Cyrus and Sue, photo by Sundee Rickey

How and when did you first get involved with horses? Do you have one now you want to tell us about? I was obsessed with horses as a child, but we never had the money for me to ride, other than a few weeks at summer camp each year. I got involved in the hunter jumper world in my late 20s, when I had discretionary time and money. I bought my own horse when I was 30, an athletic Morgan who knew everything and taught me the ropes over fences. I spent a few years convincing my husband we should wait one more year before having kids. Of course riding slowed down a bit with a job and 3 kids, but I found there was always something to ride, and I usually had some kind of a half lease. I also started going to a guest ranch in B.C. during those years, with my kids, and have been there multiple times yearly for 20 years now.  I ride Western there, and it might be my favorite place in the world. The best benefit of my retirement at the end of 2018 is not having to rush at the barn. I am currently half leasing a lovely 8 year old Thoroughbred mare named Kate. She is a dark bay, and has lots to teach me, mostly about asking quietly.

What do you like most about volunteering with SAFE? I love seeing the horses settling into living a great life, where they can be good citizens. I have learned so much watching Terry, Casey, Kaya, Dylan, and Joel provide them with a structure they can relax into, and go on to be productive happy horses. I am so proud to have even a small part in the work done at SAFE. I have also learned so much from Skye. She leads by example and I love her.

Do you have a favorite SAFE horse? If so, why? After much deliberation, I decided it is Sienna. The why is harder. I have always been a dark bay fan, and she is a lovely chestnut. While she is well put together, she is certainly not the perfect conformation for someone my size. She is a wise soul though, calm and centered (except when not) and I find it so peaceful to spend time with her.

What do you do when you are not horsing around with us? Well, of course I spend time horsing around outside of SAFE. I ride Kate 3 times a week. I am a water fan, so kayaking and riding waves are high on my list. My daughter and I have a yearly backpacking trip.  I was a software engineer by profession, and prior to COVID 19 I volunteered at a local high school, helping teach some AP computer science classes.  I enjoyed that a lot and hope to go back to it when the pandemic eases.

Sue and Sienna, photo by Sundee Rickey

Do you have family or special people in your life who support your volunteer work that you would want us to mention in your write up? My husband and 3 mostly adult children have supported my habit over the years. My daughter still goes to the ranch with me every year and we rock the cowgirl dances!