MT nonprofit grateful for help after arena collapse

Posted at 12:49 PM, Apr 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-04 15:02:16-04

Weeks ago, work at the Serenity Ranch near Bozeman — which helps both horses and women veterans — stopped when the ranch’s training arena collapsed under piles of snow.

Now help is on the way.

“I’m just grateful,” said Susanne Carter. “I just know I live in a wonderful place.”

For executive director and Serenity Ranch founder Susanne Carter, the destruction slowed her down, but never stopped her. The same goes for her daughter and chief operating officer Lisa LeDoux.

“We haven’t been able to work horses but, you know, which is a sad thing with this wonderful weather,” Carter says. “It’s just, everything carries on the same.”

“We are continuing to fundraise and really depend on donations so that we can provide our veteran program this summer,” said LeDoux.

LeDoux said shortly after the arena buckled, the community stepped up in full.

“From this, we’ve raised over $1,100, which is fantastic and we’re so, so thankful,” she said. “It’s really helped and we’ve also had some other organizations reach out to us that want to help. Warriors for Quiet Waters reached out to us, wanting to assist with offering their volunteers and their assistance so it’s been a wonderful story and it’s just been very helpful.”

LeDoux added the community has gone beyond the donations because interest in volunteering has gone up.

“It’s been wonderful,” LeDoux said. “We’ve kind of been putting a little bit of our volunteers outreach on hold. We were waiting for the nicer weather and we need help with riding and training as well.”

With 90 horses, many coming from dark or wild pasts, both mother and daughter say every little bit makes a difference.

“It just makes me feel really grateful and very happy because what we work so hard for and are working so hard for is to help those horses in need that have been through neglect and trauma, themselves, and to help female veterans,” LeDoux said. “It’s kind of the silver lining in a tragedy for us.”

“It’s a wonderful town to live in,” said Carter. “The community is amazing and I’ve been here 15 years and know a lot of people, but it’s just been wonderful.”

LeDoux said a little bit of help could go a long way, and anyone interested has a chance to do that from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 13 at Serenity Ranch, when they are going to hold a fundraiser and open house.

You can donate directly on their website and find out more details about the upcoming fundraiser on the ranch’s Facebook event page.

-Reported by Cody Boyer/MTN News