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, the third largest wilderness area in Colorado with 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 Horse Rescue was a grass-roots movement that operated out of backyards and private areas belonging to the generous people of Eagle Colorado. Willow and Sunny are only two out of the estimated six thousand unwanted horses in the state of Colorado alone. The local horse community saw a problem and were coming together, doing everything they could to rectify equine abuse and neglect.
Mountain Valley Horse Rescue works with the local law enforcement and animal cruelty investigators to save horses from bad environments. 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. This outreach comes in many forms where the Mountain Valley Horse Rescue continues to bring the community together.
Giving and Receiving Help
Of the many community programs that Mountain Valley Horse Rescue hosts, the three biggest are the Summer Camp, Mini Horse Heroes, and the High School Rescue Club. The rescue’s summer camp program is a four-day event were children over the age of eight can learn how to ride and earn general horsemanship skills. The rescue’s Mini Horse Heroes is a program for preschoolers that boasts a unique mix of developmental teachings and horse teachings. The High School Rescue Club gives students the opportunity to building leadership skills and to become horse advocates.
Like most nonprofit organizations, Mountain Valley Horse Rescue could not survive without the help of donations. If you can help, consider donating through the rescue’s capital campaign. Funds are needed to improve their facilities. The rescue needs to build a barn, a caretaker residence, indoor and outdoor arenas and a structure for hay storage.
Mountain Valley Horse Rescue Image Gallery
Images provided by MVHR Executive Director Shana Devins