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Our Mission

Summit Valley Horse Center provides rehabilitation to rescued horses so that they are more likely to be adopted into their forever homes. We also aspire to enrich the lives of our community of volunteers and visitors to Summit County by providing them the opportunity to learn about the nature of horses, how to communicate with them, and to experience the well-known benefits of horse-person connections.

People helping horses helping people

We realize this mission by

Partnering with rescue organizations

Partnering with horse rescues in Colorado to bring abandoned or neglected horses out to our ranch each summer, so that our trained volunteers help them become safe and adoptable.

Providing Learning Opportunities

Offering learning opportunities to individuals of all ages on how to communicate with horses, help them be responsive to human direction, and receptive to riding.

Partnering with local youth and adult agencies

Partnering with local youth and adult agencies to help the meet their objectives by providing them interactive experiences with horses at our ranch.

Our Unique Contribution to Summit County

Summit Valley Horse Center, a Colorado 501c3 non-profit, impacts our community in two unique ways:

1. We offer rescue horses a second chance at life.

Every year in Colorado, there are hundreds of horses that are abandoned, abused or surrendered by owners who can no longer care for them. Horse rescue organizations across Colorado work hard to gather these horses into a safe refuge so that their health can be restored, and that they can be adopted into new homes. However, some rescued horses are seen as challenging because of behavior problems or lack of basic training, which puts them at high risk of eventually being euthanized or sold at auction into unfavorable circumstances. This is where Summit Valley Horse Center comes in: Each summer we partner with several Colorado Horse Rescues to help rehabilitate their horses at our ranch in Silverthorne, where our trained volunteers work tirelessly to help rebuild these horses into trusted companions that loving families want to adopt.

2. We make it possible for people of all ages & backgrounds to experience the joy of human-horse connection.

There are very few places in Summit County where children of all means can come to learn about the nature of horses and get hands on experience in grooming, relating to, training and riding these animals. It’s equally rare for adults to have a place to learn about horses and build their horsemanship skills, eventually learning how to train rescued horses to be rideable and adoptable. Through programs offered with our trained horses - our mini’s, ponies, and full-size horses – we give residents and visitors to Summit County the rare opportunity to spend quality time with horses, learn how to connect and communicate with them, and experience the joy that simply being with horses can bring.

Messages from our President and Executive Director

Message from our President, Craig Robelen

The past year has been a wonderful year full of accomplishments.  Lizzie Kanetsky's first full year as our Executive Director has raised the reputation of the Horse Center throughout the community and with our many sister organizations.  Numerous organizations such as Keystone Science School have expanded partnerships with us, spreading the opportunity of experiencing the joy of the horse human relationship to a broadening community base.  Our Equine Obstacle Challenge 2023 was a great success bringing many experienced equestrians to the ranch,  similar events are scheduled for 2024. The successful SVHC Golf Tournament has grown in scope to 100+ players and will be repeated on July 15 2024 at Keystone Ranch.

The future holds many exciting opportunities to increase our participation with sister organizations and the general Summit County equestrian community.  Facilitating this is the current upgrading of our main arena with new fencing and new sand footing making it safer for all.  This was funded by Michael and Carol Obst, who have been our supporters for several years now.  We also received significant donations from other private individuals as well as corporate support from a wide variety of businesses. This has allowed us to buy a new bush hog mower and our Kubota tractor, in addition our classroom and tack room areas are being upgraded with new drywall and a new staircase. Overall the ranch is transforming into a sustainable, quality facility.

Our future is very positive with a goal of developing SVHC into a major permanent equestrian resource center for Summit County.  Our dreams include an indoor arena for cold or rainy day riding, and a trail system around the property for more people to enjoy riding in a learning environment.  We are also working with the Summit Historical Society to develop a presentation of the ranching heritage of Summit Valley as part of our learning center.  All these improvements are foundational steps to developing SVHC into a true community equestrian resource center.

A letter from our Executive Director, Lizzie Kanetsky

With immense gratitude, I can reflect on the past year as Executive Director of Summit Valley Horse Center, and I am thrilled to highlight all the successes of the past year. 2023 brought new beginnings to the ranch, starting with an increase in programming and events giving more volunteers access to the benefits and joy of horses. Beginner and Advanced Horsemanship classes were filled each session, and it was easy to see each volunteer gain knowledge, skills and confidence during each class. The progress of volunteer education sparked curiosity at the ranch, and a joy of deep learning was the new environment at Summit Valley Horse Center. Volunteers, participants, adults and children learned more than just how to train horses; they gained life skills not found in any classroom. Patience, compassion, kindness and resilience, all life lessons taught to each individual while spending time at our ranch with the horses. These life changing moments were all possible because of the hard work, commitment and determination of the volunteers, staff, donors, board of directors and our community.

The summer of 2023 saw more horses than ever at the ranch, with 16 adoptable horses, and the introduction of a reliable herd of horses. These reliable horses were the backbone of our kids’ programs, beginner horsemanship and riding classes. Each reliable horse would patiently help each handler learn how to interact and communicate with horses in a safe environment. Establishing this reliable herd allowed us to increase our community outreach, including the development of our first ever Junior Horsemanship program. We continued to work with Building Hope, Keystone Science School, Girl Scouts, and the Boy Scouts throughout the summer with over 100 children participating in classes. A huge volunteer effort saw ten of our sixteen adoptable horses find forever homes! While it was bittersweet to watch these beloved horses leave our ranch, it brought everyone joy to see these wonderful animals find lifelong homes. Some of these horses stayed close to home, and we are all very excited to see their training continue over the coming years!

2023 and all of its success would not be made possible without the commitment from our partnering rescues. We partnered with three new rescues in 2023, and a heartfelt thank you to Mountain Valley Horse Rescue, Wild Hearts Haven and Little Hooves Rescue for sending us horses in need of training. Additionally, our longest partnership has been with Next Step Horse Rescue, and we could not achieve our mission without their continued support. Thank you for working with us over all these years.

2023 was a whirlwind, full of changes and growth. I thank each of you for your support, trust, and dedication, and I truly look forward to continuing to grow our organization. The future of Summit Valley Horse Center is bright, where we always will be people helping horses helping people.

Our Team

Learn From Our Team of Friendly Professionals

Lizzie Kanetsky
Craig Robelen
Carole Weller
Marguerite Miller
Ross Sheely
Nancy Guerra
Katie Nees
Dave DePeters
Georgia Kirschner
Emily Rampolla
Anastasia Chaney
Dr. Sarah Wooten