Grand Valley Horse Rescue - Recap of the Year Edition
Updated: Nov 11, 2021
By Brielle Sorensen on November 2021
"If you have gained the trust of a horse, you have won a friend for life." - Unknown
What's Happening Now:
Reminder that GVHR is moving! The Rescue will be relocating to their new location in December
Numerous press releases have been sent out to several newspapers in multiple states (Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, etc.) to help get GVHR's name more out there
GVHR has also hit the television stations in town for commercials, so be on the lookout and hopefully you will see us on TV!
The heart and soul of GVHR, Meemaw, has been nominated for volunteer of the year!! Congratulations we all love you and appreciate you so much!!
The Rescue is still in need of 20 people for paddock help - $4,500 a piece per paddock to help fund the Rescue
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On Halloween of 2020, the Grand Valley Horse Rescue (GVHR) had its launch party at the Mesa County Sheriff Posse gymkhana. GVHR was formed for the purpose of saving horses and retraining them into youth performance horses, providing affordable access to horses for children in the community and to construct a cross county course so that the youth of Western Colorado and Eastern Utah can pursue their Olympic dreams. GVHR was started by a group of eight children ages 6 to 11 and with their parents’ consent.
GVHR’s first rescue was a two and half year-old colt names Wall-E. While with GVHR, Wall-E has been gentled, gelded, halter broke, trained to lead, trailered, shoed and is currently being trained under saddle in preparation for next season.
GVHR’s second rescue was a three-year-old, filly named Butter. While waiting for transport to GVHR, Butter obtained significant injuries. In her first ninety days, she learned to be touched, groomed, fly sprayed, haltered, and led. She celebrated with play time in the arena where she showed off her healed and sound legs.
Life is a balance and with the good comes the bad. GVHR lost their two Alpha mares, RoeSea and True. A celebration of life party was held for each of them where the volunteers perfected their kite flying skills.
GVHR took in two donated horses, Babe and William. They are both in the early-twenties and each have fallen in love with a volunteer or two. Babe has arthritis in her knees and hocks so will need medication and veterinarian care for the rest of her life, so she is a permanent resident. William arrived excited for the next chapter of his life and was adopted out to a volunteer within the first month of his arrival.
Following the lead of the other Colorado rescues, GVHR attended the October horse auction in Delta, Colorado and saved the life of a twenty-three-year-old stallion, Sterling Silver Dollar. Since GVHR is operated by children, he was placed for immediate adoption and found his forever home two weeks after arriving.
GVHR had three permanent horses when they launched. Maximum Horsepower, Paulsar and Simon. Maxi, as he is called around the barn, has been re-trained by one of the children volunteers into a Western Dressage horse and has a forever home with GVHR because of the damage to his legs. Paulsar has a forever home with GVHR because of a race training injury which left him permanently lame. Simon, the old man at 27 years old, is a source of power for one of children volunteers, who was in a horrific ATV accident therefore he has his forever home with GVHR.
At GVHR, there are three rules . . .
1) Horses safe!
2) Kids safe!
3) Have great fun!
The horses are trained by the children using a gentle loving approach where they are taught Western Dressage. In the October 2021 Dressage Show they passed 75% of their tests on Sunday. In addition to showing Western Dressage, the volunteers also participate in the Mesa County Sheriff Posse gymkhana series. Next year, 2022, GVHR plans on attending the National Barrel Horse Association Super Show in Las Vegas and the Western Dressage World Show in Oklahoma.
It is not all fun and games at the rescue. Each horse gets exercised, groomed, and paddock mucked out five out of seven days. But they are fed and checked on twice a day regardless of the weather. On those horrible weather days, the chores continue inside by cleaning tack, organizing the tack room, and fundraising. One of GVHR’s volunteers received her high school letter in the first quarter of her freshman year based on her volunteer hours.
Even though GVHR is run by children, it developed its own fundraising program called 2021. This program solicited 20 sponsors at $21 per month for each horse. Over the summer break from school, after the chores were completed and the heat index prohibited outside activities, GVHR volunteers went door to door to different businesses promoting their 2021 program. This fundraising effort led to a fundraiser that a local restaurant and a fundraiser at the local standup paddleboard facility.
With a constant desire to learn more, GVHR hosted two educational clinics. The first was Patrick Sullivan of Gamilah Unbridled teaching the basics of liberty. Patrick stopped by as he was riding his horse Gamilah from California to Kentucky without a bridle to bring awareness to horse rescues. Second, was Kendra Thorpe of TheraShaye Equine Performance Services. Kendra stopped by and taught a wide variety of massage, stretching and assessment techniques.
GVHR’s motto is if there is a will, there is a way. They located a freshman in high school to design and produce their monthly newsletter. They worked with a local TV station to produce and air a commercial. They maintain an active social media presence, especially a TikTok account, and they built and maintain a website at GVHR.org.
To connect with the community, GVHR had booths at the Fruita Farmers’ Market, the Fruita Fall Festival and the Fruita Coop’s Annual BBQ and Dance. These outreach events worked extremely well, and the youth volunteers increase by over 300%.
Because of the massive influx of volunteers, GVHR will be relocating to their new location in December. The new location will allow GVHR to expand to accommodate an additional twelve horses and the constant flow of new youth volunteers. Clean up on the new location started October 30th, 2021.
GVHR followed the round up of the Sand Wash Basin mustangs closely and will allocated six of their new paddocks for mustangs to be adopted from the BLM. GVHR’s goal is to have the new paddocks constructed, mustangs adopted and home by Christmas.
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Last but not least, we would like to give a huge thank you to the backbone of GVHR, the people who hold it all together, and the muscle of the Rescue: Nick and Par! Both of them are two volunteers who are committed to helping the rescue. Everyday, they wake up early every morning and feed the horses, keep the forks running, and help everywhere they can around the rescue. We appreciate and love both of you and could not be more thankful for everything you have both done for us in the past year, you both truly are everything and we could not do this without you guys!!!
We received some incredible press this week.
Please support us in our move! Below is a holiday wish list.
Phone: (970) 361-5280