description: 2014 dark bay Warmblood cross mare
type of rescue: Owner surrender
intake date: 4/4/2018
adoption date: 6/5/2020
length of time with SAFE: 2 years, 2 months

Mina was a big, beautiful girl that enjoyed galloping full speed through her pasture with her horse buddy. She was adopted and lived a wonderful life with her pasture mate and a loving, devoted owner. In September, 2023, during one of her playful romps, Mina somehow snapped her radius high in the head just below the joint of the humerus. After consultation with equine specialists, a tough decision had to be made. With a severe injury such as this, euthanasia is the right path to take. 


Rest in Peace, Alumni ‘Mina’

Rest in Peace, Alumni ‘Mina’

Heartbreaking news to share by way of Elissa, Mina’s adopter

This is the message I had hoped to never have to write; I am so sorry and heartbroken to share this. We had to say goodbye to our beloved girl, Mina, earlier this week. She was a happy, robust, sweet, and thriving young mare, enjoying life here on our peaceful little ranch with our other horse, Watney, as well as our four little goats. They are surrounded on all sides by other fields filled with horses.

Mina was doing what she absolutely loved to do – playing in her 3‑acre field with Watney, reveling in her own speed and power as they enjoyed galloping across the grass. I had just been out taking my mom to lunch but got home not long after my husband (Brandon) left for work… He saw the horses having a great time in the field — nothing unusual, no concerns. When I arrived home a short time later, I looked out and saw Mina standing very oddly, slightly crouching, with her right foreleg held slightly off the ground. I called to her and when she didn’t move, I knew something was wrong. Once at her side I gave her all the comfort I could, looking for injury or sign of what happened while dialing our vet. I believe it occurred only minutes before I saw her. She had no external injury; there were no marks on the ground, no grass or dirt on her coat… I don’t even think she went down.

When the vet team arrived (two equine specialists plus support), they gave Mina some pain meds and assessed her as gently as possible. Her foreleg, apart from how she was holding it, looked normal. I feared she may have torn or injured something in her shoulder. But the vets quickly determined that she had snapped her radius up high at the head, just below the joint with the humerus. The vets described the mechanism for this type of injury to be perhaps a sudden turn as the horse is galloping (such as avoiding a collision with another horse) or similar event. Mina was massive and powerful, and could really open up at a gallop when they were playing. I don’t think she and Watney collided as there were no signs that happened, nor was he injured in any way. Maybe she suffered this injury whilst avoiding hurting her playmate. We will never really know. Tragically, this injury was so severe that euthanasia was the only path to take.

With pain meds on board, Mina was calm and stoic. She was her brave, giving, sweet self up to her last moments. The vets were kind and supportive, and also didn’t delay. Mina went quickly, quietly, and gently at home in her own field. I held her head and spoke in her ear long past, as we know that hearing is the last sense we lose at the end… We let Watney be a part of this sorrowful process to both support Mina, and to let him understand what was happening. This is so important to the surviving horse, in their grieving process. And though Mina’s energy and spirit go on, her remains are buried right where she laid down, here at home

We are still grappling with this very personal tragedy. The sadness is so heavy. Yet I am thankful for every moment with Mina! She was family. Though no amount of time with her would’ve been enough, three years certainly wasn’t. We will always love her and carry her in our hearts. And we will turn our minds to remembering all the good days – because there were many. We are so honored and humbled to have been her people. She brought us so much joy.”

Alumni Update: Mina

Alumni Update: Mina 

We are happy to report that Mina continues to thrive — and we continue to be completely smitten with her, of course. She is enjoying an easygoing life that suits her easygoing attitude. She spends each day with her older ‘brother,’ Watney, in their 3+ acre field that is surrounded by other horses on each side, and adjacent to the smaller field for our herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats. Both Mina and Watney enjoy our trail rides.”

Mina’s Adoption

Mina’s Adoption 

Our big sweet mama mare Mina has found a lovely home with Elissa! This young mare has a ton of potential but finding the right fit for a green horse takes time. When Elissa came to meet Mina, everything lined up! She is a very capable rider who can help Mina bridge the gap between inexperienced riding horse to seasoned pro. SAFE is grateful that Elissa looked to a rescue for her next horse. 

Mina’s story really highlights the mission of SAFE. She had a crummy start to life; not even halter started, young, pregnant and with a sizeable untreated hernia, she was on a path that’s future was bleak. Through the medical care and training she was able to receive at SAFE, she has a hopeful future. Mina was given a foundation that will keep her protected and ensure that she will never be tossed away again. 

It is families like Elissa’s that make this work so rewarding. They see the value in Mina and are excited to be her care takers for this next chapter of her life. Between us…I would love to be adopted into this family! Mina has a beautiful place to call home and most importantly a family that adores her!

Mina Photo Update 

Mina Training Update 

Mina finished her 60 days of professional training with Nick Donohue and made her way back to Safe Harbor Stables. This big beautiful mare has a gentle personality and the foundation to make some one a great riding partner. Since back with us she has spent some time working with Terry and going out on her first trail rides. She was a STAR and nothing on the trail bothered her. She even kept her cool calm disposition when 2 other horses on the ride decided that the children on the swings may try and jump on them and the troll living under the bridge was going to eat them! Seriously Mina was a CHAMP!

We really can’t say anything but praise for this mare. We are lucky to have such a great horse to offer the public for adoption and to highlight the training program through SAFE. She is ready to meet her new family! Come check her out and see if she is a what you have been waiting to find. We can promise she won’t stick around SAFE long!

Mina Getting Started!! 

Mina did a fantastic job settling into work under saddle with Donohue Horsemanship in Banks, Oregon. She was an uncomplicated start with a lot of try and acceptance. She has a great future ahead of her and we are happy to accept applications for her adoption. She has an easy-going frame of mind and will easily go in many riding disciplines. She is great for the vet and farrier, and trailers without issue. This is a deserving mare that should make a nice addition to someone’s family.

Mina: Training Update

Mina: Training Update 

Mina has been a star for her first rides in training with Nick Donohue. She was a bit lazy to begin with but once she found her zoom zoom, she has been an uncomplicated and a happy mare. With her big body and sweet nature, this girl will get along with many types of riders. She is still green and needs more rides but is ready to start looking for the right home.

She would do well in just about any type of riding: trail riding, dressage, maybe hunters. She’d be best suited for a rider working with a trainer. Keeping her in training with Nick for a few more months would be a great option, and with more miles under her belt, she could be suitable for a talented young rider at some point.

If you are interested in meeting this mare, get your applications in now. She won’t be around much longer!

Mina’s Next Step

Mina’s Next Step 

Mina has now fully recovered from her umbilical hernia surgery. She has graduated to regular turnout, and we’re working on building her strength back up so that she can get started under saddle. She’ll be going to training in September. Mina’s a smart mare so we don’t expect it to take her very long to take to ridden work. We’re excited to finally be able to get her to this next chapter and see how she turns out!

Marvelous Mina: First Saddling! 

Mina and I have gotten to know each other well, and I think she’s pretty great. I think she truly does feel affection for “her” people. She has the softest, kindest eye of any horse I’ve ever met, and there’s a lot of soulfulness in her personality. But don’t let her borderline-sluggish demeanor fool you, there’s plenty of spunk in this mare

What is this thing?”

I first started doing groundwork with her before our September 2018 Joel Conner clinic. After that, she went on maternity leave for several months. But after that nice vacation, she came back to work refreshed and happy. Mina took to the rope easily, and after a few sessions working with it around her belly and flank areas, she was like an old pro when it came to her first saddling. I seriously wondered if maybe she had worn a saddle before as I was putting it on her for the first time. She stood there like she knew exactly what I was doing and had been through it a thousand times. But once I moved her out, it was clear that this thing on her back was a new experience. When I asked her to move out, she walked off and then froze, and then there were a couple hops in there when we got to the trot. By the end of that first session, though, she was comfortable moving through all three gaits and seemed fairly content with the whole process. It was pretty uneventful. She often seems to have this look on her face that says, “Well, if that’s really what you want to do, I guess we’ll try it.”

I worked with her during one groundwork session of this most recent Joel Conner clinic. The Mina that I worked this time was a complete 180 from the Mina I worked in her first clinic. Before, my biggest challenge was getting her to move forward. This time, we focused on walking accurate circles (it’s harder than it sounds), and punctuality. I’ve noticed that she retains what she learns pretty well. But if you get lazy about something and stop giving her 100% of yourself, she takes advantage of that and gets lazy, too. She is proof of just how important consistency is with horses. Some of them will fill in for you if you’re not giving them 100% on any given day, but so far Mina is not proving to be one of those horses. Once she is not so green, I imagine that will probably change to an extent. I think she’s the type of horse that will always prefer to take the easy way out of things, but she does also try hard to learn what it is that’s being asked of her.

Mina has to recover from her umbilical hernia surgery before she gets started under saddle, so it will be a little while before we get to post that update. I am excited to see how she turns out as a riding horse. I think she’ll take a little work at first, but in the end she’ll be magnificent.

Mina: Training Update

Surgery for Mina 

The very first time we saw Mina from a distance, we thought she was a gelding. But when we got a little closer, it became clear that she was actually a mare with an umbilical hernia. Umbilical hernias occur when the abdominal wall around a foal’s navel fails to close at birth. What you see externally is a bulge on the underside of the abdomen. This bulge is tissue and/or intestines being held in only by skin. If an umbilical hernia is small, it is unlikely to cause a problem and can be left alone. But larger hernias need to be corrected in order to prevent potential problems down the road, such as intestine becoming trapped in the hernia, which could become a life-threatening emergency.

Mina’s hernia appeared to be borderline size-wise, so we opted to have it surgically repaired rather than take any chances. She  took a trip to Rainland Farm Equine Clinic where Dr. Fleck performed the procedure. Once in surgery, Dr. Fleck realized that there was a fair amount of scar tissue, perhaps left from an attempt to (unsuccessfully) repair the hernia non-surgically in the past. Behind all the scar tissue, the hole was actually much larger than was first thought. So it’s a good thing we opted not to just leave it alone. Mina spent a night recovering at the clinic and is now home on stall rest, healing.

We were able to time Mina’s surgery so that she and Teddi could be stall-rest buddies. At night they are across the barn aisle from each other, and during the day they hang out as next door neighbors  in turnout paddocks that we modified to be about the size of a large stall. That way they’re able to be on “stall rest” but still get some mental stimulation outside. Mina gets hand walked twice daily, and she very much enjoys getting out and about. She’s tolerating the stall rest fairly well, but we’re sure she’ll be relieved when she gets to roam her pasture again.

The outlook for a full recovery from surgery is excellent for Mina. She’ll continue to be on stall rest for another two weeks and after that will be able to gradually go back to work and full turnout.

Three Weaned Babies

Three Weaned Babies 

It took some work and a fair amount of brainstorming, but we weaned all three babies over the course of about a week and a half. First Nova, then Rae, and finally Pippi. Even though Pippi is two months older than Nova and Rae, we opted to wean her last based on herd dynamics, the personalities of all the mares involved, and space available. Each of the weanings was relatively uneventful, and the little amount of drama that accompanied each one was over within an hour or two (with Nova’s weaning there wasn’t much fuss at all). Pippi seemed to take it the hardest, but having her new buddies Rae and Nova there for comfort made a big difference. Nova seemed more upset about losing her aunt Mina than she was about being separate from her own mother.

The three fillies are now hanging out with matriarchs Angel and Renee. They’ll be learning lessons about how to be a horse from these ladies who have been there and done that. At some point in the near future we’ll send them to foster where they’ll be able to grow up in a quiet place with room to romp, and we’ll bring them back when they’re 2‑year olds to start introducing them to groundwork in preparation for becoming riding horses. For now, though, we are happy to have them right where they’re at because they’re a constant source of amusement. No doubt about it, though, raising babies is a lot of work!



It’s hard to believe that just over a month ago it was 13 degrees at Safe Harbor Stables, and this week the thermostat is hitting 80! The horses are enjoying it tremendously and taking every chance they can to sun bathe.

The downside to this beautiful weather is that horses still wearing their winter coats can dehydrate quickly when it’s hot outside. We’ve been keeping a close eye on ours to make sure they aren’t getting overheated. Provide access to fresh, clean water for your horses at all times–and monitor to make sure they’re actually drinking it.

Welcome, Spring! We’re all happy to see you.


Why are there foals at SAFE?

Why are there foals at SAFE? 

Why are there foals at SAFE right now? Because this year, we rescued three mares who were pregnant. We have not changed our stance against breeding, nor did we have anything whatsoever to do with the breeding of these mares.

One of the three mares, Asha, came from an Animal Control seizure in which she and another mare were removed from a situation of neglect and starvation. Her foal was born Sept 1, so she was likely bred in October 2017. This mare was seized by Animal Control on Jan 30, 2018 and was signed over to SAFE on April 15, 2018. 

The other two mares, Luna and Mina, came from a large band of 21 horses (including 9 stallions) who were roaming free on a property that was foreclosed upon and resold. These mares gave birth on Nov 1 and Nov 3, which means they were bred in December 2017. We were brought in by Animal Control to help disperse this herd in April 2018. Because they were exposed to stallions, we had to assume that all the mares in the herd were pregnant when we took them, and this was confirmed by veterinarians after they were rescued.

Furthermore, whenever we intake a colt or stallion, that animal is gelded as soon as it is physically possible to do so, and usually before the horse even comes to our farm. The only intact stallion to ever set foot on our farm in Redmond was Valor. He was gelded on August 9, 2017.

So, to recap:

1) SAFE does not breed horses
2) SAFE does not keep intact colts or stallions
3) SAFE does, however, rescue pregnant mares

If you or anyone you know has questions about SAFE and the work we are doing, please ASK. We operate 100% in the public eye, so if there’s something you’re curious or concerned about, just ask. It’s that simple.

Now let’s get back to enjoying those beautiful babies!

Rae and Mina Outdoors 

Jessica Farren took these lovely photos of Mina and Rae enjoying the great outdoors. The mares and their fillies spend each day outdoors on the grass.

Two Healthy Fillies Born at SAFE

Two Healthy Fillies Born at SAFE 

Exactly two months after the birth of Pippi, we welcomed two new lives into the world!

Mina delivered a lovely black filly on November 1, 2018 at 11pm. The diminutive little girl with no white markings was christened “Rae” in memory of our dear friend Raven. Rae is healthy and full of life, and momma Mina is taking wonderful care of her.

The very next night, Luna decided she was going to follow in her best friend’s footsteps and have her baby too. She waited until 2:30am to give birth to a tall strapping bay filly that has been named Nova. The delivery went well, and both mom and baby are healthy.





Joel Conner Clinic Report: Mina

Joel Conner Clinic Report: Mina 

I worked with Mina for all three groundwork sessions for the recent Joel Conner clinic. I was excited to get the chance to participate with her because I already know that working with her is going to help me grow in my horsemanship skills. Mina is a sweetheart, and she’s not exactly a high-energy mare. She’s so easy going that it can be difficult to get her to move her feet. We believe that there may be some cold-blooded breed in her ancestry, as she certainly has the mellow disposition. With Joel’s guidance I was able to work on my insecurity with firming up enough to get changes in her. By the end of the weekend she was much more responsive to what I was asking of her, and we were communicating much more effectively. She’s learning to move off of a feel and my goal is to get her as light as I can. I believe that a combination of lightness in handling and her sweet demeanor is going to make her a stellar horse. I still have work to do and confidence to gain, but I’m happy to have started off on the right foot. Mina is a smart girl and I look forward to working with and learning from her more.

Guess the Foaling Date for Luna and Mina! 

Do you think you can guess when Luna and Mina will have their foals? We’re going to have a fun contest to see who can guess the closest to the actual birth!

We’ll give a you a clue to get you started. The two mares were both palpated and ultrasounded by equine repro specialist Dr Brandi Hollihan from Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital on April 26, 2018. Here’s what we learned at that exam:

Luna was estimated to be at 175 days into gestation.
Mina was estimated to be at 145 days into gestation.

So, if you think you can accurately predict when the foals will be born, here’s your chance! For a donation of $5 per guess, choose the mare (Luna or Mina), the birthday (including time of birth) and the sex of the baby, which will be used as a tiebreaker. The person with the closest guess for each foal will receive half the pool of money raised by the this fundraiser. The other half will go to SAFE’s Foal to Four Fund.

For a $5 donation, you may enter one guess in the contest. You can enter more than once. The person who is closest to the date and time of the actual birth will be the winner for that mare’s contest. In the case of a tie, the sex of the foal will be used as a tiebreaker.

Good luck!!!!!

UPDATE: Mina is officially on “Foal Watch” status as of Nov 1, so we’re not taking any more guesses for her!! You can still submit guesses for Luna.

Mommies to be…

Mommies to be… 

Beautiful mares, full baby bellies and a late summer glow were a perfect setting for photographer Jessica Farren to capture this special time in their lives. All three were wonderful models and our herd health manager Melinda, their midwife, helped set the stage.

Good things come in threes

Good things come in threes 

Like all good horse owners, we keep close eyes on the weight of our horses. Clearly no one wants to see skinny horses, but a horse that’s overweight can face health problems too. Every SAFE horses has its meals tailored to its weight and health, and we make adjustments as needed to maintain proper weight. 

So a few weeks ago, we started to notice that Asha was looking a little round in the belly. We’d recently started to put our horses out on grass for part of the day, so we figured we just needed to make an adjustment to the amount of hay or grain she was getting. But the odd part was that she didn’t really seem fat…in fact, she seemed pretty svelte, every place but her belly. Could she be pregnant? We consulted with Animal Control to see if Asha had been out with a stallion prior to being seized, and they told us they didn’t think she had been. But she seemed to have changed shape practically overnight. So we decided to have her checked for a possible pregnancy.

Dr. Fleck came out and palpated her, and sure enough…there’s a baby in there! Based on her size and how the fetus felt, he guessed that she’s in the last trimester of her pregnancy. Probably around the 8 month mark, give or take. This was confirmed today by Dr Lewis, who performed an ultrasound on our mama-to-be. She told us that we can probably expect her to foal in September. 

We have not had a baby born at SAFE since 2008, and now we have three pregnant mares all at once! Luna and Mina are probably due a month or more after Asha. We have no idea when any of these mares were bred, so we may be in for a surprise or two. It’s challenging, because we’d like to be able to vaccinate these mares at the right times so that they can pass as much immune protection to their foals in their colostrum as possible. We will work with our vets to make the best decisions we possibly can and hopefully we will be welcoming three healthy youngsters to the world this fall.

Introducing Mina and Luna

Introducing Mina and Luna 

Mina and Luna are the latest additions to the SAFE herd and they are both pregnant. Mina and Luna have been in a vet’s care for 6 weeks and they have made nice recoveries from the neglect they faced in their previous lives. Their pregnancies have been confirmed by ultrasound and we have an approximate idea as to when they are due. Luna’s foal is expected in November and Mina’s about 30 days later. We can’t share their “before” pictures, but hopefully you’ll enjoy the “afters” since they are lovely. Mina and Luna are currently in foster care while we decide where they will be housed for the duration of their pregnancies.

Mina (photos by Jessica Farren)


Luna (photos by Jessica Farren)