From the moment he arrived at SAFE, Montana garnered a lot of attention. He is a flashy-looking horse, and with his medicine hat markings and pretty blue eyes, it’s no wonder he had people immediately smitten. But Montana was — is — troubled. He had a rough start in life that left him with some pretty significant baggage. When he arrived at SAFE, despite having ‘been started’ in his youth, he was, for all intents and purposes, wild.

But alas! Were he truly wild he would not have negative experiences to draw on. The wild Montana was was the kind that has been reinforced or created by poor handling. A horse who has never been caught is very different than a horse who has learned how to get away. Montana, like so many others before him, would need a total reset of his building blocks.

We knew from the very beginning we would be in it for the long haul with Montana. This video shows a little bit of the work that went in to help Montana break some of his old bad habits and find new ways to deal with his troubles. It shows a little bit of his transformation from a scared and anxious gelding into a more relaxed, confident version of himself. You’d be hard pressed to believe he ever knew how to touch the ground with his nose until fairly recently, that’s how tightly he held himself. Hours upon hours were spent with Montana, helping him re-learn the basics, and learn for the first time some things he would need going forward – like how to wear a saddle, and how to have a rider.

And while he has made some serious progress, our work with Montana is far from finished. He is, like I said, troubled, and still very green. There are still spots in Montana that a three minute video cannot accurately show. He still needs a lot more time, both on the ground and under saddle, before he is ready to meet adopters. As a matter of fact, Montana will be going off to training soon for some extra miles and attention.

Montana is one special guy, and given how much he has already been through, we want to be sure that he is given the best possible chance of success going forward.