Shasta and Sunny D

Shasta and Sunny D were seized by Animal Control in 2011 after a third miniature horse on the property died from starvation. The two surviving horses had thick furry coats and did not appear to be thin…until you touched them and found that they were actually quite emaciated. Once in SAFE’s care, their health was restored and their bright, sunny personalities started to emerge. We soon discovered that these two little horses were remarkably friendly and calm around people — adults and children alike — as well as other horses and even dogs.

We decided that rather than offer them for adoption, we would keep them and put them to work as tiny Ambassadors for horse rescue, a cause they are perfectly suited for! They attend SAFE events like our Fill The Trailer days at Reber Ranch, the SAFE Benefit Horse Show, and even fancy events like Heart of the Horse! People are very curious about them, and even those who are scared of horses can feel safe around these sweet and gentle minis. Our volunteers love Sunny and Shasta too — especially when they are enjoying some time in turnout where they love to gallop, buck, and roll, making everyone laugh and smile. If you’ve never had the opportunity to meet Sunny and Shasta, we hope you will come to our next Open House at SAFE Harbor and say hello!

Sunny D — 13 year old Mini Horse gelding (born 11/23/2008)

Shasta — 21 year old Mini Horse mare (born 5/5/2000)

We Are Lucky To Have Our Minis

We Are Lucky To Have Our Minis

Penned by Best Buddy to Shasta and Sunny and volunteer, Debbie Meyer.

March is traditionally known as the month to celebrate the luck of the Irish (and those who choose to symbolically be Irish) on St. Patrick’s Day. March also is the month that those who are fans of and mad (as in crazy!) about college basketball look forward to the March Madness competition. As a result, it was felt March would be a good time to pen a yearly update on Shasta and Sunny D, SAFE’s mini horse ambassadors and permanent residents. After all, SAFE is lucky to have them; and most who meet them become mad (as in crazy!) about them!

As a refresher, Shasta is the redhead who is the slightly taller of the two and mama of Sunny. She will be celebrating her 23 birthday on May 5, 2023! Sunny is more of a strawberry blonde with a somewhat fuller mane, and he will turn 15 on November 23, 2023! Both were given a SAFE landing in 2011 after being seized by Animal Control for neglect. Once they regained their health and it was discovered how special they are, they were made SAFE ambassadors and permanent residents.

In their roles, they represent SAFE and its mission at onsite and offsite events; and they were busy during the post Covid year of 2022 as SAFE again opened its gate and welcomed the public back to its events and felt safe to attend offsite events. The onsite events included SAFE Open Houses, the first Heart of the Horse gala fundraiser at the SAFE Harbor Stables and a number of Picnics with the Ponies which the minis co-hosted. Their offsite appearances included a child’s birthday party where they were surprise guests; a rodeo-themed social event at the Inglewood Golf Course where they were the hits of the party; and the Olson

Sunny says hi!

Tack Shop’s Holiday Open House at which they were very popular guests. Despite their busy event schedule, they always find the time to welcome the newbie horses to SAFE and check in with the residents during their guided walkabouts across the property; warm the human hearts of all who see them galloping, rolling, sunbathing or grooming one another in miniland or simply sticking their heads through the miniland gate to acknowledge the humans, horses, cats or dogs who pass by; serve as patient models during grooming classes for SAFE volunteers; AND help raise money to care for all the SAFE horses!

Shasta, the Rodeo Queen with Debbie Meyer

No greater financial contribution did Shasta and Sunny make in 2022 than from their participation in the Sweethearts of the Rodeo competition which drove over $48,000 for the care of all the SAFE horses, exceeding the goal of $40,000! In this friendly competition, the SAFE community was asked to donate to their favorite SAFE horse in the categories of Rodeo Queen, Rodeo King and/or Rodeo Clown, along with asking others to join them in doing the same. The horse whose team raised the most money in the respective categories won the title of Rodeo Queen, Rodeo King and Rodeo Clown. Shasta won the title of Rodeo Queen with a come-from-behind win after she passionately pointed out in a video that while her closest competition was the perfect Princess, she was the better Queen! Sunny competed for the title of Rodeo Clown and helped raise money, too, although he did not care to win that title, assuring his supporters that he did not mind losing as long as his mama won the title of Rodeo Queen!

Shasta and Sunny have been busy; and SAFE is lucky to have these adorable littles as part of their Ambassador squad. For all their hard work, they continue to be treated regularly by their Best Buddy (a SAFE volunteer who is most mad (as in crazy!) about them) to Masterson Method® sessions with Natalie, MMCP (Masterson Method® Certified Practitioner). The Masterson Method® is a unique form of interactive equine bodywork, where horse and human work together to find and release areas of tension. Most creatures enjoy and all benefit from bodywork; and Shasta and Sunny continue to be no exceptions as evidenced by their licks and yawns during their sessions. Shasta and Sunny also have been enjoying extra grooming from the additional volunteers who have joined their grooming team to help them shed their winter fluff and look their best for their events. In addition, Shasta appreciates all the volunteers who take the time to make sure she eats her mash to help maintain her ideal weight, as that is especially important to older gals!

Anyone who has the opportunity to spend time with or around Shasta and Sunny D can be considered lucky and who knows how many more mad (as in crazy about them!) fans they will have by their next update!

Rodeo Fundraising Results

Rodeo Fundraising Results

Written by our volunteer, Debbie Meyer.

As you may have heard by now, this year’s Heart of the Horse fundraiser was a huge success, raising an all-time high of $320,000! Most of that money was raised at the Heart of the Horse Barn Party. However, contributing to the overall total was the online Silent Auction which brought in over $18,000 and the results of the volunteers’ Sweethearts of the Rodeo competition for Rodeo Queen, Rodeo King and Rodeo Clown which drove over $48,000, exceeding its goal of $40,000!   

While the competition results were announced and a coronation ceremony had for Rodeo Queen SHASTA, Rodeo King DOMINO and Rodeo Clown SPARKY, we wanted to thank everyone who made a donation to the team of their favorite SAFE horse and to those who also asked others to join you in doing the same. In the end, all the money raised by this friendly competition helped all the SAFE horses so everyone won!   

However and now that the dust has settled over the Sweethearts of the Rodeo, we thought it would be fun to share some “behind-the-scenes” insight into the category wins … 

Debbie Meyer with Queen Shasta

Rodeo QUEEN: 

  • Total amount raised $27,000! 
  • Team Shasta drove $12,350 from 48 donations in a come-from-behind win. 
  • Team Esme drove $10,325 from 17 donations, graciously accepting 2nd Place after Shasta passionately pointed out in her video, “Esme is the perfect Princess, but I am the better Queen!” 
  • Team Pepper drove $2,500 from 2 donations. 
  • Teams Darla, Valentine, Nova, Tanis and Jill drove $1,825 from 23 donations. 

Trela Herman with King Domino

Rodeo KING:

  • Total amount raised $18, 198! 
  • Team Domino drove $2,395 from 19 donations and another $1,930 from a Facebook Fundraiser in a neck-to-neck race with Cramer until the end. 
  • Team Cameron drove $3,750 from 11 donations, sneaking into 2nd Place at the very end. 
  • Team Cramer drove $3,523 from 46 donations. 
  • Teams Artie, Owen, Edward and Mac drove $6,600 from 45 donations. 

Rodeo Clown Sparky with Lisa Schildt

Rodeo CLOWN:

  • Total amount raised $2,870! 
  • Team Sparky drove $1,030 from 19 donations and was the one to beat from the beginning. 
  • Team Ruckus drove $675 from 5 donations but had already “won” by being adopted into a loving family at the start of the competition! 
  • Team George drove $465 from 8 donations. 
  • Teams Sunny D and Otto drove $800 from 8 donations and Sunny assured us he did not mind losing as long as his Mama won Rodeo Queen! 

The $$ amounts are certainly impressive, but so are the over 250 individuals and businesses who contributed, many of whom were not even aware of SAFE before your asks. Not only was a lot of money raised, at least one new volunteer also was recruited in the process! So … whether you reached out via social media or the “old-fashioned” way of asking in person or calling/emailing and then following up, as needed … THANK YOU from SAFE management, staff and most importantly … ALL the SAFE horses! 

We Love Our Minis

We Love Our Minis

Written by our volunteer, Debbie Meyer, aka “Best Buddy to Shasta & Sunny”

Traditionally, February has been known as the month of love. As a result, no better time for an update on SAFE’s lovable ambassadors and permanent residents, Shasta and Sunny D.

As some of you may not know (or remember), Shasta and Sunny arrived at SAFE in 2011 after being seized by Animal Control when another mini on the property died from starvation. They arrived just in time because they were quite emaciated themselves. However, with proper care, nutrition and love, they regained their health and secured their permanent role as SAFE ambassadors once it was discovered how special these littles are!

Shasta, the slightly larger of the two, is redder in color and the mama of Sunny. Sunny has the lighter, fuller mane; think of sunshine! Shasta celebrated her 21st birthday on May 5, 2021, complete with a birthday cake shaped like a horse shoe, pieces of which she shared with all the SAFE horses! Sunny celebrated his 13th birthday in style on November 23, 2021, with a matching challenge which was met during SAFE’s Fall Into Winter Hay Drive!

Over the years, these two have definitely earned their keep and continue to do so by representing SAFE at public events where they help raise awareness of SAFE’s mission and even have been directly responsible for recruiting some volunteers, along with raising money to care for all the SAFE horses! The events have included Heart of the Horse at fancy venues where a visit with them is always a popular auction item, often driving a bidding war; Microsoft Give on the Microsoft campus; Redmond Derby Days Parade; Redmond Farmers Market; SAFE Benefit Horse Show where the last two years of the Show (pre-pandemic) they won the coveted title of Champion Rescue Horse sponsor because their fans donated the most money to their Syndicate Sponsorship; and SAFE Open Houses, the Holiday one at which they pose for pictures dressed in their Christmas costumes for a nominal fee! They also wore their Christmas costumes on the wet, cold and windy evening in December to help drive donations when they made an appearance at the Redmond Lights 2021 display, benefitting SAFE.

Understandably, their public appearances have been limited during the pandemic, giving them a deserved break. However, they keep busy welcoming the newbies to SAFE on their guided walkabouts across the property; visiting with those horses in rehab to give them some company and/or to help keep them calm; co-hosting the occasional Picnic with the Ponies at SAFE Harbor Stables; and bringing smiles to the human faces of all who see them, whether they are galloping, rolling or sunbathing in miniland or sticking their adorable heads through the miniland gate to say, “Howdy” to all passersby and to ask, “Got treats?”!

What perfect little ambassadors for SAFE! Some think Shasta and Sunny are ponies. After all, when you google the definition of pony, you find pony is defined as “a horse of a small breed, especially ones whose height at the withers is below 14 hands 2 inches (58 inches).” However, Shasta and Sunny are miniature horses. A miniature horse is defined as “a breed of horse bred to resemble a full-sized horse on a much smaller scale.” The American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR) registers minis between 34” to 38” at their withers since minis are measured in inches instead of hands. Shasta measures 34”; Sunny, 32”.

Like all SAFE horses regardless of size, Shasta and Sunny enjoy being groomed (and need extra grooming in the Spring to help them shed their woolier winter coats); benefit from regular walks so are part of SAFE’s Handwalking Program; and deserve some extra TLC whenever possible, especially for all their hard work as SAFE ambassadors. As a result, they are treated monthly by their Best Buddy (a SAFE volunteer) to Masterson Method sessions with Natalie, MMCP (Masterson Method Certified Practitioner). The Masterson Method® is a unique form of interactive equine bodywork, where horse and human work together to find and release areas of tension. Most creatures enjoy and all benefit from bodywork; and Shasta and Sunny are no exceptions! This is evidenced by their releases of yawns, licks and chews while Natalie works with them and even afterwards, along with some occasional rolling!

Anyone who has had the opportunity to spend time with these special littles has undoubtedly felt some love in the air, no matter what month of the year. However and since it is February, Shasta and Sunny D would like to wish all a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Shasta and Sunny at the 2019 SAFE Show

Shasta and Sunny at the 2019 SAFE Show

Sunnny and Shasta were out once again to meet & greet their fans the 2019 SAFE Benefit Horse Show at Donida Farm in Auburn. They were also celebrating their Syndicate Sponsorship win for the second year in a row — raising $975 and winning the coveted title of Champion Rescue Horse sponsor.

Sunny D


Microsoft Give

Sunny and Shasta had a great day at Microsoft today supporting the Give campaign and representing SAFE…they made many new friends outside building 31 and building 122…and even got to enjoy a few apples.

SAFE receives incredible support from Microsoft and its wonderful employees. We were thrilled to be able to share our mini horses with some of you today!


Big and Little: Ben and Sunny D

Summer Fun with Sunny & Shasta

What a fun summer we had…and Sunny and Shasta have their own Facebook page now!!

Now that all the SAFE horses are settled in at the new barn in Redmond, Sunny and Shasta had the opportunity to get out into the community and make some new friends this summer. A team of SAFE volunteers joined the minis at the Redmond Saturday Market. We had a booth and talked to so many people about what SAFE does and volunteer opportunities, but really, the minis were the stars of the show. They met so many new friends…kids, adults, and dogs of ALL sizes (even some bigger than they are).

SAFE also had a presence at this year’s Redmond Derby Days on July 8th. Twenty-four SAFE volunteers plus Sunny and Shasta walked the parade route and then met people at the SAFE booth at the festival. We even did our first Facebook Live post during the parade, so check it out here if you missed it:

The minis now have their own Facebook page at It’s a great way to keep up with all the activity and public appearances Sunny and Shasta make out in the community. Like the page and hit Follow to see all the fun photos and events. The minis are also available by donation for private events and educational opportunities. If you’re interested in booking the minis, email to discuss options and availability.

Reber Ranch Day

Sunny and Shasta had such a terrific day yesterday at Reber Ranch in Kent. Reber Ranch has always been such a great supporter of Save a Forgotten Equine (SAFE) and their customers are always so generous. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hi, donated items from SAFE’s wishlist for the Fill the Trailer event, and to those who donated money. All of the rescued horses at SAFE really appreciate it!

Lunar New Year Celebration

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 12.51.10 PMSunny D & Shasta were greeters at this year’s Westminster Chapel’s celebration of Lunar New Year.  SAFE was asked to be this year’s special animal guests because 2014 is the Year of the Horse. Sunny and Shasta were wonderful greeters to the more than 1,500 people who came to this year’s celebration of Asian culture and arts. Sunny & Shasta got to pose for photos and also meet some of the performers. Thank you to Westminster Chapel for inviting us to be part of this year’s event, it was an honor!

Bucky B Lucky day at the races

Emerald Downs invited members of SAFE to come down to the track today and set up a table. We asked and were granted permission to bring Sunny and Shasta along for the day as well. It was the mini’s first visit to a race track, but they decided to try their luck at handicapping the races and even printed up their Hot-To-Trot pick sheet to share with other racegoers. I ponied up $10 for them to use to place their bets, and after a slow start, they managed to pick 2 winners out of 9 races and end the day with $9.20, which they promptly donated to SAFE.

Sunny, in particular, was fascinated by the race horses, and watched them closely as they came down the stretch. He even nickered and whinnied at them as they went by. Jet captured this adorable moment on video where he actually tried to take off and follow them to the finish line!

Jeannette and I were interviewed by Comcast SportNet in the paddock between races, giving us the opportunity to fill people in on Bucky B Lucky’s current training status, and also to tell everyone about Portland and the other Thoroughbreds that SAFE has helped along the way. The interview was broadcast live between race 3 and 4, and we hope to have a tape of it that we can share with those of you who weren’t watching.

A big thank you to Shelby, Anna, and Denise for helping deliver and take care of the mini horses today. The girls braided and brushed the minis and then led them around to meet their new fans. Thank you also to Lynn Mazer for spending the day with us talking about horses and taking photos for us! The visit was cut short by thunder, lightening, and a downpour of cold rain, but we enjoyed our time at the track nonetheless. Thank you to Emerald Downs for inviting us out and for supporting Bucky B Lucky!

Sunny & Shasta at the SAFE Show

Photos by Bobbie Climer

Sunny & Shasta at Northwest Aerials

Sunny & Shasta paid a visit to the kids at Northwest Aerials yesterday. The visit was part of a package auctioned off at this year’s Heart of the Horse and won by Patti Gable, raising $500 for the SAFE horses in the process! Brittney and her friend Judie brought the two mini horses to Northwest Aerials and spent some time talking to two groups of kids, 30 from Cedar Springs camp and 25 from Northwest Aerials. The kids seemed to really enjoy meeting the horses, and had lots of questions for Brittney and Judie. It was an interactive session, with questions for the kids as well…the most memorable was when asked if anyone had pets, one girl replied that she has a little sister.

Thank you to Patti for purchasing the Mini Horse Meet & Greet package at Heart of the Horse, and to Brittney & Judie for making this visit happen. And as always, thank you Sunny & Shasta for your friendly willingness to meet new people and teach them to love horses!

35th Annual Woodinville Parade & Basset Bash

shasta_policeSunny & Shasta, along with SAFE Board members Victoria and Sharman, made an appearance at Woodinville’s 35th Annual Parade & Basset Bash last weekend. 

Shasta was totally in her element and when she figured out that Victoria was trying to guide her to the side to talk up SAFE and let the little kids, seniors, and people who had never pet a horse before, she starting taking her towards groups of people. She was a Rock Star and somehow picked up several strings of Mardi Gras beads along the way. (Victoria did not ask what she had to do to get them!) Sunny was a little less enthusiastic but still a good sport. The two horses got to visit with a few King County Sheriff Officers on bicycles and took the opportunity to thank the officers for getting them out of a bad situation (back when King County Animal Control rescued Shasta & Sunny from starvation. Neither of the horses had a problem when they encountered a gymnastics school flatbed sporting a crew of gymnasts turning flips 20 feet in the air. They were also completely unfazed by hoards of Bassett Hounds participating in the event. The ponies and their handlers gave out purple candy and made lots of new friends. They both looked spectacular after the grooming they received from the team of little girls from Charlottewood Stables in Woodinville prior to the parade!

Somewhere in there is Sunny D

Somewhere in there is Sunny D

We’d like to thank Lori and Janet of Charlottewood Stables for arranging trailering and to Centerline for letting the SAFE ponies walk with them at the parade. 

Heart of the Horse

Sunny and Shasta reprised their role as official greeters at the 2013 Heart of the Horse. Not a lot of horses get to visit Chateau Ste Michelle, so it was a special occasion to all. Special thanks to Kim and Sage for spending the evening with our two little stars, keeping them safe, dry, and happy!

Photos by Justin Schmauser

Sunny & Shasta at Reber Ranch

Sunny & Shasta worked very hard at the Reber Ranch Fill The Trailer event today! They made lots of new friends and collected lots of hay and grain for the SAFE horses.

New blankets for Sunny and Shasta!

Many thanks to Patti, Gael and Kirann Gable for donating new rainsheets for our resident Minis. Shasta looks fabulous in her new red coat and SunnyD is sporting the blue. They will stay warm and dry thanks to this generous donation.


Sunny & Shasta in foster care!


Foster update: our mini ambassadors, Shasta and Sunny, are currently residing with board member Debi Shatos. They were in need of some additional training and she’s agreed to work with them to ensure they are both adorable AND well behaved. Yesterday they participated in a clinic with trainer Michael Sparling. Don’t they look cute in their matching halters? Thanks for all you do, Debi!

Karen Wegehenkel photographs

Karen Wegehenkel took these lovely photos of Sunny & Shasta:

Shasta and Sunny D — Intake 4/12/11

Shasta and Sunny D are two Miniature Horses that King County Animal Services seized from a property in Fall City on April 12th, 2011. They are eating well and past any refeeding concerns after a slow transition onto free-choice hay. They are also eating soaked hay pellets, beet pulp and senior feed twice a day.  They both need their teeth done and have trouble chewing the stemmier pieces of hay.  The mare, Shasta, is 11 years old and is very sweet and friendly.  She is starting to shed her heavy winter coat.  The colt/gelding is 2 1/2 years old.  He has no palpatable testicles so a blood test was taken on May 5th to rule out that he might be a cryptorchid stallion. He is much more shy and a little skittish but is starting to come around.  He’s still holding on to his winter coat. Both have been lice dusted and wormed and a fecal test was taken on May 5th.

Snow day!







Shasta & Sunny D’s Friends:

1. Debbie M.

2. _____________________

3. _____________________

4. _____________________

5. _____________________

6. _____________________

7. _____________________

8. _____________________

9. _____________________


Every horse deserves at least ten friends! Even a small monthly donation can make a difference. Plus, SAFE horse sponsors receive discounts at local businesses through the SAFEkeepers program!

Click here to sponsor Shasta & Sunny!