Category Archives: Anderson

Clinic & Health Update: Anderson

Finally, the wet weather is here and Anderson’s cough has all but gone away! He is definitely a Northwest boy who likes wet air that is dry and certainly not smoky! We are going to lower his dose of prednisolone to try to wean him off of it. There is a chance he will need to stay on a low dose and increase it when during dry weather or poor air quality. The easiest way to understand what he has is if you know anyone who suffers from asthma. While it is not exactly the same, he will most likely get flair ups of different degrees and need medication to help him through the episodes. An easy fix and otherwise he remains a very content, healthy and sound horse.

Anderson continues to be a star for riding and trail work. He is consistently improving in both his skill and attitude around riding. We had a wonderful experience at the end of the summer at the Ricky Quinn clinic in Ellensburg. Ricky travels the US and Internationally teaching horsemanship and sharing his study of his study of the teachings of Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt, and Buck Brannaman. It was a great learning opportunity for both Anderson and myself. I feel very lucky to have had the chance to ride a SAFE horse in one of Ricky’s clinics. We spent the mornings working on horsemanship and the afternoons putting those skills to work sorting cattle and swinging the rope.

Anderson and Ben sorting cattle at the Ricky Quinn Clinic

Anderson exceeded every expectation I could imagine during this long weekend. He was a champ loading, settling in and very well behaved in the new surroundings. The weather was not so pleasant with high winds but even with things blowing about, he remained connected to me and feeling of my energy. Ricky was very helpful in showing where a solid foundation can be built upon to ultimately taking the horse into one hand and working cattle. While I am not on a path to be a rancher, I am very interested in the extreme lightness of the horses worked in this style of horsemanship. They are very engaged in the hind quarters, in self carriage and light to the aids, all while remaining relaxed in their dispositions.

There were many things done to help ready the horses for introduction of the cows and each step helped make the experience easy and safe. We learned to follow behind a moving dummy both pulled by another horse and a gator as well as the importance of our positioning around the livestock. It took Anderson just a few minutes to settle into the work and soon we were sorting the cows and literally walking right through the small herd. He was drawn to their life and was interested in moving them. By the last day one of the other participants jokingly commented that Anderson was no longer a rescue Arabian but looked as comfortable as an old ranch horse. It meant the world to me to hear these words. Andy has truly come so far and whatever the future holds for him, I am confident the foundation SAFE has provided him will carry him into a very happy life.

At the start of each day Terry helping Jennifer & Anderson

A few weeks ago Joel Conner came out to SAFE for the last clinic of the year. I was very pleased to allow one of our young volunteers the opportunity to ride Anderson in the clinic. Not know exactly what he may do with her in a clinic setting I was very cautious and stayed close as they both settled into the class. Again, as always, he surpassed all expectation and was a perfect gentleman for Jennifer. Here is what she had to say about her rides on Andy:

Jennifer & Anderson

“I really enjoyed riding Anderson in Joel’s clinic. He was extremely patient with me while I was learning to ride and trying to figure out what I was asking from him. He was quiet and calm and made it very easy to learn on him. During the entire clinic he was responsive to me even with my slightest move he knew how to react. I felt very safe with him and knew he was a horse that could be trusted. I learned a lot with him and can’t wait for the next clinic!”

Anderson is READY for his new life to begin. He still requires a fairly good rider or at least one willing to learn how to ride him without tight legs and heavy hands. He is a great companion out in the field with the other geldings and we have been able to go on quite a few solo trail rides. He will require someone come to SAFE a few times to get to know him and I am excited to find the right person to hand him over too. He is a loving boy and I know a very special person will find him soon!

Poor Anderson

It’s finally raining again and no one at SAFE is happier about that than Anderson. The smoke and dust in the air this summer have been exceptionally hard on his lungs. We started noticing that he’d cough a bit when asked to canter, so when Dr. Fleck came to do his dental, we had him listen to his lungs as well. Unfortunately Dr Fleck did not like what he was hearing. He prescribed medications to help open up Anderson’s airway and help reduce inflammation in his lungs. We also changed his bedding to less dusty sawdust pellets and began wetting down his hay. The good news is at his two week check up, his lungs sounded much more clear. But sadly the air began to fill with smoke again and his breathing issues returned. Not only would he cough for a few seconds when asked to canter, he was also wheezing at the trot and canter. We’re making adjustments to his medication to see how comfortable we can make him, and of course not riding him during periods of bad air quality. Hopefully, with fall and wetter weather approaching, he will make a full recovery and we either take him off the medications or find a low maintenance dose to keep him comfortable.


Anderson Photo Gallery

photos by Jessica Farren

Trail horses available for adoption!

Here at SAFE, we are enjoying the wonderful sunshine by exploring the trails at Farrel-McWhirter Park next door. The horses love to get outside and get a break from arena work. Last week, both King and Stevie went out for their first trail rides and did perfect! We had a nice steady group to help them along, with Anderson in the lead and Cameo bringing up the rear. You can bet we’ll be enjoying many warm days this summer walking in the cool forest with these horses. They all are amazing and more than ready for new homes!

Cow Horse Anderson?

First sighting…

OK OK… so maybe there aren’t any rodeos in our near future but let me tell you this boy was SO BRAVE and well behaved working with cows for the first time. The truth is… I was more scared of getting run over by one of them than Anderson! The only time he really got concerned was when they first came into the arena. After that, he was interested but remained with me and listened to my direction. MAN I LOVE THIS HORSE! It is things like this that show me what an amazing riding partner he has become and will continue to develop into over time.

We had a some really great riding sessions with Joel while visiting in Ellensburg and quite a bit of homework to do. Overall Anderson did extremely well hauling over the pass and getting settled into the farm and was ready to work. The next goal in our training is to increase his promptness to moving forward when ask and to keep his life up during the movements. Anderson, our fiery Arabian boy, has a dullness to him. He would mush rather stand and watch the action then get out and go. It’s important to continue to make sure he doesn’t become dull and when I ask him to move forward he needs to do it in a timely manner. Changing paces even within the gait can help keep him lively and at this point in his training it is still important to remember to stay away from using two reins. Pulling back with two reins will only stop him and not allow him the freedom he needs as a young riding horse. While we can start asking for softness with both reins he still needs to be going along for the majority of the time with a soft rein and if needed just the inside rein to help him bend and shape up around the inside.

I am extremely proud of Anderson’s improvement over the past few months and it is good to have a check up with Joel. He has really come quite a long way and is a testament to the foundation that the horsemanship training is providing for our SAFE horses. He is ready to take on whatever style of riding his adopter wants to take him into. And while he is still best suited for an intermediate to advanced rider he is starting to fill in more for the rider. I am hoping to start introducing some of the volunteer riders to him and see how he does with different riders on his back.

Can you love one a little too much?

A face hard not to fall in love with.

Being “horseless” is a choice I have made. I work many long hours for SAFE and when I come home, my family needs me. I could not justify running off in my free time to ride my personal horse or spend the many hours a week I would want to spend with one. I don’t think I know how to do anything but go all in. So I get to still enjoy working with horses thorough my job at SAFE. I always have one very special horse that becomes my central project and that horse will get all the attention and care I would give my own horse. So I have lovingly taken to calling Anderson my boyfriend and all the volunteers tease me that I love him so much.

So what is the consequence to this? Well for starters, potential adopters seen that love and have even remarked that they didn’t want to take him away from me. Oh dear! Have I loved him too much? I don’t think this is possible but I understand their concern and think it is very sweet. For me, the absolute best day at SAFE is when a horse is loaded in the trailer and headed to their new home. A perfect family has been found for them and a future of safety and love awaits them. With Anderson, he needed a consistent person to attach to and trust. So the relationship for both of us works well. I get to have a sweet boy to ride and learn on and he gets to see that people are pretty cool and is building the trust he needs to secure placement in a forever home.

He gives me a very strong sense of safety. I know this sounds strange coming from the person that was bucked off this guy not even a year ago, but I feel that he wants to be safe and he doesn’t intend any harm to me. That said I am always mindful of him. Not only is he a young energetic Arabian but also he was a late cut stallion. In no way does he act overly interested in mares but he does test me in little ways to see who is actually in charge of whom. It is these times that I help him know the herd order that he becomes even more gentle and kind. He loves to interact with me. If he is in the round pen doing liberty work he wants to be near me and stays with me as I walk around the pen. He is a little cheeky at times so I am always aware of him and what he is capable. Keeping the order of the herd is important with him. I don’t have to “dominate him” to make my point, I just have to be clear and when I ask him to do some thing there are no questions about it happening. Get the change and let him have peace, have become some important lessons for us. If I let me get away with little bad habits he may challenge me at other times. Really small things like not letting him became mouthy are very important.

I have an absolute blast working with him at the Joel Conner clinic in March. He was happy to show Joel the changes he has gotten and in this clinic we really learned the importance of working on a loose rein. I LOVE the fact that we are at a place that he can calmly go into the walk, trot and lope on a loose rein and come back down with out pulling on the rein. God knows it took a lot of courage and trust to get there but the end result has changed so much in my own abilities and made a huge difference for Andy.

After the Joel clinic, it was time to take him back out on to the trails. He was a little excited at first but soon relaxed into a very nice big walk. He crosses over the bridges and water with just a very little amount of caution before going over; he’s happy leading other horses and just as content to follow. He did not get upset when other horses with us were pacing or unsettled. He was respectful of their space and OK if they came close behind him. I think he really enjoyed being out of the arena and he was just as responsive to me outside as he is at home. Again all the work we have done in preparation and building a solid relationship are paying off. I felt very safe on him and was very happy we could walk on the trail and over bridges with a long rein and at a relaxed pace.

Now I write this glowing report and think wow, he sounds like the perfect horse… While I might have some rose colored glasses on but I do think he is extremely talented young horse and has a ton of potential. He still is at a place in his training that he needs an athletic advanced rider who is able to keep up with his energy and able to guide him through the next few years. Someday he maybe able to carry a more beginner rider but at this point he needs an adopter who can continue the great work SAFE has done with him and not let him regress or fall into bad habits. His perfect match would be someone who has the time to work with him 4-5 times a week and has an arena to continue working with him along with any trail riding they want to do. He is not ready for someone to just pull him out on a Saturday, saddle up and head out on the trails. He still needs groundwork and to continue to confirm the basics. I do think he is going to go fast when the right match puts an application in for him. I will miss him but know that he will have the best home we can find for him and all the opportunity to have a successful forever home. Please email me at if you have questions about Anderson.

Training Update: Anderson

Anderson_11_10_2016_01I don’t know if I will be able to put into words how pleased I am with the work Joel Conner did with Anderson. Anderson and I had hit a pretty hard spot in our training this last summer and while I loved working with him, I knew that he needed a better hand to get him through this rough patch. He was still very scared of saddling and had extreme reactions to leg aids and going forward. This resulted in a few accidents where I got to test gravity and one major fall that left me laid up for a few weeks. Stubborn or stupidity might have played a role in waiting as long as I did to ask Joel to take him into training, but in the end it saved us both.

During the three months Anderson was in training with Joel, I had the opportunity to take several day trips over to see his progress and ride. While Anderson had several issues to work out himself, there was a tremendous amount of growth I needed to do as well, including getting over my fear of falling from this horse. There are times you have to trust, to let go of old fears and let the teacher take the reins, as it were, and show you a better way. I am truly grateful for Joel’s help.

I was listening to a video of a theologian talking online the other day. He had an interesting analogy about growth. He explained that when we are at a point that we need to change we experience an uncomfortable feeling. He used the comparison of a lobster. As the lobster gets bigger, he becomes too small for his shell. Finally he becomes so uncomfortable that he has to shed his current shell and grow a new one, making him very vulnerable during this process. Pain, being uncomfortable, and vulnerability are all symptoms of growth. Let me tell you, Anderson and I both had a lot of growing to do over the past three months!

It’s amazing how horses can get us to stretch and push beyond ourselves. Rescue horses add another layer to this as they have to work through troubles that other horses often don’t face. I know I shouldn’t be proud but I can’t help smiling and being pleased with all the changes this horse has gone through since we picked him up. He is still growing and learning to be a gentle riding partner but now he has a great foundation to work with as we progress in our work together. He is suited for a confident rider who has experience with green horses, preferably someone who has worked with late cut stallions. I know his match is out there and they are going to have one amazing horse to partner up with!

Anderson in Training

anderson_09_29_2016_02Early in July of this year, we made the decision to put Anderson back into training, this time with Joel Conner. Although Anderson had a good start as a riding horse, there were some holes in his training that had started cropping up. A bucking incident unseated SAFE trainer Terry Phelps, and although she was unhurt, her confidence in Anderson was a bit shaken. Other holes in his training were beginning to cause concern. So Anderson was sent off to Ellensburg to continue his training with Joel.

Anderson is a smart horse who learns well, and he’s made terrific progress in his training. Being at the ranch means that Anderson is exposed to new situations all the time. He lives outside in a small herd made up of a young mustang gelding and another horse you’d probably recognize: SAFE alumni Owen. Owen and Anderson both came to SAFE as stallions and both grew up in relative isolation, leaving them a bit socially challenged in regard to other horses. Owen has turned out to have a very dominant personality, and he accepts nothing less than total respect from the horses he shares space with. At first, Anderson didn’t understand this dynamic, and in fact he tended to behave rather rudely towards other horses, letting his studdy side show. Joel told us that when Anderson was turned out with Owen, he put on a little show of dominance, which Owen wryly observed for several minutes before putting Anderson firmly in his place. This taught Anderson a valuable lesson, one that has had a very positive effect on his training. The three horses co-exist peacefully in their shared space, but both Anderson and the mustang know that when Owen says move, you’d better get out of his way!

anderson_09_29_2016_01We’ve made several trips over the mountains to visit, and Anderson’s been ridden successfully by Terry, as well as volunteers riders Casey and Jolene. He’s going beautifully at all three gaits, and looks amazing with his flaxen tail flowing out behind him as he canters along. This is a fabulous horse who is going to make someone a wonderful partner, but at this point in his training, Anderson needs a rider who is very confident and has experience working with green broke or difficult horses. If you don’t have complete confidence in your ability to ride him, Anderson is going to figure that out pretty quickly. For a rider with a light touch and near perfect timing, Anderson is a joy to ride. What makes him tricky is the fact that he is both sensitive and stubborn. As Joel puts it, he is not a horse who is willing to fill in for his rider. Make a mistake, or ask him with hesitancy, and he can quickly get “stuck.” He can be quite resistant to the idea of moving forward, especially if he’s not convinced that his rider really means it. Anderson is a horse who still believes that there is room to “negotiate” with a rider, and Joel is working with him to clear up that misunderstanding and improve his communication skills.

Joel’s also worked with Anderson on two spots of trouble that we saw here at Safe Harbor: saddling and standing for the farrier. Anderson has never been a huge fan of having the saddle put on; in fact, he’d probably prefer to be ridden bareback. He’s improved greatly in this area, and will now stand quietly for the pad and the saddle. Joel’s also worked on his reluctance to have his feet handled, and now he stands quietly to be trimmed as well. The end result? A horse that is safer to be around, not to mention more pleasant to handle. All of Anderson’s best qualities are still as strong as ever: he really is a sweetheart on the ground. He’s the type of horse who greets you with an interested nicker when you walk up to him. He’s a good-natured, good-looking horse. And when you remember where he came from, you can’t help but admire him for how far he’s come.

Anderson is likely to be returning to SAFE in Woodinville in the next few weeks. If you’ve got what this horse needs in a rider, and are interested in meeting him, please fill out our adoption application.

Training update: Anderson

Anderson_04_17_2016_01Anderson is one BIG love bug! If he could, I believe he would come into the house and snuggle up on the couch with me. This big puppy has a giant heart. It’s been a joy to be around him during his journey to becoming a riding horse.

He has a very smart and strong personality but he is also very young in both his actions and emotions. I don’t think he has a mean bone in his body. He is inquisitive about new things and very much wants to be your friend; however, he has some confusion where the line is between buddy and riding partner. So we are working on that.

Once he learns something, he is eager to show you what he knows. He is a little bit of an overachiever with a side of show off and goofball! I crack up every time I ask him to “pick me up” on the fence, because he quickly gets into position, lines up on the wall, and comes as close as he can so I can get on without any problem. He is very pleased with himself during the whole process and it is very endearing to watch.

He is very steady for mounting and dismounting either off the fence, mounting block, or from the ground. He has a pretty good stop and is learning that forward is the answer. He loves long grooming sessions and any activity that means I’ll be staying close and interacting with him.

He is great at trailer loading, standing for the farrier and being led in and out of turnout. He is easy to catch when he’s out in the large grass field. We still have not turned him out with other horses, mostly because all of the geldings here at SHS right now were late cut stallions who would want to assert too much dominance towards each other. He is a sweetheart over the fence with mares; in fact he’s stabled right between two mares without any issues.

I took him into the Joel Conner clinic a few weeks ago and he was great. We were in the morning groundwork sessions and Joel rode him over the lunch hour each day. Since the clinic, I’ve been riding him in the round pen and things are going well. I also took him out on a trail ride with four other SAFE horses and he was a very good boy.

Anderson is still extremely green and would only be suitable for a professional rider or someone with a lot of experience with young horses. He also needs an adopter who has a good understanding of the Arabian temperament. We will continue to work on his training here at Safe Harbor and hope to see some adoption applications come in on him soon. He has a ton of potential to offer to a skilled rider looking for a partner to enjoy for years to come.

Training Update: Anderson

AndersonAnderson made his way home from training a few weeks ago. It has been a lot of fun getting to know his personality and to start riding him. I have 100% confidence getting on him. With unfamiliar horses you don’t always know how they are going to react to a new rider, but Anderson was honest and not at all afraid or unsure about having me climb aboard.

While he is still a little leery about things being put on his back—like saddles or blankets—once they are in place, he quickly accepts them. He is gentle and very sweet! A few volunteers have have even described him as “cuddly” —  which is a far cry from the horse we first met last summer! He is getting used to having a bit in his mouth and doesn’t have any major objections to it. He is well behaved around other horses in the arena, including mares…although he does show a little interest in them from time to time. But that usually means that he would rather go to wherever they are in the arena then stay on the circle we are working.

I had the opportunity to take him in the morning sessions for groundwork with Joel Conner when he was here in December. Anderson was fantastic! He was attentive to me even with up to 11 other horses in the arena. I was amazed at how intelligent he is and how quickly he picks up new things. He also had his first trimming session with our new farrier David Barron. David was kind and took his time to get to know him. He was good for the trim and everything went well.

I am enjoying our time together and excited to start showing him to potential adopters. Anderson is suitable for an intermediate to advanced rider who is comfortable with green horses and willing to keep this horse in training. With the right instruction, he could do just about any discipline. He got a little a bit of trail riding time while he was with Darik. Anderson is a genuinely nice gelding that will make some person a very lucky owner.

Please submit applications online or email with questions.