About Jackson Hole Horse Rescue
Jackson Hole Regional Horse Rescue began in the fall of 2008.
Jonesy and Shadow participate in Old Bill's Fun Run event in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Shadow was the featured attraction in numerous parades and events. See the Elk Antler Arch on the Town Square in the background.
Visiting Jackson Hole is your ticket into the Pearly Gates. When you arrive there, St. Peter asks, "Have you ever been to Jackson Hole?" If you say "No.", St. Peter pulls the lever and says, "You go to Hell", and you fall through the trapdoor.
Jonesy and Colleen Gillings decided to create a safe and lovable environment for those old friends such as Shadow who need an “old horse’s home”. We started the 501(c)(3) charitable organization called Jackson Hole Regional Horse Rescue.
Maury Jones, “Jonesy” to his friends, is now the Executive Director. The first call we had, in the winter of 2008, was a guy who said, “I’m out of a job, I’m out of money, and I’m out of hay. I’ve tried to sell my horses without success. Could you take them in?”
Skipper enjoys our paddock early in the spring..
Sunny is one of the horses, photo taken a few months after we took her in. We were glad to help. They were good riding horses but average size sorrel mares were a dime-a-dozen at the time so there wasn’t much of a market for them. We actually used them for a few months and loved them. But we couldn’t afford to keep them as pets so we were finally able to place them in a good home.
Expenses to keep horses are ongoing and, hopefully, we will get a donation when we place a horse with a family. We don’t charge a fee but ask for a donation.
Other horses started trickling in. A few small donations came through to help; a pasture here, some hay from there, and small monetary donations. But from the start it has been a labor of love. We have taken literally thousands of dollars out of our own pockets and spent thousands of hours to help horses in need. We have never drawn a salary. It is an all-voluteer labor of love.
Jonesy now manages and operates Jackson Hole Horse Rescue with lots of help from volunteers.
Photo below is Liz, a 12 year old volunteer, and her filly, Patience” which she adopted. She gentled Patience, fell in love with her, and then adopted her. Liz taught her to run around the corral and jump those barriers she set up. One day Liz called me, Jonesy, and said, come down and see what Patience can do. I drove the half mile to her Grandpa’s house, where she was staying for a month, and Liz showed me.
She led Patience in to the middle of their round corral. She had placed “jumps” around the perimeter such as two five-gallon buckets with a two-by-four between them. She unclipped Patience’ rope and then motioned toward the jumps and commanded, “Go!” Patience ran around the corral about three times, jumping each jump, then Liz called her back and attached the rope. I was amazed!
Later that afternoon Liz came to me and asked, “What does it take to adopt a horse?” I told her that there is not an adoption fee but we check the people out carefully and we do ask that they donate to help the Horse Rescue. She left and I went to her Grandpa Johnny Johnston’s place. He and I talked, leaning on the fence, and then he called her over. “Jonesy and I have been talking,” John said, “and we decided you can adopt Patience.” Liz let out a scream, hugged her grandpa, and then ran and jumped into her grandma’s arms, crying. It still brings tears to my eyes thinking about it. That is what the love of a horse can do.