Hiatt Equestrian Rescue & Recreation (HERR) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Bigfork, MT dedicated to providing a sanctuary to equine in various forms. We rehabilitate and maintain the health of each animal while encouraging the growth between both equine and human alike.
Our mission is to provide a safe, loving home to equine that have been abused, neglected, abandoned, or even surrendered. We tend to the daily needs of each horse through their unique treatment plans with a holistic approach based on diet, conditions/ailments, and individualized healing. In our endeavor to rehabilitate back to a sound balance, we interject the support and work of humans that seek the same through equine therapy.
Our goal is to obtain more land, where we would build an equine hospital and rehabilitation facility. We have been in communication with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to rescue more wild horses and to house them on said property. The ultimate vision of the endeavor would be to give the best possible care to all of our animals and be made readily available to our community at large.
Our story began many years prior to our official formation. Our founder, Johnna Hiatt, began rescuing horses with her youngest daughter, Rose, in 2010. When Rose was diagnosed with early signs of autism at the age of five, Johnna sought out equine-assisted therapy and it was life-altering for them both. This was the moment that Johnna & Rose decided to give back to the horses that helped them so much. As the horses continued to come in, the development of a sanctuary in Montana was born in 2015. Since then, the organization has built a safe haven for dozens of horses; providing the best care possible and a whole lot of love!
The Horse Rescue & Rehabilitation Program is the heart and soul of our organization. Our number one priority is to provide a home for the horse to feel safe. Next step is their health! Upon rescue, we schedule a veterinarian visit to check-up on the horse and update any or all vaccinations. Then, we can begin the rehabilitation process and set them up with an individualized treatment plan.
After a horse has been rehabilitated, they are assessed for equine-assisted therapy. However, many horses come to us at a point in their lives where they must be placed on a long-term rehabilitation plan and live out their lives peacefully. Each horse has their own abilities and desires — We let them show us their place.
The Veteran Equine Therapy Program has allowed us to lend horses to neighboring organizations for Veterans seeking equine-assisted therapy and we are actively trying to work more closely with the Department of Veteran Affairs. In the future, we would like to provide Veterans with jobs and housing at the hospital and rehab facility mentioned in our Goals section above.
The Children’s Program is a future program for families seeking equine therapy to help their children with special needs such as autism, neurological disorders, and more. Horses can provide immense emotional and developmental benefits to a child. We have had children interact with our horses on numerous occasions in the past and seen immediate, wonderful results. We look forward to developing this program over time.