Brown and white pinto
July 24, 2011
WEIGHT: 750 lbs*
Online Adoption Application

*Bridgit would be suitable for a balanced rider (& tack) weighing up to 150-188lbs max.

“Delightful” is the word that best describes Bridgit. This pretty, petite young mare came to SAFE as a filly, surrendered to SAFE along with another pinto filly named Jewel. Bridgit has always has the sweetest disposition and just adores people. She was quick to learn basic skills, like leading, trailer loading, standing for the farrier, bathing, and clipping. Bridgit completed 60 days of professional training, and returned to SAFE going well at all three gaits. She was taken off property for a horse show and a SAFE event at Bridle Trails State Park and she behaved wonderfully at both. However we started seeing balance problems in Bridgit, which at first was attributed to a lack of strength. She was given some time off as a four year old after she popped a splint, but when she came back to work, she still seemed to be tripping under saddle more than we’d like to see. While we are still attempting conditioning training to help her regain soundness and balance, we are also looking into other career paths for this lovely mare.

Training Update: Bridgit

Here is what volunteer rider Erika had to say about working with Bridgit this week:

“Bridgit: She was in the top turnout area above the arena while I worked Cam. And was pretending to be a bucking bronco almost the whole time. I thought it would be a “fun” or “exciting” ride, and it was. But only because Bridgit was a ROCK STAR!! Seriously. We worked exclusively in the round pen today, with no trot poles. Rode her in the K&S instead of the black synthetic. Going one direction, we went from Walk-Trot-Lope-Trot-Walk-Halt-Reverse with NO REINS. Yep, you read that correctly. We tried the other direction and we got all the way up and down, but didn’t quite get to a halt. I *THINK* we were going right when we went through everything, and then left was when we didn’t get to halt. At any rate, this may have been the best ride we’ve ever had, and I told her she was SUCH a good girl! Super proud of how far she’s come!”

Great work Erika and Bridgit!!

Joel Conner Clinic Report: Rosie & Bridgit

SAFE’s volunteer riders and their horses spent last weekend working with Joel Conner. Tess worked with Rosie, our new intake, in the morning groundwork sessions and with Bridgit in the afternoon riding workshop. Tess writes about the clinic and shows a ton of good insight to these two horses and her experience with them. Thank you Tess for your volunteer work with SAFE and for sharing how special these horses are! You’re putting great work into helping find them homes! Here is what Tess has to say about her sessions with Rosie & Bridgit:


Rosie, Tess and Joel
Rosie, Tess and Joel

When I was paired up with Rosie for groundwork I was very excited to get to work with one of the newer horses. I thought Rosie would be a total breeze to work with, but I was proved wrong within the first 20 minutes of the first session. After 22 years of bad training and being allowed to walk all over her handler she needs lots of retraining. Her tendency was to try to crowd me and brace against me. When trying to bend her head head around she would create a brace and try to back up. After going around in circles backwards for a while she finally got it and was then very soft whenever I asked her to bend. It was to same story with backing. By the second day I really felt a change in her. She wasn’t crowding me as much and was much softer when I asked her to bend or back up. She’s very willing to learn and almost enjoys it when someone tells her to stop doing something and make a better choice. She had a hard time standing still initially (would start weaving and tossing her head or head butting me), but whenever I bumped her to say “stop that, keep your focus on me,” she would immediately start licking and chewing and even occasionally yawning. I’m very excited to see Rosie continue to learn and grow into the amazing horse she has the potential to be!


Bridgit and Tess
Bridgit and Tess

Bridget was a total rock star for the clinic! I have been working with her for a few months now and and was very excited to be able to ride her in the clinic. She’s done several other clinics with Joel so she’s a total pro at these, but this was my first clinic with Joel and my first clinic ever! I was a little worried about her being able to do everything due to her stifle weakness which we have been working to strengthen, but she didn’t have a single issue. I think I probably learned and grew more than she did. Bridget is such a great horse to learn on. She’s very forgiving and can take a joke. She’s also the kind of horse where you have to ask her to do something properly in order for her to do it properly, but even when I didn’t ask something properly she would still try to figure out what I was asking and wouldn’t get upset or frustrated. The only time I ran into any trouble was on the second day when she was obviously tired (I was tired too) and was somewhat reluctant to move off my leg. After she got it once though I didn’t have any trouble again. By the end of the clinic I felt that we had both really grown as a pair. She was even softer than she was at the beginning of the clinic, and she was already very soft, and she was much more prompt to respond to my aids. I’m so excited for her to become stronger and stronger so we can continue to grow! She is such a joy to work with and be around. She is constantly making me laugh, I have never met a horse with such a sweet and fun personality.

More photos from the clinic:

Bridgit & Gracie Get Massages

Brigit and Gracie were treated last week to massages from Lara Lutz of Island Equine Massage. Lara is a long time SAFE supporter, adopted mom to Amber & Louie, and a member of SAFE’s Board of Directors. She is also now a licensed equine massage practitioner. Lara has offered to come help give some much needed TLC and bodywork to a few of our horses. Here are a few things she had to say about meeting Bridgit and Gracie:

Bridgit – This was my first interaction with Bridgit. She is a personable girl and will play with the zipper on your coat pocket and nicker to you for treats. I really enjoyed working on her – she especially loved when I worked on her hind end, and it was rewarding to watch her lower her head and sway her body in relaxation. 

Gracie – Today was my first time working with Gracie. She has a kind eye and is a sweet mare. Much of our session focused on helping her poll and neck areas. The copious amounts of yawning and licking and chewing showed just how much she enjoyed and benefited from our time together. 

Health Update: Bridgit

We are currently working to strengthen Bridgit’s hindquarters. We had Dr. McCracken come out and evaluate her and help us understand why she has such a sway in her trot from her hind legs. It is a little of “the needle in the haystack” for an answer so at the moment to help we are going to do a few things to make her stronger and rule out weakness as part of the problem.

To start we are walking her over poles and up and down low incline hills. Then as we progress we will add trot and trotting polls. As we can, we’ll begin to add slightly steeper hills and possible take her on walks up the hills here on the Hollywood Hills trails. This is a gradual increase of work and we will be working up to the full load over the next two months.

So far Bridgit has been doing well for her rehab work out and learning to pick up her hooves over the poles. She remains a very sweet mare and enjoys her time with the volunteers. Her future as a riding horse remains uncertain but we hope to have some answers from the work we are doing with her now.

Wrap up from Joel Conner Clinic Dec. 12-13, 2015

Great group of Volunteer Riders!
Great group of Volunteer Riders!

We had a great time hosting Joel again at Safe Harbor. The horses and volunteers had an amazing weekend and everyone progressed in their feel and training. Here are a few accounts from the volunteer participants about what they learned about the horses they were working with during the clinic:

Jolene D:Khianna– At the time of the clinic Khianna had a total of 4 or 5 rides on her since her return from foster. She was nervous, but did so well! She tries so hard. She is coming along nicely and I believe will develop into an incredible partner for someone.

Sara E: Jewel – Jewel was an all-star for the clinic, Claire has done such a great job with her. She felt flawless going from hind-end to front-end turns. I learned so much while riding her during the clinic. She is going to make someone a really great horse.

Sara E: Khianna – Did ground work with Khianna and at the beginning she was a nervous trotting mess, but Joel came over and helped me get her front feet moving and she calmed right down. She is so loving and tries so hard. Once she figures out you aren’t going to eat her, she just wants to please you and be loved on, I don’t know if I have ever worked with a horse that tries to give you 150% all the time.

Lisa G: Ben– I can’t say enough about how the horsemanship that Joel has helped bring to SAFE amazes me. I had Ben in all 4 sessions, GW and riding, and I was honestly just hoping I could get him to stay focused on me with all of the excitement, maybe get some nice serpentines down in the riding portion, and work on soft feel and stopping/moving forward off of the seat. Well….. He did all of those things and SO MUCH MORE. Every exercise that Joel moved the participants through, beginning to advanced, Ben tried. And SUCCEEDED, at least on some level. I am so impressed with the effort this big guy puts into everything; as long as he understands that there are no consequences if he doesn’t understand, and he knows that I will wait for him to figure it out, I believe this horse would be willing to try anything under the sun. In the few days since the clinic, Ben had maintained a quiet, willing attitude, with TONS of deep, relaxed sighs, even during the riding work. SO proud of the progress he has made and so grateful that this work was brought to the SAFE horses.

Sara S: Khianna– I worked with Khianna for the first time doing GW on Saturday morning, and was so impressed by her “try”. She does get a little nervous about the rope and flag coming at her while moving (though not at all while standing still in the comfort of the “herd” (me)). I particularly enjoyed the backing exercises, and she was so in tune with my feet and body language it felt like we were dancing partners! She is such a sweet girl.

Sara S: Phoenix– I did GW and rode Phoenix on Saturday afternoon. He hadn’t been ridden in weeks, and it was raining on the tin roof, so he was extra “special” to start, but after just a bit of GW he calmed down and started paying attention to me. Riding, he was great. He’s getting very good at backing circles, front and hind yields (he’s so bendy!). Over the few months I’ve been working with Phoenix, I’ve noticed he tries very hard to anticipate what I want (if he’s in the mood), but as soon as I push too hard and/or he doesn’t understand what I’m asking, he shuts down. On Saturday, I didn’t feel him shut down at all which is probably a combination of both of us getting better at this!

And many thanks again to Joel and Terry for putting on such an inspiring clinic!!! I wish I could come out to SAFE every day, but I’m glad to be even a small part of this great community and cherish this opportunity!

Claire C: Mesquite– It was my first official time working with Mesquite, and I think we made some really good changes. He is super sensitive so it was interesting to experiment with him and see how much pressure he needed. I only did the groundwork session with him and it was fun learning to time up with his feet better.

Claire C: Phoenix– For the afternoon session, I rode Phoenix, who I have not done a whole lot with either. He was also good; we worked a lot on more forward motion and keeping him focused on what I was asking. We did lots of bending and yielding, which was so good for him. Overall, he did very well.

Casey A: Stella– I worked with Stella, who is turning out to be a great little horse. We worked on slowing down and developing balance on both the ground and under saddle. We were both so much lighter by the end of Sunday, and I know we got a big change in our partnership. She was so relaxed through the entire clinic, even when horses around her were nervous. She’s also pretty resilient and forgiving of my mistakes. She has taught me so much, and she is going to make someone really lucky!

Erika S: Maggie– I worked with Maggie for all 4 sessions, and she did fantastic! She’s such a smart, willing mare, and we connected early on. One idea that I heard this weekend was that eventually it will feel like your horse is reading your mind… Well, I’m here to tell you that that’s the truth! Maggie remained tuned in for everything we learned about, and worked in sync with me. It honestly helped me more than I think it helped her!

Ann A: Bridgit– Bridgit is a friendly girl and likes getting attention. She is a bit on the lazy side and I had some trouble getting the life up in her while doing circling exercises. She just wanted to come into the center and hang out with me. She made good progress under saddle in the afternoon sessions. She was learning how to pick up a soft feel at the walk by the end of the first day and we had some nice walk/trot transitions. She needs more work backing straight and in a circle both on the ground and under saddle. She also needs more work reaching with her front foot and disengaging her hindquarters under saddle. She felt much more balanced to me than she did when I rode her last summer.

Jane M: Oscar– As a relative novice to practicing Joel’s horsemanship skills, the greatest lesson I took away from GW and riding Oscar during this most recent Joel clinic is the impact GW has on riding. Yielding hindquarters, circling to achieve bend and balance, it all makes such a difference when aboard the horse. I’m able to apply lessons learned under Joel’s guidance to my regular riding lessons. It’s quite remarkable to me, and I look forward to Joel’s next visit and my next “aha” takeaway!

Playful Brigdit!

When can we play with Bridgit again?

We have been patiently waiting to start working with Bridgit again….She “popped a splint” on her left front a few weeks ago and we have been waiting for the heat and swelling to go down. Meanwhile the little munchkin has been enjoying long turnouts next to her buddy Phoenix. They could be caught grooming each other every day for long periods of time. She has been very well behaved and taking it easy. I was looking back through some photos and found these from earlier this summer. She is such a doll and as she fills out is going to make a great riding companion. Here are some of the pictures I found:


Bridgit’s Ten Friends:

1. Taryn C.

2. Samantha G.

3. _____________________

4. _____________________

5. _____________________

6. _____________________

7. _____________________

8. _____________________

9. _____________________


Every horse deserves at least ten friends! Even a small monthly donation can make a difference. Plus, SAFE horse sponsors receive discounts at local businesses through the SAFEkeepers program!

Click here to sponsor Bridgit!