description: 2008 black & white Paint gelding
type of rescue: owner surrender
intake date: 12/12/2012
adoption date: 7/16/2013
length of time with SAFE: 7 months

ADOPTED!! by Jenny Lucianna of Arlington WA

River, a young black & white paint stallion, came to SAFE in an emaciated condition with a severe parasite load, lice, a poor coat, overgrown hooves, and facial indentations from a halter that was too small for him. He was gelded in late December 2012, and began his new life as a regular horse with friends both horse and human. His delightful friendly personality quickly made him a favorite among his rescuers! River went into full training with Andrea Lucianna. Since River had always been a very well mannered young horse, personable and gentle, we had high hopes for him as a riding horse. Once training started, however, we discovered that River lacked confidence and needed to be brought along very slowly to avoid causing him undue stress. In order to give him the extra time he needed, SAFE elected to provide River with an additional 30 days of training with Andrea. This was made possible by a grant that SAFE receive front he ASPCA Equine Fund to assist with our training program. The extra time in training, along with plenth of good, old fashion kindness and patience was the key to success, and River finished his training going beautifully at all three gaits. He did so well, in fact, that he never did end up coming back home to SAFE — River was adopted by Andrea’s mother Jenny Lucianna, a Grand Prix dressage rider herself. Jenny loves River’s energy and his work ethic and not long after his adoption, he made his schooling show debut at Training Level with Jenny in the saddle.

Alumni Update: River

Alumni Update: River 

SAFE Volunteer Debbie M recently visited with SAFE Alum, River; his humans, Wendy and David Z; and “big sister”, Ameli, at their beautiful 5‑acre property in Snohomish.  River arrived at SAFE in December 2012, along with two herd mates as part of an owner surrender situation.  He was originally adopted in July 2013 and trained in dressage but sold to Wendy Z in late 2016.  After 2.5 years of additional dressage training, Wendy listened to River’s telling her he really wasn’t that into dressage, especially the collection part, and decided to let him be a training/trail horse.

Wendy then decided to expand the family with Ameli who is her award-winning dressage mare and BBF (Best Bossy Friend) of River.  River and Ameli have a lovely barn where they are tucked into their respective stalls at night but spend much of their days in their ample and adjacent dry paddocks with shelters.  They also spend time together meandering or frolicking in their large pasture when the grass and weather conditions allow.

River is regularly ridden twice a week by one of Wendy’s friends in the covered arena on the property.  On occasion, he also enjoys a ride on the wooded trail Wendy and David built on one end of their property.  River is a very social horse and loves his human interactions.  In some ways, he is much like a large dog and obviously well-cared for and loved by his humans.  At 16, he is happy, healthy and enjoying life; and, as Wendy put it, “he truly is in his forever home”.  Thank you, Wendy and David, for your commitment to River and for embracing him as part of your family!


SAFE Alumni at the SAFE Show! 

It was so delightful to have six former SAFE horses come out to compete at this year’s SAFE show. We love nothing more than seeing our old friends again, and nothing beats seeing them shine in the show ring! Thanks to these lovely photos by Karen Wegehenkel, you can share some of their stellar moments:

Strawberry Shortcake, also known as Maggie

Stella and Maggie were sailing high in the hunter arena! The pair took home 4th and 5th place ribbons in some very large classes, and were quite impressive together!

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Miss Hot Too Belle of the Ball, also known as Bella or Opal

Bella and Lys competed in the English arena, winning ribbons in Halter, Walk Only, Walk Trot, and Walk Trot Canter!  This pair has come a long way in the last year!

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It was simply delightful to see Lucy again! She was an all-around horse at the show, competing in English, Western, and Trails with her adopter Diane. As you can see, Lucy is just as cute as ever!

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When we heard that Jenny Lucianna would be bringing River to the show to perform their Musical Freestyle routine, we were not prepared for what a treat we were in store for. Their performance was magnificent to say the least, and it was awesome to see our boy shine on the dressage court in partnership with his new owner. We can’t wait to see more!

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We were also treated to two incredible performances from Andrea Lucianna and Delilah, who demonstrated their prowess at First and Second Level. Then Delilah’s  adopter Eileen took over the reins and rode her Intro Level test wearing a SAFE Show t‑shirt! Spectators could not believe that this magnificent mare was a formerly neglected rescue horse, and we’re so pleased that we got the chance to share her story!

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We don’t have any photos to share yet, but Nicole and Annie dropped in at the show on Sunday to compete in the Western ring. The pair won 2nd and 3rd place ribbons in the Walk/Jog classes, and looked lovely together!!

Congratulations to River & Jenny! 

river_07_16_13We are thrilled to announce that River has been adopted! If you’ve been following his story, you know that he went into training with Andrea Lucianna at Half Trak Farm, and after a bit of a slow start while this young horse gained his confidence, he graduated from under saddle training with honors. River won a lot of hearts at Half Trak Farm, with his flashy looks and his sweet, sensible demeanor, and even before he finished his 90 days of training, there were several people who’d fallen in love with him and wanted to take him home. But it was Jenny Lucianna, Andrea’s mother and owner of Half Trak Farm, who contacted us and asked if we’d consider leaving River at her barn a little while longer so she and Andrea could continue to work with him and see how he developed with a little more training. Jenny has been on the hunt for a sweet, easy, fun, “family horse” that grandkids and guests can ride for a long time, and she is also an active competitor in the Dressage ring. A few days ago we got the word that Jenny has decided to officially adopt him and offer him a forever home at her beautiful farm in Arlington.

Jenny posted his photo online with the caption “Its official! River is now a Half-Trak horse. Let the road to Grand Prix begin!” She says that River is a fun energetic guy with a great work ethic. Sounds like the two of them have big plans together, which is thrilling considering where River came from and what he went through to get to this point in life!

There are many people who helped River get to where he is but first and foremost we’d like to thank Janelle Braun who was the person who initially recognized River’s plight and took steps to save him, Bridgit and Jewel. Janelle had dreams of adopting River for herself, but came to the conclusion that she was not in the right place to adopt a young, green horse . This was a difficult decision for her to make, but we admire her tremendously for making a careful, thoughtful choice that was in River’s best interest, even if it broke her heart. Janelle is now the proud owner of a gentle giant named Prince who she can ride to her heart’s content! We’d also like to thank River’s special sponsor, Kristine Larson, who helped him along the way financially, and who is still his number one fan.

ASPCA_weare logoRiver’s training was supported by a grant awarded to SAFE by the ASCPA Equine Fund. The grant paid for 60 of River’s 90 days in full-time training with Andrea Lucianna at Half Trak Farm. It is important to note that this grant made it possible for us to extend River’s training to allow him the extra time he needed to gain confidence under saddle. Because of this extra time he was given, the future is wide open for this wonderful horse. We are very grateful to the ASPCA Equine Fund for their support of the SAFE Training Program!

Best of luck to River and Jenny, and we hope to see lots of pictures & videos of this pair together!!

River video 

What a difference a couple of weeks makes! Wowza! Andrea reports that River was super on a recent trail ride and is better (and happier!) in the outdoor arena than the indoor. Take a look:

River Training Update 

River continues to make good progress with trainer Andrea Lucianna. Here is a video of his first ride in the “big arena” taken on March 19 2013:

Andrea has started cantering him under saddle, but just in short stretches for now.

We’ve decided to extend River’s training with Andrea another 30 days, and we hope that some additional time will help him gain more confidence under saddle.

Three pinto ponies on the move! 

Jewel is looking better!

Jewel is looking better!

Our three recent intakes, River, Jewel, and Bridgit, have spent the past six weeks at NWESC regaining their health and their weight. They are all going to be moving on to their next accommodations and starting their new lives.

Jewel has already left NWESC for a foster home where she will get a lot of handling and attention. She’s been the problem child of the bunch, and so she needs to learn manners and accepting human handling before she can be turned out to start growing up. She’s filled out nicely and is being a good girl for grooming and currying!

Bridgit will be joining our Moonshine at his foster home where the two young horses can run and play and just grow up. She’ll be moved on Wednesday of this week, so we should have another update on her as well as some photos then.

River had some complications after his gelding procedure, so he’s had to spend some time recovering. He had a little more bleeding than normal after his surgery and developed a hematoma as a result of that bleeding. He’s all healed up now, and we are just waiting for Dr Hannah to give him the green light to move on to his next challenge: training!! River is the next SAFE horse who will be started under saddle by Andrea up at Half Trak. He’ll have a couple weeks of learning on the ground before anyone attempts to get on his back. River has been a very good boy for his handlers at NWESC, so we have high hopes that he will do well in training too!

Three new intakes at SAFE 

SAFE has three new horses to introduce. All three are in emaciated condition with severe parasite loads, lice, poor coats, overgrown hooves, and facial indentations from halters that were too small for them. They are currently under the care of Dr Hannah Mueller at Cedarbrook Vet Care, and will remain there until their conditions are stabilized.

River is a young black & white paint stallion who will be gelded as soon as Dr. Mueller has dealt with his parasite overload. He is a delightful young man who has already made many friends among his rescuers! He is in the best condition of the three, and looks to be sound, despite the terrible condition of his hooves. Click here to visit River’s page.

Bridgit is a yearling bay & white pinto filly who is also very sweet, friendly and loving, despite her condition. She was hard to photograph because she kept moving toward the camera, asking for attention. She is surprisingly gentle and respectful for a filly from a neglect situation which we hope bodes well for her in the future. Click here to visit Bridgit’s page.

Jewel is a yearling palomino & white pinto filly who is undoubtedly going to be stunning once she’s rehabilitated. Right now, she looks pretty scruffy, due to her neglect, and according to the vet techs who are currently handling her, she’s a bit of a pill. Jewel has what appears to be a slight clubfoot, although Dr.  Mueller is hopeful that it’s just an angular issue that can be corrected with proper trimming. Click here to visit Jewel’s page.

We will continue to update you on the progress of these three new horses, but for now they are all responding well to treatment, and enjoying being cared for and fed by people who care about them.


River Intake Photos