With the ongoing and ever-changing COVID-19 situation many non-profits including horse rescues have lost a significant portion of their donations, leaving them in precarious financial positions. One such rescue is the Missoula, MT-based River Pines Horse Sanctuary (RPHS) which is owned and operated by Eponaquest Advanced Instructor Shari Montana and is the place that Linda refers to as her second home while she travels the U.S. and world doing this work. She spends a few weeks most summers at the beautiful location offering workshops in cooperation with these special equine partners.
The River Pines Horse Sanctuary provides a forever home to horses in need. They specialize in accepting horses with physical, social, and/or emotional rehabilitation issues and provide a natural, herd-based living environment offering safety, health enhancement, companionship, and play. According to their website, the sanctuary’s mission is: “To rescue horses and ponies, mules and burros, to include all equine species, from endangerment through neglect, physical and emotional abuse or abandonment, and to provide permanent, end-of-life sanctuary…” Unfortunately, most of the horses at the sanctuary are not good candidates to be placed or rehomed elsewhere should the rescue be unable to survive because they are too lame, arthritic, emotionally damaged, and/or untrained. This means the sanctuary is their only option for a safe place to spend the remainder of their lives. Without the much needed financial support from donations, RPHS will not be there for these amazing horses and closure means the unthinkable…
So, why are these horses especially important now? In these difficult times, as we are struggling to meet the new demands required to address social distancing protocol and interpersonal skills to accommodate the response to a changing world in the midst of this pandemic, our horses have an even bigger role to play facilitating new skills through a variety of programs designed to support these pressing needs:
- Spirit Horse Journeys – Emotional Fitness; Social Intelligence; Nature-based Spiritual Exploration; Cultural Development; Creativity; Physical Well-being; and Mind-Development
- Spirit Horse Meditations
- Nature Immersion
- Spirit Horse Individual Grooming Sessions
- Spirit Horse Calming sessions
- Nature-Based Leadership and Team Building
- Empowerment and Resiliency Training – Surviving to Thriving Skills
- Character Development
These programs provide structured learning and support for the development of resiliency skills, empowerment, and social connectivity during this time of crisis in the safe and nurturing environment of River Pines Farm. The efficacy of our experiential learning model and that of Equine Assisted Learning has been well-documented for more than 30 years. Our horses can change lives!
How Can You Help?
- You can make a one-time or monthly donation, or assist with fundraising, campaigning, or marketing, to help ensure the continued support of the horses at River Pines Sanctuary. Every dollar helps. Please go to the River Pines Horse Sanctuary website at www.riverpinesfarm.org to make a one-time or monthly donation. You can also donate to the RPHS Crowd Rise Fund Raiser via https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/river-pines-horse-sanctury1/river-pines-horse-sanctuary
- Adopt or foster a horse or horses through the sanctuary’s virtual program to help cover the cost of care for each horse monthly. You can choose one or more horses to support or help support by going to https://www.riverpinesfarm.org/copy-of-about-1. Your name will be posted next to the horse’s portrait on the website.
- Help with the monthly expenses for the herd. (See the list at the bottom of the page for specific information about needs.) — Contact the sanctuary at 406-207-6105 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information on making item-specific donations.
- Help RPHS meet other needs. (See the Needs Registry at https://www.riverpinesfarm.org/copy-of-about-2) — Contact the sanctuary at 406-207-6105 or email@example.com for information on making item-specific donations.
Every month the horses at River Pines Horse Sanctuary need:
Farrier — $350
Pelleted hay — $500-$1,000 (for older horses with weight and dental challenges)
Empower Boost for weight maintenance — $400-$800 (Varies based on seasonal and individual needs of each horse)
LMF Super Supplement G (Vitamins) — $400-$800 (Varies based on seasonal and individual needs of each horse)
Arthritis meds — $180
Dewormer — $140
RPHS Utilities (North West Energy) — $181 (You may write a check directly to NEW and we will provide the account number.)
One time per year:
Hay — $25,000
Annual Vaccinations @ $50.00/horse — $1,400
Euthanasia expenses/ horses — $350
Emergency Vet Care — $250-$1,000 per visit
- $500/month would help to manage these unknowns