Congratulations to Ellen Weisberg, our June Volunteer of the Month! Ellen has been helping care for the horses of SAFE for just shy of a year, and we couldn’t be more thankful that she is part of our community. Ellen started on our Thursday AM chore team, and not only did she add on another shift, she is leading the team as the Shift Lead on Monday mornings! We are so lucky that we get to see Ellen twice a week, where she brings her kind smile, a passion for horses, and a willingness to go above and beyond in her volunteer duties. Her positive attitude is infectious, and she always goes the extra mile to ensure the horses are well-cared for and everyone on her team feels valued. In addition to her hard work at the barn, Ellen has some amazing connections, as she put in a special call to the North Pole last Christmas and invited Santa to come to our Holiday Open House!  Thank you, Ellen, for all of your hard work, and for sharing so much of your time and heart to help our horses. You truly embody the spirit of volunteerism, and we are incredibly fortunate to have you as part of the SAFE family. Learn more about Ellen below!

How and when did you first get involved with horses? Do you have one now you want to tell us about?

I was born a horse crazy girl and after many years of hounding my parents, I finally got my own horse Frosty at 12 years old. When I got him I did not know anything but, in hanging out with Frosty every single day I sure learned a lot! I rode him western & english and showed him in 4H. I started working for a family that showed hunter jumpers when I was 12 (weekend stalls) which grew to working at Green River Stallion Station (GRSS) in the Auburn/Enumclaw area until my early 20’s.  GRSS was a large thoroughbred breeding farm which had 6 stallions. Approximately 200 pregnant mares or with foals come through during breeding season. It was hard work but I learned so much during those years. I currently do not own my own horse. I enjoy all the SAFE horses and it keeps my horse madness in check.

What do you like most about volunteering with SAFE?

I always knew my retirement needed to somehow include horses. During the Fall City 40 news stories I started researching SAFE and other horse rescues. The more I learned about SAFE the more I felt that was the place for me. I really respect the care, handling, feeding  and training of the horses that are lucky enough to end up at SAFE. I have a lot to learn but love the challenge that  it gives me and the pleasure of seeing how each horse becomes the best they can be with the help of  the entire SAFE team.

Being around horses and working outside is my happy place. As a bonus I enjoy the other volunteers’ company very much. Such a diverse, smart & interesting bunch of people with great stories about how they ended up volunteering at SAFE.

Do you have a favorite SAFE horse? If so, why?

I currently do not have a favorite horse at SAFE but like them all for their unique differences. I enjoy the mellow sweet horses as well as the spicy horses with big personalities. Pepper usually makes me laugh as she is a bit mischievous in a great way.

What do you do when you are not horsing around with us?

I love traveling, and working outside in my garden.  I don’t have grandkids yet and the husband travels a lot for work so it’s pretty much SAFE, gym and keeping busy with my friends. I am surprisingly busy every day and I am loving it.

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 Ed and kids Stuart, William and Richard have always supported my love of horses. My family is always available to hear about the horses and have come to visit SAFE on open house days. My cousin and her husband Paul are very supportive too. Cousin Martina has  come to help out at the barn and of course she is Mrs Santa to Santa Paul that we had for the SAFE holiday fundraiser this past year.