Category Archives: Placed Horses

Sophie: Adoption Announcement!

Sophie and Julie

We are beyond thrilled to announce the adoption of our young mare Sophie! This special mare has an even brighter future with her new family, Julie and Paul W. They have been volunteers and neighbors to SAFE for the past 5 years. Julie has the experience and capabilities to develop a wonderful partnership with Sophie and we are excited to see what adventures they have together. 2016 was a difficult year for Julie who unexpectedly lost her horse Lemans, her partner of many years. All the experiences he gave and taught to Julie, she will now share and build on with Sophie. The commitment Julie has for her horses is commendable and above all Sophie will now always have the love and dedication she deserves.

While Sophie was in training with Joel Conner, Julie visited and rode her several times. Joel was a huge help to SAFE during this adoption process, working with Julie and Sophie helping to begin their partnership and ensuring this was a good match for them both. Julie’s thoughtfulness and care about this adoption and the future she could provide, made our decision to adopt to her so easy. There are just so many incredible things about this pair and we have no doubts that this is a perfect home for Sophie! Julie had this to say about Sophie and adopting from SAFE:

The moment SAFE moved into SHS I have admired and appreciated the dedication from people who follow their hearts and passion and who make the world a better place. To help each horse with grace, humility, honesty, integrity, and kindness is not easy. Yet every time I arrived at SHS with a horse to ride, I was met with a smile and cheerful inquisitive words. I’m heartbroken that I lost Lemans but I’m humbled and feel honored to bring a SAFE horse home.

I should add that while I didn’t know [Sophie] during her time at SAFE, it’s pretty obvious the volunteers did a great job. I’m in awe every time I load her, going or coming, 2 horse, 3 horse, front, or middle. She is no nonsense and practically loads herself. That in and of itself just makes me giddy each time!

That day on the street when we chatted and you said I should go look at Sophie, I figured what the heck, I’m always up to ride a new horse but she isn’t anything I’m going to be serious about. What I saw when I got to Joel’s was a youngster who, on spite of a terrible set of circumstances, hadn’t yet been burdened with any baggage from people… yet. What I felt when I rode her was a willingness to learn and grow and a curiosity about how to get along with people. We couldn’t steer that well but dang-it she was honest and kind, w/t/c after just 16 rides.

 As with any young horse, this is ours to ruin or ours to build upon and it wasn’t a responsibility I took lightly. I talked with Joel some about my concerns. He told me a story that had been told to him… imagine a horse has a bowl of stones. They draw from those stones whenever they are unsure, learning, or making choices. White stones are good experiences that allow a horse to trust. Black stones are bad experiences. Our goal is to have so many white stones in the bowl that when the horse draws one, in a moment of confusion or stress, it’s usually a white one. Eventually the horse will draw a black one, maybe we over exposed them or did something to cause them to doubt us, but they have drawn so many white stones already, and will draw more in the future, that it all works out and a black stone isn’t what sticks with them. I know Joel worked really hard to get a bunch of white stones in Sophie’s bowl and I’m grateful to him for trusting me with her and giving us both the tools to saddle up cold and ride off.

 Julie had this to say about Sophie’s first trail ride and having her at home:

The sun was out … and I wanted to ride! Paul rode the old guy [Sonny] we are borrowing. [We] had cars, kids on dirt bikes, and crazy Xmas lawn stuff we had to get past and she was a rock star! Seriously just some snorting, a few trots, working the bit, and a slight shy at a giant rock. Long droopy rein most of the ride. She is going to be awesome! I’m so totally beyond excited! Best part about the ride… her mouth got quiet when she got a bit more mentally comfortable. What worried her on the way out wasn’t an issue on the way back. She even walked out and wanted to lead a little bit and when following she got comfortable with some distance between her and the horse she was behind. I’m just so over the moon!

 Sitting outside on a water trough listening to horses eat after doing chores. Sophie keeps coming to check me out. My heart us full!

 We wish them the best and many happy trails! Here are a few photos of their first trail ride and at home together:

Adoption Announcement: Oscar!

Oscar and Vickie

It is with great happiness that we announce the adoption of SAFE horse Oscar! He has spent the last month getting used to his new life and proving to be the best boy ever! Oscar joins his new owner Vickie C and her family on their lovely farm in Redmond. He has fit in nicely as the big brother to Vickie’s younger horse named Hank.

The two boys are doing well together and have figured out how to live together in peace and harmony. Vickie reports that Oscar is “a really good boy. Very sweet!” The two geldings have gotten used to the routine and have started playing more together. Oscar even does well when Vickie takes Hank to the neighbor’s riding arena. He calls just a few times when they leave but is content while they are gone. This was an important part to making sure this would be a good home for Oscar. Not a lot of horses can deal with their pasture mate’s absence so the fact that Oscar is handling this is great news!

Here are some photos Jessica Farren took while visiting Oscar this past weekend and a few from the day he was picked up:

 

Adoption Announcement: Scarlett!

Since coming to SAFE last spring, SAFE barn manager Lori, who is an equine bodyworker, spent a lot of time massaging and working with Scarlett. And it wasn’t long before Scarlett’s charm and beautiful soulful eyes made Lori fall in love with her.

This is truly one of the best homes we could imagine for our sweet senior girl. She not only has a loving human family but Lori has been able to introduce Scarlett to her other horses. Scarlett’s best buddy is Dakota, a handsome black and white gelding who is a kind friend to her. She has a huge pasture to move around in, plus Lori plans to keep her busy on the trails. And of course she still gets to enjoy great body work from her new mom.

Here are a few photos of Scarlet at home:

Adoption Announcement: Khianna!

Stanalee came to meet the SAFE horses in hopes to find a companion for her mare Haley. While she thought they were all lovely, she saw Khianna and it was love at first sight. Stanalee told us she could see many of them joining her family but Khianna needed her the most. Being part of the SAFE program for 5 years, we are all ecstatic that we can finally say Khianna has found her forever home!

Being a sensitive mare, Khinana needed a gentle leader who could give her the confidence, comfort, and peace she requires to feel secure. Stanalee knows that rescue horses need a special love and dedication. Haley too is a rescue horse. They both have a wonderful owner that is giving them the family they deserve.

Khianna and Haley hit it off as friends right away. They are now joined at the hip and are very good friends. Khianna is quite a bit herd bound to Haley but she is gaining trust in her new owner. They are going to start working together on groundwork to help strengthen their bond and communication. Stanalee has a lovely large horse property where the girls live.

Here are some sweet photos from the day we dropped Khianna off and she got to meet Haley:

Dreams Do Come True: Phoenix’s Adoption!

Lauren & Phoenix, photo by Jessica FarrenWe are delighted to announce the adoption of our big beautiful boy Phoenix. He has had a long journey and is truly a survivor! Maybe he just needed time to grow up or maybe was waiting for Lauren to find him. No matter what, this is a love story worth reading. 

For us to successfully place horses into forever homes, a lot of careful consideration and time goes into matching the right horse and adopter. As Adoption Coordinator, I have the important role of arranging these unions. Sometimes this is a hard job and other times things fall right into place. With all of them, we want what is best for both parties. After a failed adoption for Phoenix, I made a promise to him that SAFE would take care of him as long as we needed to until the right family was found. Today I am thrilled to say we did just that and found him a perfect family. He now has owners that would do just about anything to make sure he has what he needs and love him as much as he loves them.

We already miss our “overgrown golden retriever puppy,” his kind eyes, and hilarious antics but we all are happy knowing he is where he is meant to be. Lauren was kind enough to tell us about her story and finding Phoenix:

Hi Everyone!

Where do I start about my Phoenix? He has touched my heart in so many ways, and he is forever a part of our family. Anyone that knows me, not a second goes by that I don’t think about him. He has settled in amazing, loves his pasture and has great vets and trainers working with him. He rode in the river last week; he got 2 new saddles, gets endless treats from his Mom and Dad, and is loving life. 

I started riding horses when I was 9 years old, working at a stable for free lessons. I always had a love for them and rode for many years after that. I stopped when I went to college, but started back up again about 3 years ago because I was going through some medical stuff, and my amazing and supportive husband, said you should get back to the one hobby and passion that I love – and that is horses. Little did he know the cost involved.

I got back into lessons, went to different stables to find the right fit, and leased an amazing horse. But always knew I wanted my own horse to grow with, and love forever. And that it would be a rescue horse no question. I am a believer in chances in life with people and also in animals. I have always had a huge heart for animals, and rescuing a horse was a dream since I was little.

I started following SAFE, rode in the Benefit show last year, and started following all the horses that SAFE had. I then found Phoenix, what is NOT to love about the handsome and loving man! His story was something that forever touched my heart, and I knew that people just overlooked him because he has some medical challenges he has been faced with. A lot of people I knew, kept saying don’t do it, he isn’t sound, and he will be a lot of maintenance, and why would you rescue a horse.

I followed my heart and knew he was the one for me, no question. I couldn’t stop thinking about him, checking for updates or new pictures. I was so in love with the guy and felt his energy. My husband agreed to come with me to meet him. Finally after 6 months of talking! 

I then reached out to the amazing Terry, filled out an application and told her my story. We met Phoenix the following weekend, and I was so happy, and couldn’t stop smiling. My husband could see the joy and the love in my heart for him, I then gave my phone to Terry and told her to take our first family pic and the rest is history.

We absolutely love our Phoenix, and so blessed for SAFE, Terry and her amazing patience with me, everyone who volunteers – a big thank you, Lisa for meeting us early to pick up our guy, the process was amazing and so fun to be a part of. 

SAFE is an amazing place for horses and adoption, and we are so overjoyed to forever have a connection. And who knows, someday Phoenix might have another buddy!

All the best,

Lauren, Bryan and Phoenix

A New Beginning for Bean

Bean_04_20_2016_01From time to time, a family comes into SAFE looking for a horse and we don’t have a match. It is hard thing to say no to a great family but finding the right horse is very important. When Michelle first came in looking for a horse for her family, unfortunately this was the case. Michelle grew up with horses but it had been a few years since she had been around them so I suggested the family start taking riding lessons and volunteer at SAFE to learn more about horses and horse care.

A few months went by as the family prepared for bringing a horse into their lives. When Bean became available for adoption, I knew she could be that perfect horse. They had originally thought of getting a younger horse that the kids could grow with but I explained “green plus green equals black and blue.” They came out to ride Bean and were instantly in love. Here was a horse that both Michelle and her kids could enjoy. Safe to have the kids groom and do lead line riding and fun for mom to take lessons and go on trail rides.

Bean has been with her new family for a few months and she is relaxed and comfortable in her new home. There are a few horses living next door and her own baby goats to watch over. There is a nice big field that she has access to 24/7 and she will NEVER be locked up in a stall again! This is truly a dream come true for Bean and this all-star adoption family. Anything she needs they are able to provide. They have already shown good ownership skills by asking questions and getting the help when needed. We never know exactly the future each of our horse will have but the some of the most important parts are SAFTEY, LOVE and HAPPINESS. Bean has all of these and more. We are so grateful she has found a forever home.

Michelle had a few things to share about adopting Bean:

I know we have only had Bean for a short time but already my family cannot imagine life without her. She has the sweetest personality and loves company. She follows the kids down to pick blackberries, greets us when we get home, and runs to the fence when she sees us. Her favorite thing to do is go for a ride out on the trails, especially when there is another horse along.

Bean_08_25_2016_03This has been an amazing experience. SAFE was beyond amazing. I knew everything possible about Bean before going into this, which is way more than I would have gotten from Craigslist. I grew up with horses but this is my first horse on my own. The buying and owning were a little intimidating to me and I also faced issues I never expected, however SAFE was helpful and there for me with anything I needed. I was able to work with Bean and a trainer from SAFE a few times before deciding to adopt. Terry from SAFE came out to my place beforehand and helped me with ideas on how to keep the pasture and stall safe. She also came out when Bean arrived and helped transition her and work through some issues we had. Bean had not been adjusted to as much grass as we had so Terry sat on the phone with the vet as we came up with a plan. At a later point I had issues with saddle fit and Terry came out and brought some saddles to try on her.

I honestly can’t imagine buying a horse anywhere else. They were so helpful with everything and it made it such an easy transition for Bean and a lot less stressful for my family and myself. Wonderful experience, thank you SAFE.

Adoption Announcement: Karma!

Karma with new owners Sarah & Steve
Karma with new owners Sarah & Steve

We’ve had a whirlwind of adoption announcements to share with you this past month. They’re all special…but this one is especially special. Karma has been adopted.

From the moment we laid eyes on Karma, we knew that this troubled mare truly needed our help. Her past had left her with many scars, both physical and emotional, and she would need a lot of time and patience to learn to trust humans again. Along the way, Karma taught us more than we could ever have imagined about trust and quiet communication. She showed us just how centered and quiet she needed us to be when working around her. And she proved to us that she had a tremendous amount of forgiveness in her heart. With the help of her favorite veterinarian Dr. Fleck, and the many volunteers who cared for her, Karma was transformed. She was finally ready to open her heart to a new life and a new home.

Just over a month ago, Sarah and Steve came to Safe Harbor to meet Karma. They had lost a horse that had been part of their family for years, and ready to try to fill the void she’d left behind. Something about Karma spoke to them, and upon meeting her, they immediately felt a connection to her. Steve and Sarah looked to us to be stellar candidates to adopt from SAFE: they have a beautiful property with plenty of room for horses, and they are clearly devoted to the ones they already have. But ultimately, the decision belonged to Karma. It was her soft eyes, and her calm contentedness that told us that this was a match worth exploring. When Sarah told us they would like to bring her home and introduce her to their horses, we were overjoyed

Karma has spent the last month on trial with her adopters and all reports during the trial were glowing! Karma has been relaxing into her new life and routine. We are pleased to make this adoption final and report that our sweet friend has found a forever family to call her own! Sarah had a few words to share about how Karma is doing at home:

Miss Karma, as we refer to her, is settling in wonderfully and doing quite well. When she first came she was very in tune as to where the other horses were and made sure she was close. Now she is comfortable enough to stay behind when we retrieve them from the lush pasture, forcing us to go get her specifically. She greets us with a nicker and follows Steve away from the other horses to get scratches and attention. She really likes Steve and the feeling is mutual, as he will go out of his way to love on her. It is too cute; of course I have to razz him about another female vying for his affections! – Sarah

Adoption Announcement: Tess!

Tess_05_07_2016_03When a new horse arrives at SAFE, we never know what we might have on our hands. So we take time to get to know them and we give them time to heal and recover from their past neglect. Watching these horses transform is one of the joys of working with a rescue!

When three skinny Quarter Horse mares arrived at SAFE at the end of December, it hurt to see how thin they were. As they stepped out of the trailer, you could see the worry and pain in their eyes. The strong bond between the three girls played a large part in their survival. What they didn’t know was now they had all of our volunteers to support and help them into their new life.

Over the next few months they were given what all horses deserve: food, clean water, a dry safe place to rest, vet care, farrier visits and a ton of TLC. As their personalities emerged, one of the three–Tess–became a volunteer favorite. Hands down one of the sweetest horses we have had at SAFE, Tess loved attention and being with people.

Over the next 3 months, Tess and her friends grew healthy and strong. Once she reached a good weight, her teeth were floated by Dr. McCracken from Rainland Farm and our farrier, David Barron from Olympic Forge, began work on her hooves. All three of the horses had soft hooves, which made walking on gravel very painful. With good consistent trims and applications of venice turpentine to harden their soles, they all improved — especially Tess, whose soft hooves caused her the most pain. We knew things has turned a corner when turnout became playtime and the girls began running and bucking for joy on sunny spring days.

The next phase was to see if Tess wanted to be a riding horse. From what we had been told about them, we knew the two older mares were nicely breed with a ton of show experience. But it had been a number of years since they were ridden, so we decided to send Tess to Joel Conner for a 30-day restart. A month with Joel and Tess would be ready for a great new home.

Two weeks into her training, Tess was ready to start meeting potential adopters. Kelly visited Tess in training to watch Joel work with her, then tried riding Tess herself. Kelly is a beautiful balanced rider who seemed to click with Tess immediately. When she told us that she wanted to adopt her, we were thrilled. Kelly and Tess appeared to be a perfect match!

Tess spent 30 days with Kelly and her family during her adoption trial and everything went smoothly. Tess has settled into life on the farm and has even accepted the farm pig, who on first introduction she though was the strangest thing she had ever seen!

Here is an update note from Kelly on Tess’s adoption:

“I wanted to tell you how happy I am with Tess, aka Purty Girl. I was involved in a bad horse accident in 2010, I was lunging my horse when another horse being lunged got loose and ran into me, knocking me out and requiring multiple surgeries. Since then I have been using my daughter in college as an excuse as to why I haven’t been riding, Truth is – I was afraid. Any time a horse, mine or someone else’s, would act up, it reminded me of being hit by the horse and I would get panicky. I became less and less active with our horses.

Since getting Purty Girl, I have been riding almost every day. She has some spirit but has never made me feel unsafe or jittery. She loves to be petted and brushed as you know and that’s the best part, I can love on her all I want and she just asks for more. We have gone to a horse show to hang out with friends and this week we went to a Team Sorting practice. I am so happy being back in the saddle. Knowing that she needs / deserves that daily hug with her dinner has helped me immensely, if she can be so sweet after what she went through, then I can be around horses with less fear too. Thanks for all you do for these wonderful creatures. –Kelly”

Now with a home of her own and a family to love her, Tess has the life she has always deserved! It makes us happy to know that Kelly and Tess have both faced a tough road in life but together are stronger and can support each other. We love you, Tess, and are so happy to know you are now forever safe!

Adoption Announcement: Mesquite!

Cory, Melissa and Mesquite
Cory, Melissa and Mesquite

We are so pleased to announce that Mesquite has been adopted! This handsome and talented boy has truly made an amazing transformation. Less than eight months since arriving at SAFE as an unstarted stallion, Mesquite is now a well-adjusted good citizen with loads of potential, heading off to a new home and a new life.

Adopting horses to great people who understand the “spirit” of SAFE’s program is one of the best parts of our job. Cory and his wife Melissa had room in their hearts to add Mesquite as a member of their family and we are thrilled to know he will always be cared for and loved. It has been really fun getting to know Cory and learning how passionate and responsible he is about horses. During his 30-day trial with Mesquite, he sent us photos and updates on how they were doing. It was wonderful to see the connection between them growing and knowing that this was going to be a successful match.

We have to give a huge THANK YOU to Joel Conner for his help in both preparing Mesquite for his new life and in assisting us in this adoption. Taking a young horse and getting it started takes good horsemanship skills but taking an older, recently gelded horse and training him to be a safe riding horse is truly amazing. Training older horses is not the easiest part of our work but it’s by far one of the most important. Teaching the horses that pass through our program to be well mannered and safe is what gives them the best chance “for a permanent home and a lifetime of safety”.

Cory sent us this letter about his experience with finding Mesquite and adopting from SAFE:

I had been looking for a while. About 2 years, actually. Scouring the web in every place I could think of, looking for the right one. I became ever more frustrated as the search produced dead lead one after another. Placing multiple calls and arranging visits only to find out days later “Oh by the way he foundered last fall and has slight issues.” Or “Yeah, she is our baby, standard QH mare, well broke does everything, although no-one has spent any time with her since last fall, and we are only asking $4,500!”

And then one late night as I was just simply browsing without purpose, I ran across Mesquite. I thought “Wow! I would really like the opportunity to be able to own a horse like that! Imagine what he could become.” Now realize we are talking about a major project here. 11-year-old Arabian, recently gelded, not broke, poorly cared for and starved.

As soon as I contacted SAFE about the possible adoption, I knew this was an incredible opportunity. Right away I knew this was an honest, straightforward connection. The horse had been gelded, checked by the vet and farrier, and was up to date on vaccinations. As SAFE was very interested in finding a solid long-term home for this horse, I knew they were being open and honest about any problems or issues that existed. I was given a ton of information about his habits, disposition, and soundness. I knew exactly what I was getting.

I was still looking at the fact that this was going to be a huge project. Or was it? As it turns out SAFE had sent the horse to a trainer for 90 days to get started under saddle! I know, just when you thought this opportunity couldn’t be better, right? I cannot express enough my absolute amazement, even still today, how in such a short time with a horse like this the trainer was able to instill such foundation and softness. I’m telling you, when Joel Connor works with your horse, you find he has truly been touched by a magnificent master of horsemanship!

In conclusion, my experience with Terry Phelps from SAFE and Joel Conner the trainer has been beyond my wildest dreams. The entire process of the adoption, from start to finish, was very streamline and comfortable. Both Terry and Joel went out of their way to accommodate both Mesquite and I, and make our dreams come true! If you wish to save a horse, and find yourself that special Equine companion you desire, contact SAFE first!  

Thank you so very much, Terry and Joel!

Cory K

We look forward to more updates from Cory and Mesquite and seeing their bond flourish.

Adoption Announcement: Maggie!

For SAFE horse Maggie, the road to her forever home has been a long one.

This mustang pony mare was gathered out of a Nevada BLM roundup in 1995, so by our estimation she’s about 22 years old. We know very little about her life before coming to SAFE but there’s pretty clear evidence that she was not always treated well. She was seized by animal control due to neglect, but we’ve seen signs of physical abuse as well, possibly at the hands of a farrier. Maggie was initially adopted to a young girl who rode her over fences, but sadly the adoption did not work out. When Maggie returned to SAFE, she was very scared and nervous around people she didn’t know. Terry began slow but consistent horsemanship training with her, and was able to restore her trust and confidence. Along the way, the two formed a close bond. “I have to be honest,” Terry remarks, “I love this horse very much. I tried to describe it to someone and all I could think of was to call her my heart horse because of the bond I have with her. I don’t know if it is just her story, the heartbreak of being returned to SAFE or the trust she has given to me but it is something that I can’t adequately put into words. I have thought about adopting her myself so I can watch over and be part of her herd for the rest of her life. The only thing that stopped me is knowing that I would not be able to give her the time she deserves since I am so busy here at SAFE.”

After giving much thought to a perfect situation for Maggie, Terry had an idea and reached out to Sandy and Tim Matts at Raven Rock Ranch. Located in Woodinville, Raven Rock Ranch is a nonprofit equine assisted therapy center that pairs formerly neglected horses with at-risk youth. At Raven Rock, the instructors, volunteers, and the horses work together to transform the kids in ways that are both physical and mental. Suspecting that Maggie would make a wonderful therapy horse, Terry invited the Matts over to meet her. Raven Rock had recently lost one of their most beloved mares, and there was a hole there that Maggie might be able to fill. Sandy Matts immediately saw the potential for healing that Terry saw in Maggie. They decided to take Maggie on trial. Not longer after, Sandy wrote to us, saying “I was particularly touched by her willingness to trust when she has been betrayed so many times. I think horses represent forgiveness more than any other animal.” When she let us know they would like to move forward to adopting her, we were all delighted and comforted knowing that the best home had been found for Maggie.

Sandy emailed us last week: “She has acclimated very well. She comes alive when she is with children — so sweet! She really trusts them and is only cautious when she is meeting a new adult. I have ridden her twice on the trail. She is not accustomed to these trails enough for me to allow a child to take her out there, but she is wonderful in the arena or round pen. I will just continue taking her out so that she has plenty of time to get used to the new area.

“We have fully committed ourselves to her. Raven Rock is her forever home. Ruby (Maggie’s new name) is so kind and patient with our children and has settled in well with her herd mate, Ruthie, our new Fjord. They are very well bonded. Ruby is the leader (I bet you knew that). I will send updates, and anyone can come visit whenever they need a hug.”

We all wish Ruby, aka Maggie, the happiest of lives and joy in her work with the kids. Her life is complete with a family and community to love and honor her for many years to come. SAFE looks forward to hearing how she is doing, going to visit and get much needed pony hugs!