Congratulations to February Volunteer of the Month, Jessica Sprague! Jessica started volunteering right at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. Since then she has been a reliable, hardworking team member who stepped up to become Shift Lead last October. Since then she has trained several new volunteers and supported her team through the ups and downs of occasionally being shorthanded with a full barn. We really appreciate Jessica’s kindness and are very lucky to have her as part of the SAFE family. Learn a little more about Jessica below.

How and when did you first get involved with horses?
I have been an animal lover since early childhood, but horses have always held a very special place in my heart. As a child I took sporadic riding lessons and have a vivid memory of being tossed off the back of a very grumpy senior pony. I was unfazed by this minor setback and continued to spend as much time as possible around horses.

Do you have one now you want to tell us about?
It was only recently — in 2018 — that I began taking riding lessons once again.  Weekly lessons evolved into a care lease for a very sweet older mare. Under her tutelage I grew into a more confident rider, and our relationship offered great comfort through many difficult months of the pandemic. In late summer my trainer matched me with a horse that needed more care than her owners were able to provide — and Stella entered my life in September.  She is a lovely and spirited 19 year old Morgan mare. Though we are still getting to know one another, I am looking forward to developing a lasting friendship with this special horse!

What do you like most about volunteering with SAFE?
There are so many reasons I enjoy volunteering at SAFE. It is wonderful to work around the horses and to feel as though you are contributing to their care in a meaningful way. It is also a great way to meet amazing like-minded individuals who devote their time and energy to SAFE. I am deeply impressed by the standard of care I witness and I feel honored to be a part of the SAFE community!

Do you have a favorite SAFE horse? If so, why?
My favorite horse has always been George; he is just so handsome and I admire his strong spirit.

What do you do when you are not horsing around with us?
When I am not at SAFE, I divide my time between my acupuncture practice in Duvall, working with my new horse, and spending time with my partner Josh and our three cats!