WHERE we are dedicated to providing a forever home to horses in need. We provide a natural, herd-based living environment offering safety, health enhancement, companionship and play. These horses then give back to the community through our equine facilitated learning program for humans by participating in resiliency training and social and emotional fitness education through equine guided activities.
Horses - Current Sanctuary Residents:
Our beautiful, Golden Palomino mare, b. 1990, was raised from 6 months of age, by a loving family who didn’t realize all the care she needed, especially ferrier care -like having her feet trimmed. At age 26 when they could no longer afford to care for her, she was relinquished to our sanctuary, and we have gotten her feet as “normal as they can be – she is gentle, kind and is growing accustomed to regular ferrier care – we first had to use tranquilizers to help her relax for trimming, but now she patiently takes her turn. She loves being groomed by our volunteers, and is especially fond of apples, carrots and horse cookies.
b. March 25, 2000, is a registered Quarter Horse mare surrendered from a boarding facility near Victor, Montana where she was abandoned by her owner. The boarding facility had stopped feeding her for several months as the owner wasn’t paying for her care and the facility was about to go bankrupt. When we picked her up, Belle was living on her own manure and algae in her water trough. She is a lovely dappled buckskin color and has a very sweet disposition. Belle was bred and raised to be a barrel racing horse, near Denver, Colorado. At age 2, she was herded into a stock trailer with several other 2yo colts and fillies and sent to the Denver Livestock Sale. There, she was put in a chute, haltered, vaccinated and sold to the person from Montana who eventually abandoned her. Five years later at age 7, when we brought her home, her original halter had grown onto her face, and still shows some scarring. She was skeletal in condition and untamed. Belle loves to have her belly scratched and moans in ecstasy at every feeding. She sometimes assists in the MontanaQuest EFL programs.
b. May 28, 1998, his registered name, is Finn Winn. He is a black American Warmblood gelding. No longer able to stay on with his previous owner, Blaxen and his best buddy, Cimarron, joined our herd in 2009. Blaxen is a good-natured gentleman who has a few tricks up his sleeve which he shows off in exchange for carrots, apples or other treats and applause! Blaxen does not tolerate a bit in his mouth but may be ridden in a rope halter. He no longer enjoys providing riding lessons for youthful riders and has retired to participating in the non-riding activities in the MontanaQuest programs when invited. Blaxen’s previous owner made a generous donation of tack and equipment when she brought him to us.
Bright Angel -
b. 2007, our resident burro, is a grey dun color as are his wild relatives. He is a gentle-natured guy with a definite “out loud” opinion about when feeding time should be. "Brighty" previously worked at a therapeutic riding center but didn't like that job - as he refused to be caught they gave him to a home where he was much loved by the family - they fell on hard times and decided to surrender him to RPHS along with a pasture buddy, Magic. He moved here to the sanctuary in 2015. He now loves to participate in the MontanaQuest EFL Programs. He gives amazing hugs to volunteers and clients.
b. 2006, lives up to his name – he is a silvery grey paint miniature horse with a cuteness factor of at least 100 on a scale of 1-10. His owner chose to move him to the sanctuary when his brother passed away and her local farming business demanded all her time. He enjoys senior visitors from local nursing homes, 4-H kids, and pretty much everyone he has contact with. He participates regularly and with enthusiasm in the MontanaQuest EFL Programs.
b. Spring 2006 is an American mustang captured as a 6 month old foal. He is a striking, golden buckskin color with all the traditional dun markings on shoulders, legs and back. He was adopted by Blaxen’s previous owner and then joined us in 2009 along with his best buddy. Cimarron participates in our EFL program, volunteer training, and in general, loves people. In captivity, Mustangs often suffer from laminitis, (permanent changes to the inner hoof structure), rendering them unable to be used for riding or packing. Unfortunately, Cimarron is a victim of his domestication and can only be used for non-riding activities with MontanaQuest…which he fully enjoys with a great deal of humor and affection!
A paint cross b. 2001, arrived here in May 2015. He was a show and trail riding horse until a degenerative disease put him in retirement at an exceptionally early age. He was then used as a companion horse until his last caretaker moved away from her horse life and he needed a permanent home. He is a gentle and affectionate guy with a big personality. He is a handsome chestnut paint with striking markings which accentuate his flamboyant personality. He trots around, tail flagged over his back, ears perked with curiosity when there is something new to investigate. He’s eager to please, gentle and cooperative. He currently participates in limited activities with MontanaQuest and is an inspiration to all who have contact with him.
Courage is a handsome, lively and curious Arabian gelding, born 2006. He grew up with his half brother and sister running free on several thousand acres of public land with herds of elk, deer, mountain lions, wolves and bear, intermittently engaging with his human caregivers in exchange for occasional treats and sweet feed. Their home was lost and this group of siblings were surrendered to the sanctuary together as a family unit. They were integrated into the larger herd, where Courage shows his leadership and strong personality. He willingly engages with the humans at RPHS. Courage is sensitive, extremely bright and engaged, and learning to accept grooming, farrier and vet care.
Cowboy, a gorgeous, chestnut appaloosa gelding with a white blanket and one blue eye - a true medicine horse, was born in 2005. He was relinquished by a loving couple due to their unresolvable health limitations. He was born and raised on their property, cherished and loved every day. He came to us halter trained and extremely skittish. Cowboy is currently being retrained for agility on the ground, and potentially, as a riding horse.
Dieaga is a sweet and elegant gray Arabian mare born 1993. When her owner lost her home and boarding facility, she moved this sweet mare into the sanctuary. She has Cushing’s disease – a pituitary gland disorder. Dieaga receives daily medication with her vitamin/mineral grain. She loves, loves, loves treats and to be groomed. This gentle mare is kind and loving and a magical presence to all who meet her.
Fancy is a black thoroughbred mare, b. March 18, 1990, who raced for 3 years, played polo for a year and then went back to the racetrack. She is a strong, competitive mare who loves to run and easily competed against all challengers - we have videos of her winning handily in 3 different races. She had a slight, but permanent injury to her right front pastern and was up for sale to any taker - or the canner. The trainer wanted to keep racing her until she broke down completely, but her owner decided to sell her instead. She came to us in 1995. She is a highly sensitive mare and participates in the MontanaQuest non-riding programs, teaching in depth lessons about personal space, the importance of breath, and the need for respect in relationship.
Honey was first rescued by an older couple from an abusive owner, then when they could no longer care for her, a kind neighbor gave Honey a new, but temporary home for the next 2 years of her life. In 2018, she was relinquished to RPHS and went to a loving foster home for the first year until we had room for her on site. A honey-colored bay mare, Honey was estimated to have been 17-25 years old in 2018. She has arthritis and other use-related lameness issues, and she is a gentle and sweet mare.
Hope is a beautiful red roan mare born about 1996 that arrived here after being abandoned by her owner. She was left behind with a loving man who did his best to care for her and her pasture mate – he believed she was a show horse at one time and knew she had been “trained with a 2x4” and other corporal punishment techniques. Unfortunately, this kind man was unprepared to care for Hope and her companion and they had no food from October through March when he could finally get someone in with food and he could relinquish them to our care. Angry and defensive, Hope attacked us each time we tried to approach with a halter so we just put a bale of hay into the trailer and they couldn't load themselves fast enough to get at the first food they'd had access to for months. She has come aroundnow to gentle grooming, treats and kind handling. She has fully regained her physical well-being and loves to eat. She has become an ambassador for the sanctuary and greets people at the gate. Hope's care giver didn't know her name so we chose this one for her in "hope" that she would come to trust us and begin to enjoy human company.
Kramer is a blue-eyed sorrel paint gelding born around 1999. He is one of our favorite success stories due to the desperate condition he was in when we picked him up – literally a skeleton with a hide. It took 3 months to bring him back to life and he has had a full recovery. He has lots of character – loves his grain and treats, has a very sweet personality and gentle demeanor. He arrived with Hope and has now expanded his social connections within the herd. Kramer's knees don't lock when he sleeps standing up and he occasionally tips over on to his nose - startles awake and tries again, often eventually choosing to lie down. He still displays some agressive threats, but we've learned it is all bluff. He enjoys treats, grooming and attention. Our goal is for him to become calm and relaxed enough to be in the Reflective Grooming program with MontanaQuest. We tried to change his name to Spririt or Shaman as his appearance leads you to believe he is a Spirit Horse...but he often comes trotting or cantering up to greet us, with a clumsy, sliding stop and a twinkle in his eye!
Kramer on Day 1 at RPHS Kramer after just 3 months at RPHS
Katie Perry -
Katie Perry is a lovely chestnut quarter horse mare, born about 2005. She is a miniature version of an adult horse but she looks more like a yearling than her true age – lucky girl… She was purchased and shipped to Montana to be a kid's mount as part of an outfitting string but developed stress-based laminitis and can no longer handle anything but very light riding with very light riders. She was then abandoned to the sanctuary to live out her life since she was not able to be used by the outfitter as a commodity for his business. She is gentle, engaged and participates willingly in all of the MontanaQuest non-riding programs.
Lightning is a handsome bright bay, warmblood gelding, b. 1999, with 4 white sox and a blaze. He is a product of an accidental backyard breeding. Though he is a huge and gentle guy, he has anxiety issues and participates minimally in non-riding herd-based and reflective exercises in the MontanaQuest Programs.
Magic is a pure black, American Paint horse, b. May 14, 1995. He has had a simple and safe life but as his first owner moved from Montana to Florida to begin a new life, Magic also moved in with a new family whose circumstances took a sudden financial turn and were unable to support him due to unexpected medical expenses. They were out of hay from October to March and he lost several hundred pounds over that winter. Though he was food deprived in his last home, he was loved and appreciated in both his homes and shows it in his loving willingness to engage with humans. Though he as a severe swayed back, he currently participates in the non-riding MontanaQuest programs and activities.
b. 2014 is a bright chestnut mustang mare deemed unadoptable by the BLM and then sold at the sale yard for $25. The purchaser was then unable to support her financially and relinquished her to RPHS in November 2018. She currently (March 2019) is feral and just beginning to accept contact from Shari Montana. We look forward to having her join us in our EFL work with people by Spring, 2020.
Promise, a Shetland pony, born approximately 1998 +/- a year or two. She is pure white mare. We’re actually not sure if she is a pony or a miniature horse. She weighs in at about 400-450 pounds. She participates in all of our non-riding programs. She was found running on the highway near Charlo, Montana amongst the potato trucks and was captured by a caring neighbor. She came to us in 2007. She is highly sensitive, sweet tempered and a bit shy at times but still participates in MontanaQuest's EFL Programs and provides deeply profound experiences for their clients.
Rocket, aka Roxy -
Rocket, aka Roxy was born April 29, 1995 and is retired from the show-reining world. She came to us in the fall of 2014. Every day we see a little more of her playful personality and sense of humor as her face lights up at an open gate, carrots, apples or the possibility of a thorough grooming. She’s a beautiful mahogany bay with a white star and snip and white socks on her left front and hind legs. She was sold to be used as a pleasure horse in her retirement from the reining world, especially for trail riding until an accident caused permanent injury. This willing mare had never been out of an arena setting, panicked in the unfamiliar, mountainous terrain, slipped and fell off a cliff - she suffered back and hip injuries and is uncomfortable when ridden. She is now participates in the MontanaQuest herd where she participates willingly, with a calm and loving spirit.
Sami is a fiery chestnut Arabian gelding, born 2005. He grew up with his half brother and sister running free on several thousand acres of public land with herds of elk, deer, mountain lions, wolves and bear, intermittently engaging with his human caregivers in exchange for occasional treats and sweet feed. Their home was lost and these siblings came to live in the sanctuary together as a family unit and our goal is to keep them together here. Tamed, but not trained, they have all been integrated into the larger herd, and interact safely and happily with the humans at RPHS. Sami is hyper sensitive, bright and engaged, and learning to accept grooming, farrier and vet care.
Serena is an elegant, silvery gray mare, born 2006. She grew up with her half brothers running free on several thousand acres of public land with herds of elk, deer, mountain lions, wolves and bear, intermittently engaging with her human caregivers in exchange for occasional treats and sweet feed. Their home was lost and the three siblings came to live in the sanctuary together as a family unit and our goal is to keep them together here. They have all been integrated into the larger herd, and interact safely and happily with the humans at RPHS. Serena is sensitive, a bit timid, very bright and engaged and also learning to accept grooming, farrier and vet care.
Sparkling Waterfall, aka “Sparkle” -
Sparkling Waterfall, aka “Sparkle” to friends, is our magical palomino paint mare and definitely our ”spirit horse”. She was born in 2002 and was rescued from a neglectful situation. She was found living in a small, fenced-in backyard with a trampoline, abandoned furniture, household garbage, dozens of small dogs and her six-month old foal. She is a highly sensitive mare and has a gentle but timid temperment - due to physical abuse. She participates in the MontanaQuest non-riding programs and is becoming more calm and courageous as time goes along.
Tyson, a bay gelding arrived here at age 29, born 1989. After all the humans and other horses in his life passed away and the family farm was sold, RPHS was asked to pick him up and bring him to his new life. He had roamed on 65 acres of pasture and woods. He has adapted to the sanctuary and his new geriatric herd. He is friendly but not trained, he likes treats and grooming. He is currently settling in and slowly accepting vet and farrier care.