HELENA — Helena non-profit Helena Horse Rescue works in tandem with Second Chance Horse Training to give their rescues a second chance to find their home.
“A lot of times people will reach out to us with horses they can no longer take care of or horses that they're having trouble re-home, and a lot of times it's older horses or horses with health issues. We also work with law enforcement when they cease horses will take some of them in, or we will even take horses from kill pens sometimes,” Melody Perry, horse trainer and manager at Helena Horse Rescue, said.
Before these horses are ready to go home, Perry and the team at HHR have a lot to do.
“First, the main thing is to get them healthy, a lot of them need their feet done because they've been neglected for so long. Other times we need to get them up to weight. We work really closely with a vet to make sure that they're healthy before we can start training. But once we get the okay from the vet, then we do a lot of groundwork, getting them haltered, leading, doing stuff in the round pen, being touched all over, and then we can do the more fun stuff like saddling and riding,” she said.
The HHR team couldn’t do what they do without the help of their volunteers.
“We have volunteers every other Saturday and they're a huge help. They come out, they make pens, they brush horses. We try to live off the land as much as we can, you know, we use the pasture when we can instead of using hay. It's really a team effort. It takes everybody to get it done,” Perry said.
HHR also accepts donations. Fly spray, fly masks, and wound ointment are always helpful.
With a variety of project ponies suited for different riding and training levels, Perry foresees different, and happy futures for her current HHR residents.
“I think OJ (their 2-year-old mustang) could do anything. I think he would be a great choice for maybe a kid doing cool to maturity because he's so friendly. And, he's kind of small. You know, he's not intimidating for some kids. We have a couple other horses that would be great trail horses, their only walk trot, but they're very sweet. So I think they would just have a blast just packing somebody down the trail,” Perry said.
You can find more on Helena Horse Rescue and their available horses here. Volunteers are welcome every other Saturday.