Congratulations and a huge thank you to our February Volunteer of the Month, Sean Cramer!! Sean is the Barn Assist on Thursdays, but also helps in so many other ways. Whether it’s unclogging drains, letting us borrow tractor parts, ripping up pastures or fixing hotwire in a torrential downpour. He is up for anything and always does it with a smile. You may have seen Sean a couple of weeks ago when he spent 4 days working on our gravel roads with his new Ventrac machine. We are so lucky to have Sean as part of the SAFE team!
How and when did you first get involved with horses?
Since I can remember, I was around and riding my aunt and uncles horses and was always in awe of their presence. Some years ago, I was re-introduced to horses through Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)/Equine Facilitated Learning (EAL), specifically for veterans with PTSD and saw the true heart and soul of the horse. After several years involved with this, I earned my certification in EAP/EFL for veterans and their families afflicted with PTSD.
Do you have one now you want to tell us about?
I do not have my own horse, but still have a close relationship with the horse that had an amazing impact on me through my journey through the EAP process, Aiden, a mustang from the Oregon BLM program.
What do you like most about volunteering with SAFE?
Teamwork and relationships. Knowing that each person is focused on accomplishing the mission. This is a big struggle with veterans when they leave service: mission, comradery, knowing that you are not alone. SAFE does amazing things for these amazing animals who were dealt a bad hand, but now have a supportive place to be who they are and an opportunity at having the life they deserve. Each person at SAFE is dedicated to that mission and work together to make it happen with a CAN DO attitude.
Do you have a favorite SAFE horse? If so, why? I have a heavy heart for the Mustang, so it is obvious that Sienna is very special. However, each horse has their own special trait that teaches me something about myself and draws me to them. But Sienna, she has that confidence in who she is and a compassion to accept us humans for who we are. She is a great listener.
What do you do when you are not horsing around with us?
I have become very interested in horsemanship and have been watching all the Buck videos available. Most important is spending time with my family, watching my kids grow and learning the ways of my new business using “Vennie” the Ventrac machine, mowing slopes/pastures and of course renovating gravel roads.
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?
Most important is to my family for picking up the slack to allow me to come out to SAFE and doing the things I love. Also to Skye, my most awesome “Jefe” and friend. Everyone I work with at SAFE, you are only as good as those around you. Lastly, to Arleen Gibson and the herd at Hope, Horses and Heroes Equine Therapy who gave me the tools and helped me navigate life back to normalcy.