In recognition of programs that educate the Vail Valley community on mental health awareness, Vail Valley-area brokerage, LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, recently participated in a day of giving at Mountain Valley Horse Rescue (MVHR), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to rescuing, rehabilitating, and re-homing abused, neglected, abandoned, and unwanted horses. As one of the only horse rescue organizations on the Western Slope, MVHR relies on the support of the local community, in which LIV Sotheby’s International Realty is highly involved, to make an everlasting difference for horses in need, and those who benefit from horse therapy, in Colorado.
“On behalf of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, it was an honor to volunteer at the MVHR and we are grateful for the opportunity to give back to the local community we so dearly love,” said April Holdredge, director of resort marketing, LIV Sotheby’s International Realty. “We understand horse therapy is provided to veterans and others suffering from PTSD. As an Army veteran myself, I am thrilled to know this service is being offered through the efforts of MVHR.”
More than a dozen brokers and staff from LIV Sotheby’s International Realty’s Vail brokerage team gathered at Mountain Valley Horse Rescue, located in McCoy, CO, to volunteer. Agents were put into two groups and then given a variety of tasks ranging from horse care, cleaning stalls, to maintenance work on the ranch.
Many horses at MVHR are being rehabilitated from abusive/neglected situations where they are either placed in new permanent homes or kept on the MVHR ranch where they are used to help people with mental disorders, and veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Why horses? On a physical level, the gently rhythmic motion of riding a horse can be therapeutic for those suffering from physical limitations or immobility. Mentally, horseback riding and on-the-ground equine therapy are methods used to help veterans with PTSD by helping vets formulate goals. According to US News, veterans might learn strategies they struggle with daily in remembering the chronological order of steps by practicing securing the bridle, harness and saddle on the horse.
“As one of Eagle County’s first official Equine Therapy and Therapeutic Riding providers, I have a whole collection of methods and practices for releasing mental and physical suffering, implementing positive habits, and team building – in both business and family situations, and particularly with Veterans and children- though horses,” said Alecz Adams, Equinie Therapy Specialist at Soaring Spirit. “It means so much that LIV Sotheby’s International Realty came out to volunteer at the rescue center for this very important cause.”
Today, there are an estimated 170,000 unwanted horses across the nation, with 6,000 in Colorado alone. Of these, 120,000–130,000 horses are shipped to slaughter in Mexico and Canada every year, where they are processed for human consumption. In addition, each year the BLM rounds up 9,400 wild horses off public lands, but only 1 in 3 find homes.
MVHR works to help reduce horse abuse and neglect through education and outreach and when possible, networks to return rehabilitated horses to new, private homes.
Vail Valley brokers within LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, are largely involved in the community and actively support philanthropic efforts via its #LIVtoGive campaign; Matt Blake, board member, Starting Hearts, Corey Lamothe, co-founder and board member, Speak Up Reach Out – The Suicide Prevention Coalition of the Eagle Valley, Bart Peaslee, board member for Habitat for Humanity, Barbara Scrivens, past board member for Habitat for Humanity, Andie Ohde, volunteer for Vail Symposium, Joni Taylor, past board member for Salvation Army & Youth Foundation, Tye Stockton, board member for Bravo! Vail and past board member, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Charley Ford, sponsor for child with World Vision; currently sponsoring a family in Shri Lanka, Daniel Estrada, sponsor for child with Compassion International, Liana Winans, volunteer for Western Slope Veterans Coalition, Literacy Program (Eagle County) and Mountain Valley Horse Rescue.