Category Archives: Past SAFE Events

2016 Open Houses at Safe Harbor Stables

SAFE holds a quarterly Open House in which we invite our supporters and neighbors to come for a visit! Here are the dates we’ve chosen for 2016:

2016 Dates:

Sunday, March 20, 2016
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Sunday, December 4, 2016

Time: Noon to 3pm

Location: Safe Harbor Stables, 16509 164th NE, Woodinville WA 98072

Fall Work Party Photos

We’re giddy with all the amazing work that was accomplished on Saturday at the Volunteer Work Party. About 40 people came out to dig, saw, invent, organize, clean, scrape, wash, pull, and make Safe Harbor Stables shine for the ponies. A marvelous time was had by all, as proven by these photos. THANK YOU to everyone who made this day a success!!

(click a photo below to view a slideshow!)

Follow up to the Fall Open House and Seminar!

We had beautiful weather and lots of wonderful people come out to SAFE’s Fall Open House and Estate Planning Seminar. Many guests of all ages came out to meet the horses and learn more about the rescue, as well as to participate in a discussion about future estate planning.

We love having the chance to share SAFE and its mission with the community and introduce the horses. They were all very happy to meet and greet their fans. A few even showed off their inquisitive nature, “hamming it up” for the crowd.

After the open house came to a close, we sat down for a special talk on managing estates through the creation of wills and trusts. Andrew Norman, founding principal of Voya Financial Advisors Bellevue branch, and Scott M. Weitz, J.D., LL.M, managing partner of Weitz Law Firm of Kirkland, shared with us the fundamentals of creating a plan and how to make certain your wishes are followed in the event of your passing. They shared many stories and lessons learned from clients they have helped over the years.

One of the biggest messages from the discussion was that it is never too early to sit down and get your estate plan completed! It is essential that you take time to create a legal document that clearly outlines what you want to happen to both your intangible assets such as bank accounts as well as your tangible assets such as your pets. A quick annual review of documents helps insure that your documents remain up to date as as your life changes. One participant at the seminar spoke about what a sense of relief it was for her to go through this process and write up her will. We hope that you take the time to get the documents drawn up for peace of mind for both your family and pets. A special thanks to our guest speakers for taking the time to come to SAFE and share with all of us the important work they do for their clients.

We want to send a BIG THANK YOU to all the hard working volunteers who helped organize and clean the stables for the event, as well as those who gave tours and ran the bake sale and the SAFE booth. Here are a few candid photos that volunteer Jessica Farren took for us during the open house and the Estate Planning Seminar:

SAFE’s clinic with Joel Conner and Colt starting demonstrations

It was a pleasure this past weekend to have Joel Conner visit the SAFE horses and teach our volunteers. We began each morning, with a colt starting demonstration where Joel worked with Hickory, Mesquite and Ben. Joel is an expert when it comes to working with un-started horses and it was clearly evident that his years of experience have giving him the timing and insight to know exactly what they need to have a successful start.

This method of horsemanship and starting horses has the horse’s wellbeing at the top of the priorities. It is fair and prepares the horses for each new step in the process. They may not understand fully what is happening but Joel was there to help them through each part and they were not surprised or made to feel any undue stress or pressure did not have a release. As many of us know, you don’t have to start horses in a way that takes anything away from their spirit. That’s what we love about them and when we ask them to partner with us, to become our riding companions, they can do so with out force or fear. Joel said that his work is about the horse; it is finding ways each day to do right by them and helping them have a clear and clam understanding of the work they do together. Watching him work this weekend it was clear he has a true gift and our horses are benefitting for his kindness.

Hickory has a very inquisitive and gentle disposition, which made him one of the star pupils. This great personality will inevitably make him a wonderful partner and this weekend it helped him accept the saddle and rider without stress. Joel prepared him for saddling through groundwork and gaining Hickory’s trust. We were all amazed at both Joel’s skill and Hickory’s willingness to accept being ridden. I knew that we were lucky to have Joel working with the SAFE horses but after watching him work with both Hickory and Mesquite, our two most recent intakes and gelded Arabians, I feel blessed and grateful he is on our team. Hickory did so well that we decided that he would be the first to go down for training with Joel. He loaded on Joel’s trailer Sunday afternoon and headed to get a few more weeks of training before returning to SAFE Harbor and having our volunteers begin riding him. He is going to be an amazing riding horse!

Mesquite is a bit more reserved than Hickory. He is the older of the two and had more years as a stallion and at the hands of his abusers. He is wary of new people approaching him and has an eye on what is going on around him. He is thoughtful to new things but was willing to work with Joel and see what he had to offer him. The changes Mesquite made over just the few short days were outstanding. Joel allowed him to take the time he needed to accept and move out in the saddle. By the second morning Mesquite was walk, trot and cantering without any worry. All the horses were hardly sweating under their saddles and were calm and relaxed throughout the work. Mesquite is going to make someone a very lucky adopter! He is going to take a little bit longer to open up to new people but there is a very kind boy under all that mane and we are feeling lucky to have been given the responsibility to find him a perfect forever home!

Last up for the demonstrations was Big Ben! Before going into work with him, I explained to Joel that we want the best for Ben and if riding is not in his future we are ok with that. I was again reconfirmed why Joel is such a perfect fit for these troubled horses. Ben has years of people letting him down, passing him around, starving and forgetting about him. SAFE will never let that happen again and is giving him the opportunity to understand people are not afraid of him. Past experiences have put braces in his body that don’t need to be there. Joel worked to help Ben free up his body and left go of the baggage someone else had put in there. It will take some time sorting this out for our big boy but the changes we saw though the work with Joel have us optimistic that Ben can make it though. Our plan is to send Ben down to Joel’s for an extended amount time and allow him to move through the process without being rushed or pressured. He continues to put on more weight and is more comfortable and happy everyday. SAFE is committed to this sweet boy and he has a very bright future ahead of him.

Michael Sparling Clinic – July 10-12 at Safe Harbor Stables

The talented horseman Michael Sparling will be back at Safe Harbor Stables to put on another horsemanship clinic for SAFE volunteers and members of the public, July 10-12, 2015. Michael Sparling has traveled the country starting horses, teaching horsemanship, and studying with some of the best in the horse industry. Here’s your chance to learn from him as he pursues the art of horsemanship.

Auditors do not need to pre-resgister and can pay at the door. Remember, SAFE Volunteers can audit for just $10 per day! If you are interested in participating in the clinic as a rider, or if you’re interested in a private lesson with Michael while he’s in town, please contact Michael directly at (612) 423-2246 or by email at

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