How and when did you first get involved with horses? Do you have one now you want to tell us about? I grew up with horses and spent almost every day with them until I became allergic when I was around 11 years old. The reactions I would have were pretty severe, but they have since calmed down to the point where I can volunteer at SAFE without having any health concerns (yay!). I do not currently have a horse, so I live vicariously through my sister who has a ranch out in Colorado and is living the dream. Not having a horse of my own also means that I get to give all my love to the horses at SAFE.

What do you like most about volunteering with SAFE? I initially gained interest in SAFE because of the horses, but the people are really what makes it so special… It feels amazing to be part of this community at SAFE! Both the people and the horses contribute in making the barn one of my happy places.

Do you have a favorite SAFE horse? If so, why? It’s hard to choose just 1! I would say that since she’s arrived my favorite horse has been Jill. I’m completely smitten by her and I would adopt her today if I could (and give Dylan all the training he would want with her!). She has this natural calm about her and her personality is so in sync with mine. She’s also smart, resilient, humble, trusting (after you earn it), ADORABLE, and holds space really well. Okay, I’ll stop gushing about her… It’s just such a joy and comfort for me to be around her, and I appreciate any and all of the time I get with her.

What do you do when you are not horsing around with us? I’m a slight workaholic, I enjoy reading immensely, and whenever my schedule allows I backpack into the mountains. I also went to school for and have jobs that revolve around herbalism, so I spend a lot of my day-to-day life talking about, writing about, and/or hanging out with plants.

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?

Jill and Michayla, photo by Sundee Rickey

My friends who accept the state of my appearance if we make plans right after my shift, and also my better half who accepts the fact that I never sleep in and that my Saturday mornings are permanently taken.