1-Day Open Door Shelter | Colorado

On June 18 we held our 1-Day Open Door Shelter in Colorado.  We have been so busy this year doing 1-Day Open Door Shelters, since we started doing these 1-Day Shelters we have had nearly 300 horses come through this program in the last year and a half.  It is amazing and so needed across the United States.  The local coordinator for the Colorado event was the Colorado Horse Rescue Network.  They did a great job, and they put up a $100 buyout for the first 30 horses surrendered.  They wanted to encourage folks who would rather take their horse to an auction to bring it to the shelter instead.  We found that most people were not interested in the buyout, and wouldn’t take the money.  Sunday morning we got set up and ready for the event.

The Colorado Horse Rescue Network had done a gelding clinic at the fairgrounds the day before, and a local newspaper printed the wrong day for the 1-Day Shelter, so some horses were already surrendered into the program when our staff arrived Sunday morning.

Trailers were lined up waiting for the event to start.  Some people had arrived early to make sure they got their $100 for their horse.  We had to do a bit of a different process at this event as each horse had to be cleared by the Brand Inspector before it could be signed over into our program.  This made the lines longer than normal.


Tawnee did a live video of the event, to watch it, click here.  Each one of these events have been quite different in their own way, and it’s neat to get a feel for the Colorado event by watching the video.

The ASPCA was there to do their surveys.  It’s really interesting as we hold events across the United States the different situations we run in to.  In Colorado we didn’t have any emaciated horses surrendered, they were all on the heavy side, and there were a lot of horses suffering from founder.  Over feeding can be just as devastating as lack of nutrition.

Every horse that came in was evaluated.  Kirsten and Allyssa assisted the vet with evaluations while a reporter was interviewing the lady from the ASPCA.

The vet at this event did a great job doing all the evaluations on Sunday and donated all of her services that day!  We can’t thank her enough.

She did take a minute to talk to the reporter.  It was a hot and windy day, so taking a minute in the shade was a nice break.

Kirsten used the arena to do behavioral and riding ability evaluations on the horses.  It really takes a team of people to conduct one of these events, and we are so thankful we have such a great team.

At every event we see numerous different health complications on the horses.  This mare had extreme arthritis on both of her front knees, which made getting around very difficult for her.  You could tell she was very uncomfortable.

This horse had been bitten by a poisonous snake as a yearling, and when the infected area began to heal, her chestnut spread into the infected area with the scare tissue, the vet said.  It was very interesting case, the good news was, it wasn’t affecting her at all and she is fine.

This was one of the horses with founder from overfeeding.  Her front hooves were in horrible condition, and her back hooves were a complete mess.  You can’t trim the back hooves if it hurts too much to pick up the front hooves.

This gelding was also suffering from extreme arthritis in his knees.  It’s so sad, but we are thankful we were able to help the horses, even in some cases simply to relieve their chronic suffering.

There is always lots of paperwork involved with all of these events, and Melissa did a great job keeping it all organized.  One of the horses surrendered enjoyed watching the paperwork process.  It kept him entertained, and he got some cookies too!

He was a very handsome boy and he became everyone’s favorite as he hung out next to the makeshift office.

35 horses were surrendered at the Colorado 1-Day Open Door Shelter, only 8 of which needed humane euthanasia to relieve their conditions.  We are so happy that 35 horses found safety at our event, and their owners had a safe option for their horse they could no longer keep.

The Gazette did a great story about the event, you can read it by clicking here.

Monday morning, more paperwork was being done as the adoptable horses were being signed over to the Colorado Horse Rescue Network.

The Harmony Equine Center was where most of the horses were going to be moved to.  The Harmony Center is a partner in the Right Horse Initiative.  Even though the horses were signed over to the Colorado Horse Rescue Network, the horses went to the Harmony Center for further evaluation and training.

One by one the horses were led out to the trailers and loaded.  There were so many beautiful, fat horses surrendered at this event.

It took two trips by the Harmony Center and one trip by the Colorado Horse Rescue Network to get all the horses moved off of the fairgrounds.  We followed the last group of trailers to the Harmony Center.

The Harmony Equine Center is one of the most beautiful horse welfare facilities in the world.  They do such amazing work and have a great training program where rescues in Colorado can send horses to be trained, and then the horse goes back for adoption.

If you are interested in adopting any of the horses, or following their progress, please visit the Colorado Horse Rescue Network, or the Harmony Equine Center’s website: click here, available horses are at the end of the page.


We would like to send a huge “Thank you!” to the Right Horse Initiative, and for their support, which allows us to hold these 1-Day Shelters across the United States.  To visit the Right Horse, click here.

Thank you for your support as we help horses in need across the United States.