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Thu, Mar 16



Equine Collaborative International Webinar

The kids of GVHR will be discussing the rescue, the culture, Project Cirrus, and how the rescue has changed them.

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Equine Collaborative International Webinar
Equine Collaborative International Webinar

Time & Location

Mar 16, 2023, 5:00 PM – Mar 17, 2023, 6:00 PM



About the event

Free to the Community: The Kids of the Grand Valley Horse Rescue will be featured this Thursday, March 16th at 5 PM MST on the Equine Collaborative International, Inc Winter Webinar Series.

The Equine Collaborative International is dedicated to empowering the equine community through cooperation and education and they accomplish this mission through a quarterly magazine and a frequent webinar series. Grand Valley Horse Rescue will be speaking in the final webinar of the winter series about their growth, about their culture and about Project Cirrus.

Equine Collaborative International, Inc

“Empowering the equine community through cooperation and education” is the mission statement of the 501-c-3 non-profit organization, Equine Collaborative International, Inc, which was started in 2019 by a small group of people with very diverse horse backgrounds. The entire Board was, and is, committed to allowing all equine disciplines to be represented without prejudice. A scholarship was immediately established and has been awarded yearly since 2019. Creating a spirit of cooperation among horse people can be, at best, a challenge. With the diversity of the Board of Directors and our membership increasing across the Country, and even across borders, the educational base expanded quickly, and the spirit of cooperation has, surprisingly, kept pace. The webinars that have become part of ECI’s landscape were born of necessity when the pandemic limited in-person meetings. The webinar platform has grown and strengthened as our membership spread.

In addition to the webinar platform, ECI uses a website (, a Facebook page (Equine Collaborative International) and ‘Groundwork’, a quarterly newsletter/magazine to keep communication streams flowing. Groundwork is open to submissions on a great variety of topics from any equine discipline or business, as well as letters to the editor, advertising, photography, art, etc.

The last webinar in the ECI Winter Webinar Series will feature the kids of Grand Valley Horse Rescue, GVHR, where they will be discussing their growth, their culture, and Project Cirrus. GVHR has cultivated a culture of acceptance and inclusion where children and horses connect in a judgement free atmosphere. The rules are simple: Horses safe! Kids safe! Have great fun!

Fun is a fundamental philosophy! Research has shown that both horses and humans learn at a faster pace in correlation with the amount of fun they are having.  Therefore, since horses mirror emotions, they will mirror the fun and try to include themselves in the game which leads to new behavior and healing of past abuse.

Grand Valley Horse Rescue:

GVHR is a horse rescue therefore all the horses come with baggage! This is not a good thing nor is it a bad thing, it is simply a fact. It is the rescue’s responsibility to accept the horse with the baggage. We help them unpack their bags by patiently working through the issues with love until they are physically or emotionally healed of their past traumas. The baggage discussion takes place during the initial introduction tour of the rescue and is expanded to explain that humans also have baggage, and we need help unpacking our bags, so please accept everyone with love.

Not there yet! The pace in which the horses and the children progress through the program is determined by the horse or the human or both. If the horse or human just is not there yet, there is no pressure to progress further, but tons of encouragement and supervision is always on hand at every child/horse encounter.

Learn – Do – Teach! Everyone is encouraged to share their knowledge. As an example: In January, all activities moved into the barn for a week because of snow, there was a school holiday on Monday and Maya (the only person who has taken vaulting lessons) taught those at the rescue several new vaulting moves. By Sunday, those same vaulting moves were being taught by someone who learned on Friday by someone who learned on Wednesday from someone who saw Maya’s demonstration. There are times when the adults simply let the kids hang out together in the arena, while we observe their interaction. New kids openly except the instruction and example set by someone more learned.

Sharing! The rescue operates on donated tack, donated helmets, donated riding boots and surrendered horses that everyone shares. Apparently, some boots, like the white boots, are luckier than others because the white boots have been worn during a reserve championship performance and two championship performances two year apart by two different riders and horses.

No exclusions! To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to participate, GVHR has a scholarship program which provides reduced or no charge participation in the horsemanship herd at the rescue. There are several school counselors that send students into the program and those students are allowed to participate at no charge. This program also provides the resources for the intern from Palisade high schools and the community outreach course at R5 High School.

The community outreach course at R-5 aims to build community relationships and give back however they can. The learners have gravitated mostly toward GVHR because of the equine therapy, bonding with horses, and rehabilitating that takes place. The learners have become leaders at this site and work to build community amongst themselves and with the horses.

The R5 High School class participated in a rescue of five Sand Wash Basin senior mustangs last week. These mustangs were being rescued by For the Love of Aria from the eastern slope of Colorado. On Thursday night, a few of the students from R5 High School will be speaking about how they felt being part of the rescue effort.

Project Cirrus was started by Grand Valley Horse Rescue, and the Eagles and Wild Horses Ranch, with cooperation with Horse and Human Rescue, and Ataraxis Mindful Mustangship to ensure that no Mustang from Mesa, Delta, Montrose, or Ouray Counties ever find themselves on that long dark train to a kill pen. Since May 2022, Project Cirrus has played a role in finding a better future for several Mustangs and those adventures are detailed on

The GVHR community is welcome to zoom in for free to hear directly from the kids about their horses, their philosophies, their adventures, their personal growth, and the vision for the future. The zoom meeting will be hosted by Scott Beckstead, the Director of Campaigns for Animal Wellness Action. When asked to host this meeting he said “The future of America’s equines looks a lot brighter when children and youth pick up their cause. It’s an honor and a privilege to be moderating this conversation with tomorrow’s leaders.”

Here is the link to Thursday night’s, March 16, 2023, zoom meeting at 5 PM MST:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 815 1202 2915

Passcode: HORSE

Dial by your location

+1 646 931 3860 US

+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

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Meeting ID: 815 1202 2915

Passcode: 898164

Anyone who would like to receive more information about Equine Collaborative International, or a sample copy of Groundwork should email a request to:

Anyone who would like to receive more information about Grand Valley Horse Rescue, please contact Shelle deVergie at or 9703615280 or go to

Anyone who would like to receive more information about the R5 High School Community Outreach Course, please contact Katie Allender via email:

All individuals participating in this event under the age of 18 have a signed press and social media release form on file with GVHR.


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