2012 Arabian gelding

Suitability: Companion 

Color: chestnut
Markings: Star & snip/ RF coronet; LH sock
Height: 15.1 hh
Weight: 930 lbs
Adoption Fee: $300

Online Adoption Application

Henry came to SAFE in November of 2022 as part of a seizure of 27 horses from Pierce County (who we called The Graham 27).


Henry arrived at SAFE as the most nervous of the bunch, quick to snort at the unknown and shy to be caught. But once on the end of a lead, we could tell what a sweet and gentle guy he was underneath his anxieties. Henry has since settled in and found a great deal of relaxation. We have been working with him on the ground to help him find peace even further. Henry has sticky stifles that mean we may not start him under saddle, but we have no doubt that he will make a wonderful companion to some lucky person. He is one sweet guy!



Figuring Out Henry

Figuring Out Henry

Figuring out horses is a thing we have to do a lot here at SAFE. Rarely do they come with instructions. Their histories often begin at the point where they’re rescued, and we can usually only guess at what their lives were like before. We watch for clues or hints. We reinforce the good behaviors, and discourage the bad. When past neglect has been a factor in shaping a horse’s personality, we may have to convince a horse that he or she really truly is a good horse. With enough encouragement and support, eventually we can help improve their self-image and make life a little more comfortable for them.

This is a challenge that we’re facing with Henry. This handsome Arabian gelding experiences a lot of anxiety. When we met him, he was reluctant to be caught. Of the 15 horses we rounded up and loaded into trailers that day, Henry was last to be haltered and last to be loaded. Once home at SAFE, he was shy around his paddock cleaners, and only seemed truly enthusiastic about the arrival of Kaya with his breakfast. I started working with him regularly in the round pen, and pretty soon, he would meet me at his gate and help me put on his halter when I came to fetch him. When I exposed him to new situations, he would react with anxiety, but seemed to take some degree of comfort when I’d reassure him. Eventually he was able to participate in a Joel Conner clinic with 12 other horses in the arena, and relax enough to actually listen and learn. Things were looking up.

For the first six months at SAFE, Henry lived in a one-horse paddock between two mares, and he seemed pretty content and comfortable with that set up. In April, he was moved to a bigger paddock that he shared with Jax and Picasso, two geldings from the herd he was rescued with. Right away we noticed that Henry kept his distance from the two other boys, preferring to stand by the gate and gaze over the fences at Darla, Zelly, and other mares. And when he was taken out of his paddock for groundwork sessions, he began displaying some rather annoying herd bound behaviors. He was distracted, looking across the farm for his friends and calling for them repeatedly. Getting him to focus on his handler was a huge challenge. He still remembered his ground work, but at the slightest release, his head would shoot up, he’d focus off into the distance, and he’d holler at the top of his lungs, often right in my ear…

So it’s back to the drawing board with Henry. He’s been moved back to a one-horse paddock, though not the same one he occupied before. He gets worked 5–6 days each week. He practices standing tied, and he needs a lot more practice because he does not yet choose to stand quietly. He’s trotted over poles, worked on the ground, and he’s even learning to load into the trailer. The thing about Henry is that when he’s capable of focusing, he’s a lovely horse. He’s light, responsive, and quite easy to move and direct. So we’ll keep working with him, and hopefully his anxiety will lessen as he gains confidence in himself. This is one of the outcomes that our horsemanship methods encourage, and we’ve seen many a herd-bound horse lose its anxiety as new behaviors are developed and confidence is gained. Henry is a smart, sensitive horse, and he will be just fine.


Regarding Henry

Regarding Henry

The first challenge that Henry and I faced together was helping him understand that “walk” is a gait that he’s allowed and in fact encouraged to use. Like many of the Graham horses, Henry would set off like a bat out of hell when turned loose in the round pen. He’s got a rather gorgeous floaty trot, and he looks quite flashy when he’s going around at top speed with neck arched and his tail up in the air. But he needed help to understand that what we really want to see from him is relaxation. So while I taught Henry he could relax, he taught me how to alter my feel in a more subtle manner. It doesn’t take much to make Henry move forward, and he always stays pretty focused on his handler, so before too long he learned that he could walk or trot slowly and still be regarded as a good horse.

Henry has weak stifles that “stick” from time to time, especially when he’s moving in a smaller circle or backing up. So we added trot poles to our routine to help strengthen his hind legs. Henry is a total pro when it comes to trot poles, and his movement over poles is breathtaking. His stifles seem to be improving, but we’re still seeing them stick, especially when the weather is colder. When they stick, he usually just gives a little kick and works it out himself. But we’re not yet 100% sure if we’re going to start him as a riding horse, due to this issue.

Introducing the flag was a bit more of a challenge, because Henry found that piece of fabric on a stick VERY alarming. He’s still a bit reactive to it, but he’s come a long way. Now we can pet him with the flag to show that it’s not so scary, and we can use it to add energy without him leaving the ground. He’s learning his groundwork very well. He’s so “light” that it’s pretty easy to guide him where we want him to go, but he still has habits like falling in at the shoulder that show themselves from time to time. A small reminder that he can’t move over top of his handler does the trick. As I said before, he’s always very focussed on his handler, which is good, but also a sign of his anxiety, which is not good. I try to reassure him that there’s nothing to worry about, and that he can handle anything I ask him to do. He’s a smart horse, and he tries very hard, all the time.

I enjoy working with Henry so much. He’s a very sweet horse with a ton of try, and even though there are things that he finds scary, he tries very hard to be brave. I can’t help but admire him. He’s a good horse!

Henry Health Update

Henry Health Update

All of the Graham horses are up to date on medical care, and have already had their feet done twice. Henry is no exception to this.

The nervous, wild-eyed horse who arrived at SAFE after what was likely his first trailer ride is a far cry from the sweet horse who we are getting to know. This is not to say he is not still looky, but he has graduated from needing to live in a breakaway halter, as he is now easily caught — even in spaces like the big arena, where he goes for turnout.

Despite his anxious nature, he was a very good boy for his initial hoof trim, and was equally as well behaved for his second trim. His feet, like all the rest, are in need of some serious rehabbing. His hooves are the best out of all of the Graham horses, but that’s not to say they are good, all four hooves have significant thrush. But he is a real saint for his treatments.

At his dental, Henry had some of the most overgrown teeth of the bunch. He had substantial hooks (we like to joke about ‘fangs,’ but the reality is that such sharp teeth can and did lead to ulcerations in the mouth). All horses wear their teeth differently and at different rates, so it is difficult to determine when a horse has previously had a dental, but with a case like Henry’s, with such severe overgrowth, it is clear that his float was as overdue as his teeth were long.

Henry has really come out of his shell, and now that he is in good health we look forward to spending more time with him.

Getting to Know Henry

Getting to Know Henry

Henry, who arrived wide-eyed and nervous (it was his first time on a trailer, coupled with the uncertainty of a new place), has really begun to settle in at SAFE. He spends his days in a turnout with appaloosa mares Zelly and Evie on either side, and the three go to the big arena together on the daily to stretch their legs and take communal naps. Despite his initial look of uncertainty, Henry is a real sweetie who stands well for being groomed and having his feet handled. Because of his difficulty to catch, we had him in a breakaway halter his first few weeks at SAFE, but we have begun to phase the need for it out – he has made huge progress in being more trusting of us humans and therefore ‘catchable.’

Henry is up to date on vet and farrier care. He has had a dental float, his sheath cleaned, and is up to date on his vaccines. He was also dewormed upon arrival, as he arrived with a positive worm load. He has been trimmed twice since arriving at SAFE, with a 6 week trim schedule set going forward. He gets daily thrush treatments to help combat the thrush all the Graham horses arrived with.
Henry has a slight issue with locking stifles, which we had our vet evaluate. She feels that with exercise and conditioning, we will see improvement, so we will start Henry on various things to help, like sending him over trot poles and doing some hill work.

Henry is a soft and sensitive guy, and is very responsive. So many of the Graham horses are on the duller side of the spectrum, but Henry leans in the opposite direction. We have spent a little time with him in the round pen, assessing him, and running through the first few pages of the Red Book with him. He is very responsive to the flag, but still needs to learn the difference between it meaning something and it meaning nothing. We are working on trying to get him to just walk out on the rail (he is very good at trotting), and find relaxation there. Because he is so sensitive, we feel he will do extremely well in our training program, and quickly progress.






Henry’s Friends:

1. Jennifer M.

2. Ellen H.

3. Colleen H.

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 Henry!