Category Archives: Placed Horses

Jewel is finally home!

Simply the best part of our work at SAFE is seeing our horses placed in wonderful loving homes. It is what all the hours of volunteering and care is working towards. It is even more sweet when it is the placement of a long time herd member like Jewel. So many people have been a part of this mare’s life, so her adoption is a deep heartfelt celebration for us all.

Julie came to SAFE to volunteer and rekindle her love of horses. Not long after, she started to dream of a certain bright eyed little palomino paint and what it would be like to call her family. Julie understood right away that this was a long term commitment and with Jewel there would be no rushing into things. As fate would have it, we were able to allow this relationship time to grow and develop into a strong bond before moving her to her new barn. And by “move her” we actually mean we walked her to her new barn on the other side of Ferrel McWhirter Park!

There are many people who made Jewel’s life special at SAFE and the thing that is true of all of them is that no one ever gave up hope for this mare. Through all the stages of growth with us, she was supported, loved, and cherished. She has become a very sweet and confident partner and was just waiting for the right person to walk into her life. Julie is a very thoughtful owner and is ready to take on the responsibility of horse ownership. She and Jewel make a beautiful pair and even when Jewel tries to test her, Julie looks for ways to improve her own skills and communication. Sometimes it takes time to find a match but it is worth the wait to find that perfect fit.

Jewel, while we miss your sweet face at Safe Harbor, we are so excited for you and Julie. We will be seeing you on the trails soon, love!


A new life, a new name, for Ruger

When one of SAFE’s Board of Directors puts in an adoption application, we know it’s going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity for the lucky horse! Barbara came to SAFE to volunteer as a chore volunteer and quickly shared her gifts as a powerhouse organizer and fundraiser. She told our Volunteer Manager, Jane, in her orientation interview that she had all the horses she needed so she would NOT be adopting a horse from SAFE in the future. Much to all of our surprise, Barbara fell madly in love with Ruger…and where there is a will, there is a way!

We had such a big outpouring of interest from the reining community when we first brought Ruger into SAFE but that dried up when people realized he could not be the riding horse they were looking for. Luckily Barbara sees her relationship with horses in a much different light. For her the horse always comes first and their happiness and comfort is number one priority. She is very content with long walks in the park and loving the companionship of this gentle soul. It was not just a perfect match for Ruger but the life and respect he so much deserves for the remainder of his years.

To say we are overjoyed at this adoption is a major understatement. This is the stuff real love and kindness is all about. Ruger not only has a new life but a lovely new name “Koa”. Barbara said: “It means strength and courage in Hawaiian. Which is something this dear boy has sure showed us.” We couldn’t be more hopeful for Koa’s new life and are happy to announce he has made his way home to a very loving family and friends!

Thank you Jessica Farren for taking these lovely photos of Barbara and Koa!

A Perfect Match for Sierra

Nothing delights us more than to write these types of announcements and this one is very near and dear to our hearts. Donna came to SAFE like many other people do…by filling out the application for a horse with a pretty picture. After talking with her on the phone Terry knew there was a very good chance that Sierra would fit the bill for Donna. But there was one problem…Sierra had just barely been started under saddle! She would need a few more weeks in training and then a few more weeks before Donna could ride her. Luckily Donna trusted us and was open to the idea of waiting until Sierra was ready.

Donna started volunteering at SAFE weeks before Sierra came home from training! She helped Terry with other horses and we talked a lot about green horses and how she needed to prepare for Sierra. When Sierra came home Donna visited her four times a week. She helped groom her, do ground work with her, and began riding her. She was happy to start slow at the walk and before long she was riding at all the gaits. This gave the pair a great chance to bond before leaving SAFE and a little more time for Sierra to get confirmed under saddle and even out on the trails!

There is so much we love about this pair and we look forward to many great updates on their journey together. Donna had this to say about working with SAFE and adopting Sierra: “I want to thank you all so very much for all of your support during my time there these past 3 months getting to know more about Sierra and about SAFE! You have all been so helpful and friendly and I feel extremely grateful for all you have done for me. A special thanks to Terry for all you have taught me and your patience and very calming, always consistent presence as I muddled through my many hours of learning and re-learning. You are the absolute best!”

Little Sierra is settling in well and beginning to make friends with her new family. She is doing some vocalizing (surprise) and has made many new people friends as they go to pet her to let her know she is OK. (She may be hollering because she has learned that when she does, she gets lots of petting!) We all know that Sierra can easily wrap you around her little hoof with those big sweet eyes. Be warned Donna, she is a charmer! All our love and hope for you both on the wonderful adventure ahead!

Here are some fun photos of Sierra and Donna at the Joel Conner Clinic. This was her first days back at SAFE and Donna’s first ride on her.

A New Chance for Nora

We are so happy to announce that Nora has been welcomed into the loving home of SAFE volunteer Sarah R.

Sarah had been volunteering at SAFE for some time and offered to do some liberty work with our companions. When she met Nora, there was an instant connection. Soon Sarah discovered what a special mare Nora is and how genuinely kind she is to be around. Her personality fit perfectly with Sarah’s future goal of working with therapy horses to help people in need. While this goal is still a few years out, Sarah knows that Nora will be perfect in this role.

Nora has settled in brilliantly at her new home and even has a boyfriend to share her paddock with during the days. Sarah is a diligent horse owner and is taking great care of all her needs. Nora now goes by the name of Mercy. “When I was a child,” Sarah explains, “my mom read to me a book with a character named Mercy who took in broken and hurting people and nurtured them back to health. I think it’s fitting for a future therapy horse.”

Bringing Nora back into the SAFE herd earlier this year was difficult, but we are so blessed that Sarah has opened her heart to her and will love her for the rest of her life!

Adoption Announcement: Cameo!

It may take some time but when the right fit comes into one of our horses lives the adoption process seems to have always been meant to be. This is exactly how it was when Cameo’s adopter Lindsay realized that she couldn’t see her life without this mare in it! We all could see this pair had a special bond so once the decision was made it was with pure joy we matched Cameo with her PERFECT home! She has moved north to a lovely dressage training barn where Lindsay works full time. She has lots of room to run and play and the constant love and devotion of a wonderful owner. We are all so excited to finalize this adoption and send Cameo and Lindsay lots of well wishes for their life together!

Cameo at her new home. Still wearing her breakfast hay!

Adoption Announcment: Vida!

We are so pleased to announce the placement of our sweet companion mare Vida. She is now loving her new life with JoElla!

A few months ago JoElla came to us, interested in getting a horse. She has never owned a horse before and while she did have family to help her take on this responsibility, she still needed to get more comfortable around horses. So we recommended that she come to SAFE and volunteer, to gain some valuable horse experience. While volunteering at SAFE, JoElla fell in love with Vida, a very independent mare with a VERY loving and tender heart.

Vida has settled in perfectly to her new home and routine. She has a boyfriend named Murphy and lots of loving people to care for her.

JoElla said this about adopting from SAFE: “This is the best thing I could have done. I love being with Vida, she is so sweet to me!”


Emmy and Gracie Find a Home Together!

Sometimes timing and patience play a big role in finding the perfect match for our horses. Rebecca put in an adoption application last year, but at the time, SAFE didn’t have the right horse for her. But several months later, we took in a horse named Gracie who seemed like a good prospect for Rebecca. While Gracie moved through her rehabilitation, she got all the medical attention she needed, including multiple dental floats to help correct her neglected teeth, and we began reintroducing riders. In the meantime, Rebecca made sure she was ready to take on another horse in her herd.

Fast forward to the spring of this year: Rebecca and a group of friends and family make the trip up to meet Gracie. They were in love with her gentle ways on the ground and understood her nature and sensitivities. During their visit, we also introduced them to Emmy, another horse that seemed like a good fit. Emmy and Gracie were pasture mates here at SAFE and really great friends out in the field and on the trails. Both mares showed well and Rebecca could see a future with each of them. The group left SAFE with a lot to think about and consider.

We were thrilled when Rebecca had decided that she couldn’t see the pair separated and wanted to be considered to adopt both of them! This was great news, but a lot of careful consideration on both sides needed to happen to make sure this was a good idea.  Gracie and Emmy both have special needs so it was important to make sure the family was prepared to take on the costs associated with caring for these two mare, now and in the future as they age.  After a lot of conversation and consdieration, everyone felt prepared and comfortable moving forward. Gracie and Emmy’s adoption was a go!

Rebecca has sent us many lovely photos of the girls and tells us she is delighted to have them in her herd. Gracie and Emmy join Rebecca’s 37 year old retired mare Tina, 31 year old gelding Cezanne, 10 year old gelding Amber and 18 year old mini Nugget! Both have settled in well and are out exploring the trails together. Enjoy these photos of the girls in their new home!!


Adoption Announcement: Harley

We are excited to announce the adoption of Harley! Jennie came out to see Harley and Ruger early on in their rehabilitation. She understood we needed to get them both healthy before we could figure out if they were sound and rideable.

Harley moved easily through her recovery and was able to go to Joel Conner’s for a quick training refresher. We knew right away that she was going to be a very nice riding horse and that she would make someone a great partner!

The day Harley came back from training, Jennie came out to ride and loved her. They did really well together and Jennie rode her very nicely. We were able to move forward with the site and reference checks quickly and she came to pick her up just a few weeks later. Since then Harley has been enjoying her big new field, lots of trail rides and tons of love and affection from Jennie! We are so happy for this mare who had been forgotten and is now in a safe and loving forever home!

Dyna Finds Her Perfect Match!

Some adoptions are just meant to be and have us saying YES without any hesitation. We are all literally jumping with joy to announce that Dyna has found a forever home with our amazing volunteer Jane! There was an instant connection between these two from the day Dyna arrived at SAFE. Even before we started riding Dyna, Jane volunteered her time to care for her and start her through rehabilitation, groundwork, and strengthening. These two are perfect for each other, both full of life and a ton of energy! Dyna is a trustworthy mare that needed just a little time to understand we were never going to ask more than she could do and Jane has opened her heart and life to a new and very important family member.

Dyna will never want for anything; Jane is a doting caregiver and both of them are enjoying every minute of their time together. Dyna is happy and content around Jane and your can see a true partnership in full bloom. It was wonderful to watch them grow together and we are so excited that Jane has found a barn to keep Dyna at that is right in the neighborhood. It was the first adoption where someone literally rode their horse home! Jane has offered Dyna to be the escort to any of the SAFE horses needing a trusting lead around the park for trail rides. We are so happy that we get to see these two on a regular basis.

We don’t know a ton about Dyna’s past but her future without a doubt is blessed and full of love! Congratulations Dyna and Jane and we will be seeing you on the trails!

Bridgit finds a home!

All the horses that pass through the gates of Safe Harbor are special and placing them into wonderful new homes is the best part of our work. SAFE is happy to announce that Bridgit’s new family has been found and she is adopted! Bridgit’s sweet and gentle disposition was exactly what Kristina and her family needed. The family was looking for what we call a “unicorn,”  one that is good for the whole family to be around and ride. It is very hard to find a rescue horse that can meet the needs of 3 generations of riders: grandma, daughter and granddaughter but Bridgit is just that exceptional! Everyone she meets is an instant friend and she doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. With her soft big doe eyes and youthful energy radiating innocence and joy, this mare is very unique.

Kristina has been out on the trails enjoying Bridgit and she is doing great going out alone or with her new companion Oreo. The little pony gelding and Bridgit are great compadres. The reports and photos of Bridgit we’ve received during her trial period have been delightful. This extra special mare has found an exceptional family to love her and take care of her for the rest of her life!