2004 bay Arabian mare
type of rescue: owner surrender
intake date: 6/17/2013
adoption date: 6/20/2014
length of time with SAFE: 1 year

Ginger was surrendered to SAFE after her elderly owner had to go into assisted living. She was purchased from the auction seven years ago, and was kept as a pet since she was 2 so she had no training beyond basic handling skills before coming to SAFE. When her owner could no longer care for her, her family asked us to take her into our program. We sent Ginger into a training/foster situation with a local trainer named Kim Lacey who specializes in both Arabs and dressage. Ginger made incredible progress in training and was adopted by one of Kim’s students, Monica N., in 2014. With Monica, Ginger has shown in training and first level dressage as well as several clinics. 

A Message from Ginger’s Adopter

I have had Ginger for a little over a year now and I can’t thank SAFE enough for everything you do. I am beyond blessed to have Ginger in my life. Horse ownership is not without its ups and downs but nothing could ever replace the bond I have with my little bay mare. She is truly one of a kind and the love of my life. I hope you can tell from the pictures that she is incredibly loved and in great shape 🙂 I will do my best to send a more detailed training update with pictures of her under saddle soon. We made it to our first recognized show in May and took 5th place with a 56.3%!! So we are on the road to exciting things. Thank you!!! ‑Monica”


Ginger Update!

ginger_10_22_2014Look, it’s Ginger!! Her adopter Monica N shared this cute photo on Facebook, saying “Since you all haven’t seen her in a bit, here is Miss Ginger after her first body clip!  I fall more head over heels for her everyday! Thank you!!!” Thank YOU Monica, we are so happy that our girl has such a wonderful adoptive home!!

Who doesn’t love a happy ending?

Here are SAFE we are so fortunate to have some great equine professionals on our team! Take for instance, Kim Lacy. Kim is a dressage trainer and rider who specializes in the Arabian breed. She is quite active on both the local Arab show circuit as well as in the Dressage arena, and she’s successfully trained many horses and riders through the levels at her beautiful dressage facility, Hidden Falls Farm, located in Arlington, WA. Kim herself has trained and competed through Grand Prix and has won USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medals, so it’s pretty safe to say that she really knows what she is doing!

So imagine our delight when Kim contacted us to say that not only did she want to foster a SAFE horse, she was willing to donate training for that horse at the same time! She saw it as a way to give back, and help horses that were not as fortunate as those living in her barn. Needless to say, this was an offer that we accepted right away,

The horse that we sent to Hidden Falls Farm was Ginger, a beautiful 9 year old Arab mare who was surrendered to SAFE when her owner could no longer care for her. Ginger had belonged to an elderly woman who’d taken her in as a 2 year old and kept her as a pet for the next seven years. When she had to go into assisted living, her family didn’t know what to do with her horse, and fortunately, SAFE was in a position to step in and help. Ginger was a nice mare, but she didn’t have a lick of training, so when we sent her to Kim, she definitely had her work cut out for her!

Terry was able to start Ginger down the right road with groundwork training, so when she left for Kim’s last September, her behavior was good and she was already accepting new things like grooming, bathing, and basic handling. But she still had a lot of anxiety and fear, which was understandable given how little she was handled for the first part of her life. Kim started working on Ginger’s confidence and trust through more ground work and lunging under tack before moving on to riding.  Happily, Ginger responding beautifully to Kim’s patient teaching and care. By December, she was cantering under saddle. Some things came a little slower than others — like steering –and Ginger had to develop the strength and balance to be able to correctly carry a rider,  but with slow, steady work, she made terrific progress under Kim’s guidance. Soon she was going solidly walk/trot/canter, going on trail rides, and working with other riders in the barn too.

Ginger & Monica

Ginger & Monica

Ginger caught the eye of one of Kim’s students, Monica, as soon as she arrived at Hidden Falls Farm. Monica herself has been riding with Kim as her instructor since she was 8 years old. Watching Ginger change and blossom under Kim’s training over the past several months, Monica decided to try Ginger for herself…and we are delighted to announce that Ginger has officially been adopted by Monica! The two make a lovely pair together, and we can’t wait to see what comes next for Ginger and Monica. It’s wonderful to know that Ginger’s training will continue under Kim’s guidance, and that Ginger has found a home at Hidden Falls Farm where she has been so happy!

What’s next for Kim and SAFE? Rumor has it that a certain feisty little gray arab mare might be headed up to Hidden Falls Farm soon to take Ginger’s place as Kim’s next project horse. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that another happy ending might be in store for another deserving SAFE horse!

We’d also like to say thank you one more time to Dr Bob DeWard of Mt Rainier Vet Care who donated Ginger’s initial vet exam and helped us decide if she was a good fit for our program. Dr DeWard’s generous assistance was a big first step in upgrading this mare from a lonely life of leisure to the life of an adored and valued sport horse.  Thank you so much to Dr Bob and Julie DeWard for your incredible and well-appreciated support of SAFE!

June Training Notes

Perhaps this is obvious, but we are just so proud of our horses! Every single one of them faced tremendous challenges in their lives before being rescued, and the courage and bravery they show us during their rehabilitation and retraining is nothing short of astonishing. The horses of SAFE have an incredible team of humans helping them on this journey, led by our trainer Terry Phelps and the volunteers who work by her side. This month’s training report is filled with brightness and hope, and we are so proud to share this with you and to say thank you to supporters like you for making our training program possible. 


Continuing with his rehab work. He’s being very steady and calm during his rehab rides! We’ve tried him out briefly at the trot — just trotting down the long sides of the arena a few times each direction — and he trotted sound in both directions. Fingers crossed that this is a sign that his rehab has been successful!

We tend to put Skittles on a pedestal...

We tend to put Skittles on a pedestal…

Continues to do great with ground work and riding. She has gone on two trail rides and was eager and happy to be out of the arena but listened well to me even when she was excited to be outside. She is brave walking past dogs and construction work and with cars passing along the road. She does like to walk fast and is less of a “quiet school horse type” on the trails but nothing dangerous or misbehaved.

Jewel did seem to remember her ground work training when she came back to SHS for the week, but she seemed to have regressed a tiny bit in her patience and softness when it came to picking up her feet.

Our Lola Bear continues to behave like a very good solid citizen! She was the best behaved for dentals when the vets were out, a master at walking over the tarps, and she loves to jump right into the trailer when asked! She was very relaxed and easy going for her trail ride, good with the cars along the road, didn’t mind the barking dogs or the construction noises. Her only fault on the trail was that she did not want to lead that particular day (normally she’s happy to be out front, and just as happy to bring up the rear!) She has been ridden frequently by Stephanie and has been very well behaved for her at all gaits.

Trailer loading training has continued with great success. The secret to success is not to apply a ton of pressure but with quiet asking and reassurance, she will step all the way into the trailer. We are working now on quietly stepping out of the trailer and not running backwards. She still needs a lot of positive and calming energy to trust this process.

Kat is a super star! She did very well during a recent showing to a potential adopter and was very tolerant of a the 10 year old rider1 She has been doing very well with her volunteer riders and happy out in grass turnout with Dottie.

We’re doing a great deal of ground work and desensitization training, and she is really doing quite well. She’s learning and quieting down a lot. She does have her hot side, but with calm handling she can relax and get very easy in her mind and movement. She’s does best if ridden after a very good ground work session. She can be very centered and quiet. Since Cameo is so young, I feel it’s important to keep the work light and fun for her. I’d like to take her out on the trails this summer as well and give her a chance to experience fun outside of the arena.

Skye and Terry at work in the arena

Skye and Terry at work in the arena

Skye has very good ground work manners from her work with Dave. I can see how well this was done and it is a great starting point with our growing relationship. She has a finite amount of time she can work before she gets tired and her stubborn “I’m finished” attitude comes out. We are working on her willingness to go forward when asked. She has a bit of  attitude but the fight is more of a slam on the breaks. This is getting better as we work together and she realizes I’m not asking for anything that hard. She really wants to please and has a very sweet nature. We have started the trailer work and will continue to have this as part of her weekly work.

Before leaving for foster it was evident that she was feeling a lot better, judging by the changes in her behavior. We had some testing of boundaries including a little nibbling, and some issues with standing for the farrier and getting into the trailer. She’s another horse who will benefit from ground work in preparation to getting started under saddle later this year.

Here are a few of the highlights from Kellie’s latest updates on Misty.

Happy to report that Misty got a new set of shoes today and we only had one “pull back and slam her front foot down” episode. Lisa and I have been working with her, holding her front leg up and out, and having her submit and let us do it, and then she gets a reward. That worked pretty well today. Misty got a piece of carrot each time Jim worked on her feet and set them down. She scored about 3 carrots and we got an obedient pony.

She is a smart girl and she seems to have made up her mind to work with us with less testing of the humans going on….

Overall, Misty is very fun to work with. She has a good work ethic and if she could do as well to the left as she does to the right for us, she would. I just think it is soreness and some weakness that keeps her from cooperating/balancing to the left. I’ve learned over the years that most horses will give you a lot of work/cooperation; almost every time that I had begun to think it was “attitude” versus pain, we discovered the cause, addressed it, and then no more bad behavior. When you hit resistance it is usually pain or protective behavior. Even in very dominant horses, they might “test” you, but, they almost always have a very good work ethic.

Ginger is doing fabulously with Kim Lacy! She has really come along nicely. I went to ride her and we got a video of her going w/t/c. She is ready for adoption or to return to SHS to be ridden and shown. Kim has taken her on trail rides on her property and is working on loading in the trailer, she was good for both.

Ginger Makes Us Smile

We are overjoyed to update everyone on Ginger’s progress! This girl has made such a wonderful transformation under Kim Lacy’s training. When we contacted Kim about taking on a SAFE horse to foster she happily accepted and offered to donate her training services and start Ginger under saddle. I was able to go visit and ride Ginger earlier this week and believe me, I am ecstatic! Not only has Ginger come a long way from the timid girl we took in last June, she has blossomed into a beautiful riding horse with Kim’s guidance.

It was very important that we took our time with her and allowed her to accept and enjoy what was being asked of her. Her physical transformation is also something to smile about. Her conformation looks amazing and we can really see how bright her future is as a riding horse.

Ginger is as sweet as ever and very well behaved. She stood quietly for grooming and saddling up and loves all the attention! Kim said she was a good girl right from the beginning for clipping and pulling her mane. She stands nicely for the farrier and has great hooves and overall conformation. She is still a little cautious but is very willing to accept a person’s leadership and direction. She does share her mare squeals when other horses pass her stall when she is in season but Kim said she had no bad rides or behavior as she came into heat. She’s been turned out with geldings and has no problem sharing the field with others.

At this time, Ginger is ready for adoption to a confident rider who can help her continue to mature and build her self-confidence. While she is very easy to handle and work with, being just 3 months under saddle it would benefit her to continue working with someone who can pick up what Kim has so nicely started. Ginger came to SAFE holding a lot of tension in her back, very strong lower neck, afraid of almost everything because it was all so new from the sheltered quiet field she was living in. Her confirmation was described as upside-down, with a hollow back and head held high. Now things are looking much different. She continues to improve her relaxation with a rider and while it took time, she is now moving over her back and stretching into a lovely frame. She is still very green and will do best for a little while longer with someone who has experience. Her kindness and gentleness tells me that as she builds self-confidence, she will become a very talented horse for someone.

After watching Kim ride Ginger, I had the chance to try her out. Let’s be honest, you couldn’t have stopped me! I had a big smile on my face the whole ride as I explored her “buttons”. I was amazed at how fun she was and how well she listened to my aids. Although she is a smaller horse, at 14.1 hands, I loved how big she felt to sit on. Not a “twiggy” Arabian that can feel like there is nothing under you but instead she filled out my legs nicely and I felt comfortable one her. I also was very surprised how safe I felt on such a green horse. While she had some unbalanced steps here and there, she easily listened to my rebalancing aids and felt nice and even. She is still working on the canter but was very honest and picked both leads up for me nicely. She has spunk but if directed well she is a very willing and able partner. She is a forward moving horse and took very light aids. I love this! She has a lot of natural beauty to her gaits but as she learns to sit and bring her hind quarter more underneath herself she is going to have some really spectacular lift in her shoulders. There is defiantly some already there, along with lightness and self carriage that you can feel is being developed.

We cannot begin to express how grateful we are to Kim Lacy for her generosity to SAFE and Ginger. As we look to Ginger’s future it is very bright and much of that is to Kim’s credit. There are wonderful things in this mare’s future. Now let’s find her a wonderful person to love her and continue with her on this journey.



Foster/Training Update: Ginger

ginger_12_30_2014Ginger is coming along well. She now going fairly solid walk/trot and they are working on the canter. Her canter is still very unbalanced and quick due to lack of strength but it is coming along. She has an especially hard time cantering to the right but she does pick up both leads well. Sometimes steering is optional! Ginger is not spooky or hot but sometimes she can be a little unsure of herself. But Kim says that as long as she herself stays confident, Ginger tries very hard for her. Kim says she is very fun to ride and pretty straight forward. She has not offered to do anything naughty under saddle. She is very sweet and the folks at Hidden Falls Farms are enjoying having her there! 

We are so grateful to Kim Lacy for everything she’s doing to bring this mare along correctly. Ginger still has a lot to learn and a lot of strength to gain, but we are open to looking at applications for her so that potential adopters can work with her while she is still under Kim’s direction. What is unique about Ginger is that although she wasn’t started under saddle until she came to SAFE at the ripe old age of 9, she’s essentially been a “blank slate” who had no bad training or bad habits to unlearn. And while we do not by any means advocate allowing horses to grow up untrained, at least in Ginger’s case, she hasn’t been ill treated and she’s fortunate to be getting the opportunity for a new life that she’s now getting. So if you’re looking for a gorgeous, green broke Arab mare, take a look at Ginger. She’s got a lot going for her, now that she’s safe!

Ginger is cantering under saddle!

Here are some photos of Gingers ride today. She is doing well and a lot of fun! She is a green walk, trot, canter. Steering is optional. =)

Ginger Training Update

Ginger is quickly making progress with Kim Lacy at Hidden Falls Farm! She is longeing in tack and Kim is putting weight on her back with no problem. Kim also reports that Ginger has also learned how to cross-tie and clip well. We’re all very proud of our pretty girl and thankful for the special care she is receiving!

Foster/Training Update on Ginger

Update from Kim on Ginger:
She has settled in really well, and faster than expected. She is comfortable with the routine and getting along well with other horses and people. She is horrified by the “lion” (fluffy barn kitty) and gives major snorty stink eye. She has learned to cross tie, lunge, and got her muzzle and bridle path clipped without objection! Kim feels she is very smart, and likes that she can work in a busy arena (even when other horses are acting up) and stay focused. Kim has been desensitizing her to saddle pads, and expects to introduce tack in the next week or two. 

Ginger Goes Off To School!

We are so excited to announce that Ginger is off to a foster home and training with Kim Lacy, owner and trainer at Hidden Falls Farm in Arlington. This little mare has a special place in our hearts and by luck we found an amazing opportunity for her.

Kim Lacy is a very experienced and accomplished rider who has been looking for a way to get involved with helping rescue horses. On a visit to her beautiful farm a few weeks ago, I mentioned that Ginger was the perfect horse for Kim’s sensitive training and it would be great for Ginger to work with someone well established in the Arabian community.

Kim has trained and competed in Grand Prix dressage and received her USDF bronze, silver, and gold medals. She is also a bronze and silver bar recipient and has won numerous national and regional awards training level through FEI on several different horses of many breeds.

Being a very sensitive mare, Ginger is still very fearful when faced with new things…but her anxiety is quite understandable when you consider how little she was handled before coming to SAFE. We understand that she need slow, careful, patient handling, and will have to have a solid foundation in ground work before we can even think about riding her. In an act of graciousness, Kim has offered to foster Ginger and donate her training to get her started. This is a wonderful gift to both Ginger and SAFE.

Kim has a very patient and systematic approach to training and that’s why we know this is a match made in heaven for our sweet girl. We will keep you up to date with progress reports. But for now she is settling in to her new surroundings.  This message was sent to us from Kim to us earlier today: “Ginger is home! She is nervous but doing well. What a cutie! We are so happy to have her!”

You can read more about Kim Lacy on her website at

Sweet Smellin’ Ginger!

What Arabian girl doesn’t love her hair products and pampering?  Well until this matted tail little mare had met me, I’m not sure how she survived without spa treatments and pampering!  As you may know from earlier reports, while Ginger’s previous owner allowed her to eat at much as her round body could take, her skin and grooming were neglected.  If the mat in her tail, the size of a toy bat, wasn’t enough, the poor girl suffers from a terrible summer itch.  Much of her mane and tail were rubbed out and many old scares and scabs ran along her under carriage from chest to hind legs.

Ginger enjoying the kids attention

Ginger enjoying the kids attention

Ginger has always maintained her sweet disposition however, like many horses that come to SAFE, she distinctly told me that the spray bottle and hoses just may kill her!  For Ginger and so many of the rescue horses it’s about building trust.  The relationship we are creating teaches them that I’m always looking out for them and my intentions are to help them feel better.

Slowly but surely Ginger has learned that I am her friend.  Through ground work, praise and carrots for standing still, I’m happy to say not only can we spray her with needed anti-itch medications and fly sprays but she has successfully had two medicated baths with no problems!  Steadily her weight has come down and she is looking great overall.  We continue to work on her confidence.  When approached to be haltered by a new person or someone she doesn’t know well, she still tends to turn and walk away.  If you talk to her in a sweet voice she will turn and look at you, then you can approach her and halter her without a problem.  Maintaining this bit of a distance with people is her way of self-preservation.  She is cautious of what you are going to do to her but once she understands she is relatively easy to handle.

A fearful horse like Ginger does extremely well with lots of love and affection.  I have to admit she has become one of my favorites at Safe Harbor.  She is very endearing, loves attention, gives great hugs, is gentle around kids and if that isn’t enough, she is a beautiful mover who easily “hooks up” with me; leading, turning and backing up without halter or line in the arena.

Bath time for Ginger!

Ginger let us give her a real bath! She was a little upset at first but I told her it was to help the itching and she seemed to understand. She did great! Fly spraying and baths will soon be easy! Xoxo Ginger Rogers!



Ginger & Sinatra = BFF

Ginger and lover boy Sinatra are joined at the hip. She was much more relaxed having a buddy in turnout. They were eatting this close the entire time. Two needy horses found each other and I mean both of them! I thought he wouldn’t leave her but SHE was stuck to him like glue! Literally had to walk them into their stalls together! Awe young misguided love lol! @ SAFE


Ginger update

ginger_07_10_13_01Ginger is settling in pretty well at SAFE Harbor. She’s got some things to learn, but we’re taking it slow and making good progress. She came to us with bad dermatitis along her mane and tail dock that has to be treated, so she is learning how to take a bath. We’re thankful for the recent hot weather, as this makes things more pleasant for everyone.

We haven’t had any success turning her out with any of our other mares as of yet. Ginger does LOVE Sinatra, so we’ve been turning Ginger out in the panels with Sinatra next to her and that works.


Ginger Photos

Ginger’s “Tail”

Ginger came to us with a tail that was best described as a “baseball bat” — a thick solid tangled mass, unlike anything any of us have ever seen before. Valiant efforts were made to save as much of it as possible, but in the end, a large section of the tail could only be removed using scissors. Poor Ginger lost 16″ of solidly matted hair that would not respond to products or soaking or any other patient attempts at detangling it. Fortunately she can now swish her tail without fear of knocking herself out, but she’s going to look a little bit funny until more of it grows back.

If that wasn’t sad enough, Ginger’s mane is not looking too great either. We’re not sure if she’s just rubbed out large sections of it, or if she has some kind of underlying skin problem, but she’s getting the help she needs there too.

Ginger has a message for all you horse owners out there: “Proper grooming is important if you want your horse to be happy and comfortable! If you don’t enjoy washing and conditioning and carefully brushing out your horse’s tail on a regular basis, please find someone who will! Small girls are especially fond of this task, try one of them!”

Thank you, Ginger!

Ginger's tail BEFORE

Ginger’s tail BEFORE


Ginger's tail AFTER

Ginger’s tail AFTER

16" of solid mat

16″ of solid mat




Welcome to SAFE, Ginger!

Ginger & Jet

Ginger & Jet

Ginger is a very pretty 9 year old bay Arab mare in fairly good physical condition who has recently found herself homeless. Her former owner is an elderly woman who developed Alzheimer’s and has just left her home to go into an assisted living facility. Ginger was purchased from the auction seven years ago, and has been kept as a pet since she was two so she has no training beyond basic handling skills. And sadly, Ginger’s 32 year old companion had to be put down a few days ago, so Ginger is very lonely. She’s been well cared for over the past seven years, but her owner’s family is not in a position to keep her, and have asked SAFE to take her. Since she is young and sound, we hope to be able to get her started under saddle and on her way to a new home fairly soon. She’ll be arriving at SAFE Harbor Stables later this afternoon.

We were able to help Ginger in part because of the kindness and generosity of Dr Bob DeWard of Mt Rainier Equine Veterinary Services. Dr DeWard donated a pre-surrender examination of Ginger so we could rule out any major medical issues that we might not be prepared to deal with. We are so grateful to him for helping us make a sound decision about Ginger’s future, and we are very happy to report that the examination and flexion tests did not uncover any major issues. Thank you to Dr DeWard, Julie DeWard, and everyone at Mt Rainier Equine for your ongoing support of SAFE — we love working with you and we appreciate all the things you do for us!!

Ginger needs her teeth floated, her hooves trimmed, to get up to date on vaccinations, and she needs her poor tail fixed, but overall she appears to be healthy and sound. We’ll have further updates as we get to know her better, so stay tuned.

Here are some photos from her vet evaluation yesterday:

Flexion tests: