Mountain Valley Horse Rescue
The founding of Mountain Valley Horse Rescue, a pillar of the local community, began back in 2004. Two horses were found abandoned in the Flat Tops Wilderness. This is the third largest wilderness area in Colorado. It has over two hundred thousand acres of land stretching across two national forests. Subsequently named Willow and Sunny, these two horses were the inspiration behind the rescue that we know today.
In its heyday, Mountain Valley was a grass-roots movement that operated out of backyards and private areas. These spaces belonged to the generous people of Eagle Colorado. However, Willow and Sunny are only two out of the estimated 6,000 unwanted horses in Colorado. Therefore the local horse community saw a problem and came together. They are doing everything they can to rectify equine abuse and neglect.
Horse Rescue History
Mountain Valley Horse Rescue works with the local law enforcement and animal cruelty investigators to save horses from bad environments. Also, there are many success stories that can be told from this partnering, like Sparky the Donkey. Sparky found his way to the rescue when it was discovered that his owner’s neglect had left him unable to walk. With the help of the rescue and some attention from a farrier, Sparky is now back on his feet. As a permanent resident at the rescue center, Sparky is now an ambassador for the rescue.
Because of a generous donation from the Shaw Family Foundation through Capital Campaign in 2015, the ranch was finally able to get land as a permanent home for horses in need. Mountain Valley Horse Rescue now operates out of a 114-acre ranch, located in McCoy between Vail and Steamboat Springs. Today the rescue has 32 horses on site. Willow is now used to help educate locals and visitors alike through the rescues outreach. Also, this outreach comes in many forms where the Mountain Valley Horse Rescue continues to bring the community together.
Images provided by MVHR Executive Director Shana Devins