that she desperately needed. It was even more amazing that I felt the forgiveness pouring out of her heart toward all human kind and to those that had abused her. She could see far behond this, even in her weakened condition, to allow another human to share her space, remaining fully open to the experienc that unfolded between us.

I thanked Missy for the healing she offered me and for giving me the privilege to create a healing space for her with Reiki. As I said good-bye to her, I was already looking forward to our next session the following week. I did distant Reiki work on her the following two days and felt a connection with her and acceptance of the Reiki treatments.

The following Sunday when I arrived for my weekly shift, my heart dropped when I saw that her stall was empty. I frantically sought out my shift leader who sadly informed me that Missy had colicked and despite all efforts to save her, she had died. She was surrounded by the volunteers on duty that night who had selflessly stayed until midnight to assit the veterinary team. She died peacefully, surrounded by love and caring that had been absent from her life for far too long. I still think of Missy to this day and feel so blessed to have known this beautiful spirit, even for such a short time. Her memory will remain with me always.

Below are some pictures taken of Missy on the day she was picked up and brought to Horse Haven. If you visit, you can see lots of photographs of other horses who came from the same situation that Missy was in. Please open your hearts and help these horses in need.

- Carrie Dorsey-Higdon

Monday, June 28, 2010

Before and After Monday - Eagle!

Eagle came into Horse Haven in 2007, along with several other horses from a horrific neglect situation in Northeast Tennessee. He was a walking skeleton when he arrived. This was a far cry from how Eagle should have ever been treated. He is a 16.2 hand Thoroughbred gelding with stellar bloodlines, but was not a consistent winner on the racetrack. He was rehomed from the racetrack and ended up in the horrible situation from which he was saved by Horse Haven.

Here is a picture of what Eagle looked like after a few weeks of careful re-feeding at Horse Haven:

A volunteer at Horse Haven became very attached to Eagle and somehow knew he was the horse for her. Who could resist such a face?

More than 15 months after Eagle first came to Horse Haven, he was finally released by the court after his previous owner's animal cruelty case resulted in a conviction. Eagle could FINALLY go to his forever home with the volunteer that first felt a connection with him. With good nutrition, he filled out to look like this:

Eagle started out his new career and flourished. After getting into shape and some more training, he went to some horse shows and was a star.

He has brought home many ribbons.

Eagle has been trail-riding and is a great fearless trail horse too. He has also gave cross-country jumping a try and he loves it! Sometimes he may be a little bored with small jumps so he has to jump BIG!

He learned about crossing water for the first time and decided that a cold creek on a hot day is a great thing!

Lately Eagle has been practicing dressage. He always needs something new to challenge his smart Thoroughbred brain. So far, he has succeeded at everything he has tried.

While much of Eagle's life was uncertain and cruel, he now has a happy, lifetime partnership where he is pampered and appreciated. Maybe you can find your "diamond in the rough" at Horse Haven too!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Featured Horse of the Week - PJ

This week’s featured adoptable horse is actually a pony! PJ is a cute little 13 year old pinto gelding who stands about 13 hands tall. He was brought into Horse Haven with his two sons, Stormy and Banjo, when his elderly owner could no longer care for the trio.

PJ (center) and his sons Stormy and Banjo:

When the three first arrived they were almost wild. There were terrified of people, horrible to lead and they loved to bite and nibble. Gradually, they came to love and respect the Horse Haven volunteers and became quite amicable little guys.

PJ, Stormy, and Banjo investigating volunteer Hannah Rose:

PJ checking out volunteer Ashley's flat friend:

Unfortunately, they also developed the ability to become escape artists and liked to break out of their pasture to get into the pastures with the big horses. After doing this a few times, one of the big horses had enough of their shenanigans and kicked PJ! The kick broke PJ’s leg right below his shoulder. Anyone who knows horses can tell you that a broken leg is usually a death sentence for a horse as surgery is expensive and recovery is difficult, if not impossible, as horses need all of their legs to support their weight.

Unbelievably, an anonymous donation came in the mail to HHT in the exact amount that the University of Tennessee Vet Hospital was going to charge HHT for PJ’s surgery, $1,000! Because PJ is a pony, he has a better build to support surgery and healing on a gimpy leg, so off PJ went for surgery!

When PJ returned to the HHT barn a few days later, he had his entire leg in a cast. His rehab and recuperation included months of stall rest with hand walking, then months of limited turnout in a dry lot. Finally, after quite a long time, the doctor determined that PJ was completely healed and he could return to his normal, happy pony life!

PJ and his cast on stall rest:

PJ has had an exciting life since being cleared from his injury. In October, PJ dressed up as a mer-pony in an underwater themed stall at Boo at the Barn. He didn’t forget his jailbird ways, however, and was able to slide under his stall guard and go for a walk around the event, saying hello to all of the kids. Fortunately he was found by the volunteers and brought back to his stall before he caused any more trouble.

PJ and volunteer Sue greeting guests at Boo at the Barn:

This past May, PJ reinvented his acting skills and became a beach bum in the stall decorating contest at the Spring Fling. PJ was quite the little ham, sporting giant sunglasses and a flower lei.

HHT has also found out that PJ is a good little lead line pony. His shoulder injury seems to have had no lasting effect on his ability to cart youngsters around on his back.

So, if you find yourself loving PJ as much as our HHT volunteers do, why don’t you come visit him at our next monthly Open House Adoption Day on July 10th from 10 am to 2 pm when he’ll be giving some free pony rides? PJ has been with HHT for over a year and it’s time for him to find a permanent home of his own!

PJ and his new best friend Perry, the 8 month old Paso Fino colt:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thank You Thursday!!

Sorry everyone! Due to some technical issues, Thank You Thursday is being posted now instead of yesterday, sorry!

Today Horse Haven of Tennessee wishes to extend a HUGE Thank You to Donna!!!! Donna is our Volunteer Coordinator. She is in charge of recruiting, communicating with and training new volunteers. She is in charge of doing the master monthly barn schedule for the volunteer morning and evening shifts caring for the horses. She also helps out at our monthly Open House Adoption Days and every single special event we hold. Not to mention, she is out at the barn multiple times a week rolling up her sleeves and getting dirty with the volunteers mucking out stalls, hauling hay and turning out horses.

We love you Donna and are so grateful for all your help!! THANK YOU!!!
Donna and Bonita have a special bond:

Donna loves little Perry:

Donna cooking S'Mores for the kids at Boo at the Barn:

Donna and Jan talking about PJ's beach themed stall at Spring Fling:

Donna getting Sugar saddled up at Open House Adoption Day:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Upcoming Special Events

1. This Saturday Horse Haven will be hosting its first ever Competitive Trail Challenge! Trail Challenges are designed to test the bond between you and your horse and are a great way to hone your skills for safe trail riding. The event will be held at Lovingood Springs Farm on Miser Station Road, Louisville, TN. Registration begins at 9:00 am and the first rider will hit the course at 10:00 am.

There will be 12 judged challenges in the arena for beginners and an additional 7 judged speed challenges will be out on the trail for advanced riders. Some of the obstacles include:
Bridge Crossing Merry Go Round
Tarp Backing
Logs Ground Tying
Mount & Dismount Leading
Car Wash Serpentine
Barrels Water Crossing
Log Pull Rain Slicker
Canter Speed
Mailbox Gate
Side Pass Trailer Loading

The trails at Lovingood will also be open for all-day riding for any additional $10 wrist band. The challenge will go on rain or shine!!

2. On Saturday July 10th, Horse Haven will be opening the gates of our barn at 10:00 am to the public for our monthly Open House Adoption Day. We will be displaying all of our rideable horses, giving pony rides for smaller children and at 2:00 pm we will host a Horse Ownership Class. This month's topic is preparing your horse for trail riding and practicing trail obstacles. So bring your apples and carrots and have some fun in the sun with the HHT horses!

3. Next, on July 19th, Horse Haven will be taking over Family Night at the Cotton Eyed Joe! Horse Haven will be receiving the proceeds for everyone who comes out and partakes in the event. On Family Night there are no alcohol sales, free dance lessons, and food! So bring your family and come out at 6:00 pm and support Horse Haven. Depending on the weather, a rescue horse or two may make a special appearance in the Joe's parking lot!

4. Finally, be on the lookout for more info as Horse Haven is sponsoring a Dancing for the Horses - Western Style competition. Four teams of local Knoxville celebrities will compete in a dancing competition to raise money for HHT. The competition will be held at the Cotton Eyed Joe, date and time to be determined.

Follow Dancing for the Horses on Facebook!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fundraising Efforts

As we all know, no animal rescue can operate without community support. Please check out some of our current fundraising campaigns and see if you or anyone you know may be able to contribute! Of course, we will never turn down gifts of cash, hay, feed, or tack. Every donation is tax deductible.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Before and After Monday - Kip!

Kip came in from a rescue case in which there were 10 horses and 3 owners. One of the horses had to be put down because of starvation and other problems coming from that sort of situation. Horse Haven knew Kip had been ridden previously because according to the owner he was the best riding horse ever. Only one horse of the group had a good weight. Kip was very underweight.

Here is Kip when he was first brought to Horse Haven:

Kip struggled to stay alive. There were many days at the barn that the volunteers would come in and find him laying down, refusing to get up. Horse Haven came so close to making "that call" many times, but every time Kip would find the will to live and bounce back. After the many trials Kip went through when his owner surrendered him and he came to HHT, Kip was also found to have navicular disease and cannot ever be ridden. Pasture pets are hard to adopt out and Kip's future looked bleak.

One of Horse Haven's board members decided to foster a horse as a companion for her horse. This is Kip when he first came to his new home almost a year ago. Look how sad his eyes are and the way he stands.

A couple of months later in September, look how shiny his coat was! After much thought about Kip's future, he was adopted by the foster home.

Kip receives acupuncture every 6 weeks. He had a little problem with acting sore for a couple of weeks, so his vet and farrier decided to put shoes with wedges to keep his heel elevated. Kip is running around again and is not acting sore.

This is with his pasture mate, Mandy. She cannot be ridden either and enjoys quite a good retirement with Kip.

Here is a picture of Kip receiving his acupuncture treatment. Think he enjoys it?

Kip is a shining example of a horse that almost didn't make it, but because of Horse Haven and its caring volunteers and supporters he got a second chance. Horse Haven has no shortage of horses in need of someone to show them that not all humans are abusive and that they too can have a great, happy, satisfying life!