2003 Arabian type gelding

Suitability: For Intermediate Rider

Color: chestnut
Markings: star
Height: 15.3 hh
Weight: 1033 lbs
Adoption Fee: $900

Online Adoption Application

Declan, a long-legged chestnut gelding, came to us from Yakima. Although Animal Control was involved with this neglect case, Declan was surrendered to SAFE by his owner. In his past, Declan was likely a family horse, and his overall gentleness reflects this. Now that he has regained his health and weight, Declan has been re-started under saddle. He is currently in regular work, and learning to move out with less tension and more balance.

Declan — Ready for Adoption!

Declan — Ready for Adoption!

Declan is ready for his new riding partner! This big, sweet, handsome gelding has overcome a lot of tension and anxiety when it comes to riding and is starting to relax, lower his head, and lengthen his strides more and more every week. Declan recently started riding out in the big arena and feels very confident and comfortable outside the round pen. He has also started standing tied and does well waiting patiently. While Declan is gaining confidence and balance, he still has a ways to go if he’s going to be expected to fill in for a newer rider. Declan would do best with a confident rider who can support him safely and encourage his freedom and relaxation.

Not only is Declan ready to be your buddy, he is excited to be best friends with all your other horses! Currently, Declan gets turned out with our resident curly horse, Owen, and the two play frequently throughout the day. Owen is definitely the boss and doesn’t take kindly to other geldings challenging his leadership, but Declan has eagerly accepted his role as second in command of the two. Declan is very much your typical goofy gelding who just wants to play, eat hay, get scratches and take naps. He can be a little too “in your pocket” and has to be reminded about personal space, but he is a very gentle and easy to handle guy on the ground. Declan stands well for the farrier and does well with the vet.


Decoding Declan

Decoding Declan

Oh Declan, caramel-colored stranger-turned-friend, unspooling who you are has been, as it often is, an adventure of the best sort.

Declan, you first arrived having worn the hat of “family horse” in your past, and you brought it with you, tucked away with the rest of your baggage. We ask all who come to us to open your cases, so that we might help you donate that which you no longer need, or at least take some of it to the wash — rarely are the articles within without fraying threads and more than a few unidentified stains. But given the little we knew about you, we figured you would quickly run through our program. Heck, within the first month we had you saddled at a clinic. Not to inflate your ego too much, but the same can’t be said for most of the horses who we get.

But it was in your first ride where we felt exactly how dusty that “family horse” hat really was. You were rigid — a sawhorse, animated. Your already long neck extended even further, as though taking the first step to transmuting into a giraffe. Your gaits felt unbalanced, like at any moment you could topple over. And that was perhaps the most dangerous feeling, that you were poised to flip at any moment. A dangerous quality for any horse to have.

Because I’ve just been brutally honest about you, and it may not have seemed particularly flattering, I want to pause a moment to reflect on what a gentleman you always were on the ground. Perhaps that was implied when I said how easy it was to saddle you up and stick you in a clinic environment when you were still so new, but it bears repeating. You stood so politely for the farrier, and you were easy to halter and groom and blanket, all the hallmarks of a gentle sort.

It was just going to take a bit more time than we might have originally thought, but there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s never a deadline at SAFE.

So Kaya got to riding you regularly, working on helping you feel a bit more free in your feet. It was evident that you felt very stuck, but little by little she helped to chip away at those braces. Your head, once so upright, was beginning to come down. Only a little at a time, maybe, but progress is progress. You reached the point where when you went from a walk to a trot, your poll no longer skyrocketed into another layer of the atmosphere. Not only were you growing more comfortable at SAFE, but you were growing more comfortable in your own skin.

It is always so fun watching a horse like you find a bit more balance and the change that brings. With each ride, you drift a bit closer to a more relaxed version of yourself, and we can’t wait to watch you let down even further.


Joel Conner Clinic Report: Declan

Joel Conner Clinic Report: Declan

Kaya M has been working with Declan, and had the opportunity to take him in the groundwork section of the clinic this past week. Though he is a new arrival here at SAFE, he is gentle enough that he is able to get right to work in our program! Here’s what Kaya had to say about their time spent together over the weekend:

“This is one special horse! The amount of try and motivation that Declan showed over the weekend and since is both impressive and surprising to me. After being ridden when he was younger, but spending many years without experience, it’s clear that Declan has a huge heart and is putting in all his effort to overcoming past difficulties.

Declan has quite a brace in his hindquarters. Moving his ribcage and shoulder out and away from pressure is difficult for him and requires very frequent reminders. Helping Declan with this movement will hopefully translate to him feeling more confident and balanced when ridden.

Riding Declan can be a bit hairy at this point. He’s very upright and takes short little strides. Through more lateral work, we’re hoping he’ll be able to start lowering his head, relaxing, and moving more freely. I’ve already seen a bit of change in this good boy and I can’t wait to keep working with him! While Declan is currently a bit of a challenge, I’m so confident that he’ll pull through and make a really nice, sweet horse for someone.”

Meet Declan!

Meet Declan!

It has been a busy start to the fall (more like Winter, with this change in weather) here at SAFE – our phenomenal Outreach team is working hard behind the scenes on rescuing a vast number of horses from dire situations, and we have welcomed, and are preparing to welcome, a few through our own gates.

Our newest arrivals come to us from Yakima, and while animal control was involved with the case, they ended up being owner surrenders. Declan is a long-legged chestnut QH/Arab type, estimated to be somewhere in his teens. He arrived with a mare, probably somewhere in her 20s, is also a QH type, and is also a chestnut (‘tis the season for chestnut intakes)! In their past, they were family horses, and their gentleness reflects this. When circumstances drew the family’s time and attention from them, they grew thin and lacking in proper care. Both come in need of some groceries and TLC, but have proven to be very sweet in their temperaments, standing easily for their intake measurements and blanket fittings.

Because of how gentle the mare was, she left SAFE and moved to our friends at SAIN after only a few days. We are tremendously thankful for our partnerships with other rescues during times like these, when the inn is approaching fully booked. SAIN taking on this mare will allow us to intake another horse who is less gentle. We are very grateful to be able to work with these great organizations to best suit the needs of the horses.

Declan is working with Kaya, our Barn and Facilities Manager, during this weekend’s Joel Connor Horsemanship Clinic We look forward to getting to know this gentleman’s personality and offering him for adoption soon!

Declan in the November Joel Connor Clinic




Declan’s Friends:

1. Gwen B.

2. Lisa G.

3. Megan K.

4. C.C. Schott

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 Declan!