ASHVILLE – From an early age, Kim Turner has loved horses.
“I was the child who every year at Christmas when I made out my list to Santa, a horse was at the top of my list,” Turner said.
She said when she was a little girl, they lived in a neighborhood where they did not have much land, but her mom’s twin sister always lived on a farm.
“Visiting my aunt was when I learned to ride,” she said.
Finally, at the age of 25, Turner purchased five acres in Ashville, and the first thing she did was purchase a horse of her own that she could have in her own yard.
“Six months later, I purchased my second horse,” Turner said. “I had both of them up until about two years ago after about 23 years. Although I never got a horse for Christmas, I did get one for Mother’s Day a few years ago.”
Today, Turner owns six horses, and three of them are rescue horses. She said it means the world to her to be able to save these horses from being euthanized.
“There is a company from Tennessee that comes and buys these horses for a kill pen,” she said. “These kill pens will give them a certain amount of time to sell the horses. The ones not sold are shipped to Mexico and slaughtered.”
Turner’s daughter Madison is following in her mom’s footsteps when it comes to horses.
“Madison does all of the hard stuff now,” Turner said. “She does all of the riding, keeping them in shape, while I do all of the petting, loving and grooming. I got them all at the same time, so they got really old at the same time. We stopped riding a lot of them because they were just too old. Now we have this new herd (all but one) that we rescued. They are all in good shape and ridable.”
Turner said she becomes very emotional when she talks about being able to save these horses that were doomed to be shipped to Mexico or Canada. One of the horses she has today was within 3 hours of being sent off.
“Once they come here, they never leave,” she said. “They have a home and love forever. It makes me feel proud that today I have the room for them (20-plus acres). If I had 1,000 acres, I definitely would have 500 horses.”
Although Kim never received that special horse on Christmas morning, Madison did at the age of 12.
Reach Gary Hanner at email@example.com.