Ten years ago the first call came for help. A horse had been abandoned on a nearby ranch and they didn’t want her. She was a handful and beautiful. Could we help find her a home? Fast forward a decade and not only did Lucky get a good home but hard to believe, hundreds of others and mules as well Over the years, we became a legally registered not for profit organization (501c3), included among our partners, with whom we worked, some of the federal agencies with equine programs, including the USFS and Border Patrol. We worked with private guest and dude ranches and were able to place horses in homes, rather than their owners taking them to the auction and most certainly slaughter. Some were rideable, some were not, some were old and some were young. But our philosophy then which continues today, “there is the right home for every horse and the right horse for every person.”
Since that first horse a decade ago, we launched the EQUUS INTERNATIONAL Film Festival as an outreach and education event of Horse Haven Montana and the next festival and conference is coming up this September in Missoula – “Icon of the American West, the Global Impact of the Horse” is our theme.
But there’s something else that that’s new and we’re in the planning and development stage – “new beginnings for horse and human.” Over the past few years, we’ve worked informally with young people and their families and some of our rescue horses. The outcomes were special — children who had difficulty with focus, learning or other challenges blossomed. They learned empathy, responsibility and increased their ability to communicate. They learned about the horses and showed a great deal of care and concern for their welfare. Winston Churchill certainly knew about the relationship we can build with a horse when he said “there’s something about the outside of a horse that’s good for the inside of a man.” Beginning next year, we hope to launch a program that connects horses and mules with children, young adults and eventually people of all ages — good for the rescue horse and good for the person; as simple as that.
But today, on our 10th anniversary, there are still horses to find homes for, horses in need and adoptions to make. Please be a part of Horse Haven Montana and join us for the EQUUS INTERNATIONAL Film Festival. Together, we can all be a part of a new beginning for an equine in need.