This summer we have been so fortunate to have the inspiring support of two special volunteers. These women bring a smile to the farm every day they are here (and let me tell you, it is more than once a week). They spread sunshine and love to all of the humans and horses of SAFE. I’m talking about Ginni Guest and Sarah Vecchi.
Ginni not only works a chore shift, but she keeps our garden and landscaping looking like like we have a master gardner on staff (we basically do with Ginni around). Ginni helps with events like the SAFE Benefit Horse Show, where she thoroughly enjoyed working the main ring and handing out ribbons to our winning competitors. Ginni happily greets guests when they arrive at our Open House events, and is always happy to make her barn mates a cup of coffee and enjoy a chat after a long shift.
Sarah has been a powerhouse for SAFE this summer, helping on chores, facilities, with the Fall City Forty, and basically picking up any slack she sees. Sarah is new to SAFE this year, and she didn’t waste any time getting to know what we do and how she could help. She does it all with a kindness and openness that makes others feel welcome. Sarah and Ginni, SAFE would not be the beautiful, welcoming place it is for horses and people without you. Thank you for all you do and congratulations on being named September 2019 volunteers of the Month!
More about Ginni: How & when did you first get involved with horses? Do you have one now you want to tell us about?
I have always loved horses. In fact, my mother swears that my first word was “horsey”. When I was about 4 years old I asked my mother what Hirohito’s (Emperor of Japan during WW2) phone number was. She asked me why I wanted it and I told her that I wanted to call and ask if he would sell his big wh
ite horse to me! I do not have a horse now but I have had a few horses that have a place in my heart. After I retired I looked for someplace that had horses and volunteers. I contacted SAFE as soon as I heard about their story and here I am!
What do you like most about volunteering with SAFE? What I like about SAFE is that I can be around horses and help do what I can to help them to feel loved, happy, safe and to bring them back to health. I just like to walk through the barn and greet each one of them and talk with them for a little while. It makes my heart sing with their strong spirit. The last few years of my life have been very difficult but SAFE has helped me have a Happy Heart again!
Do you have a favorite SAFE horse? If so, why? I love ALL of them as they each have their own personalities. I love to watch Anderson since I saw a picture that Jessica took with his mane, forelock and tail flying, he had a part of my heart. However, dear sweet Mina is so loving and she likes to be petted and talked to and she was such a good Mommy! Truly, I just love them all.
What do you do when you are not horsing around with us? I am a Watercolor and Acrylic artist and the last 13 years I have belonged to a group of professional artists that meet every Tuesday and paint together. Plus, I belong to Seattle Co Arts which has been in existence for 60+ years. I also love to garden as most of you know by now. My front yard is ALL flowers – no lawn so naturally I couldn’t help myself to start working on the SAFE flower beds.
Do you have family or special people in your life who supports your volunteer work that you would want us to mention? My whole family is thrilled that I found SAFE. My youngest son Pat and his family have attended our Open Houses and our Christmas one. They all think SAFE is an ”Amazing Place.” Pat helped on our yearly big clean (work party) by helping me bring a truck load of compost for our garden and he spread it all amongst the shrubs and flowers. I thanked him for the help and he told me that he knew how much SAFE means to me so he was more than happy to help and to donate it.
More about Sarah: How and when did you first get involved with horses? Do you have one now you want to tell us about? I started riding when I was six, and grew up doing 4-H, taking lessons, volunteering at a therapeutic riding stable, working at various barns, and had my own pony and then horse before high school. I don’t have my own horse at the moment, but I’m hoping to adopt some time in the next year, once I’ve paid off my grad school loans (and the right horse comes along). For now, I’m taking lessons with a semi-retired event horse named Arnie, and love spending time at SAFE, learning to become a better horsewoman.
What do you like most about volunteering with SAFE? THE PEOPLE. For years when we lived elsewhere, I was desperate for horsey friends and now I am surrounded by this amazing community of like-minded, hilarious, caring, interesting, and fun folks who’ve became some of my absolute favorite people in a relatively short amount of time.
Do you have a favorite SAFE horse? If so, why? My favorite is Cyrus. I’m a sucker for tall, sweet geldings, so it’s a no-brainer. I’ve really loved watching him blossom from a rack of bones who could only think about the hay in front of him to a stunning and lively gelding who’s so curious about the world. I also love the goofy faces he makes when I’ve found the itchiest spot.
What do you do when you are not horsing around with us? I’m the school librarian at Louisa May Alcott Elementary School in Redmond where they actually PAY me to read books and hang out with kids all day (well, and do other stuff, too)! My husband, Jeremy, and I live with our cat, Munsef, in Bellevue. I love being outside, playing with dogs, getting laps in at the pool, and reading.
Do you have family or special people in your life who support your volunteer work that you would want us to mention in your write up? Jeremy, my wonderful husband of 15 years, is not a horse person but he knows how happy it makes me to be with the horses and people at SAFE and is incredibly supportive. My parents are also non-horsey folks who nevertheless dragged me to lessons, the barn, etc and indulged my love of horses as much as they could.