United In Light “Gentle Giants” Horse Rescue – Livingston, Montana

United In Light Horse Rescue

Livingston, Montana, where we visit every summer, is home to a wonderful horse rescue charity. Joyce and I visited United in Light, a rescue for “gentle giants”. These are draft horses who are too old or too lame work, or just needing a home. They are rescued from feed lots and individuals who no longer want to care for them.


United in Light, Inc., has been in operation for 11 years. From its beginning in Arizona it relocated to Livingston 7 years ago. Every 3rd Saturday in the summer months the Sanctuary has an open house. When Joyce and I visited there were several vacationing families in the pasture getting up close and personal with the retirees! The horses stood quietly, soaking up the attention, as children and adults alike had what was for them a first contact with a horse. And what horses! They lowered their giant heads to be petted or brushed, stood patiently while small children and novice adults oohed and aahed over their new friends.


The herd today includes Belgians, Clydsedale Cross, Shire Cross and a Percheron. 10 in all. School classes also visit the sanctuary to learn about draft horses. Every year in August, Deborah Derr, D. C., founder of United in Light holds a silent auction to raise funds for a year’s supply of feed. In addition to feed, there are vet and farrier expenses. As the giants are old and so large, it is necessary to wait for a special farrier to come by. He has a portable tilt table that he brings with him so the horses can have their feet trimmed without the necessity of standing 3 legged. I would have loved to see him work, he tours all over the United States with his tilt table caring for draft horse’s feet.

Visit their web site, www.draftrescue.com for a heartwarming and inspirational summary of their work, but especially for the individual stories of their retirees.