Kendra and John Tuck are from Shawnee, Kansas and they were part-time residents of Sunrise Beach, until 2016 when they built a house in Linn Creek, near the Sanctuary. John still commutes to Kansas City, where he teaches computer programming, while they are in the process of selling their house there. It seems that Kendra spends most of her time volunteering at the Sanctuary. John also volunteers when he is home here at the Lake.
I asked Kendra how they got started volunteering at the Sanctuary. She said, “I saw a newspaper article in August 2012 about Connie and the rescue during that year’s terrible drought. I came out for a visit, and just started spending more and more time there.” Kendra went on to say that she grew up with horses, starting at age 2, and she has loved them her whole life. Her husband, John had no horse experience, but was always fascinated by them.
After all these years of working with the horses, Kendra knows the dietary requirements and care that each one needs. Whenever one of the new volunteers has a question about a horse, Kendra is always there to help and let them know the type and amount of grain or supplements that they should feed them. John is very handy, and he helps out with any repairs or maintenance that needs to be done, like fixing fences or anything mechanical that breaks. He also helps move the horses into their feeding pens.
Kendra adopted Queenie in April 2013 and John adopted Peanut in September 2015. They love to load up their horses and trailer them to the MO State Park that is nearby and go riding on the trails. Queenie is a 15 year old Missouri Fox Trotter mare, and Kendra adopted her shortly after she arrived at the Sanctuary. Peanut is a 12 year old registered Racking horse mare. A Racking horse is a cross between a registered Tennessee Walking horse and a registered American Saddlebred horse.
When asked about why she and John have volunteered for so many years, Kendra stated, “We love Connie and the great group of volunteers. It is incredible to see how love and attention changes horses from being fearful and untrusting of humans to being total love bugs. Watching them be adopted into loving homes is so wonderful, but sometimes bittersweet. It's so easy to get attached to the horses. It is also wonderful to be with other people who share a love of horses and work hard as a unit to ensure they all are healthy and happy. We want all the horses to have a chance at a wonderful life, no matter what circumstances they came from.”