We are beyond thrilled to announce the adoption of our young mare Sophie! This special mare has an even brighter future with her new family, Julie and Paul W. They have been volunteers and neighbors to SAFE for the past 5 years. Julie has the experience and capabilities to develop a wonderful partnership with Sophie and we are excited to see what adventures they have together. 2016 was a difficult year for Julie who unexpectedly lost her horse Lemans, her partner of many years. All the experiences he gave and taught to Julie, she will now share and build on with Sophie. The commitment Julie has for her horses is commendable and above all Sophie will now always have the love and dedication she deserves.
While Sophie was in training with Joel Conner, Julie visited and rode her several times. Joel was a huge help to SAFE during this adoption process, working with Julie and Sophie helping to begin their partnership and ensuring this was a good match for them both. Julie’s thoughtfulness and care about this adoption and the future she could provide, made our decision to adopt to her so easy. There are just so many incredible things about this pair and we have no doubts that this is a perfect home for Sophie! Julie had this to say about Sophie and adopting from SAFE:
The moment SAFE moved into SHS I have admired and appreciated the dedication from people who follow their hearts and passion and who make the world a better place. To help each horse with grace, humility, honesty, integrity, and kindness is not easy. Yet every time I arrived at SHS with a horse to ride, I was met with a smile and cheerful inquisitive words. I’m heartbroken that I lost Lemans but I’m humbled and feel honored to bring a SAFE horse home.
I should add that while I didn’t know [Sophie] during her time at SAFE, it’s pretty obvious the volunteers did a great job. I’m in awe every time I load her, going or coming, 2 horse, 3 horse, front, or middle. She is no nonsense and practically loads herself. That in and of itself just makes me giddy each time!
That day on the street when we chatted and you said I should go look at Sophie, I figured what the heck, I’m always up to ride a new horse but she isn’t anything I’m going to be serious about. What I saw when I got to Joel’s was a youngster who, on spite of a terrible set of circumstances, hadn’t yet been burdened with any baggage from people… yet. What I felt when I rode her was a willingness to learn and grow and a curiosity about how to get along with people. We couldn’t steer that well but dang-it she was honest and kind, w/t/c after just 16 rides.
As with any young horse, this is ours to ruin or ours to build upon and it wasn’t a responsibility I took lightly. I talked with Joel some about my concerns. He told me a story that had been told to him… imagine a horse has a bowl of stones. They draw from those stones whenever they are unsure, learning, or making choices. White stones are good experiences that allow a horse to trust. Black stones are bad experiences. Our goal is to have so many white stones in the bowl that when the horse draws one, in a moment of confusion or stress, it’s usually a white one. Eventually the horse will draw a black one, maybe we over exposed them or did something to cause them to doubt us, but they have drawn so many white stones already, and will draw more in the future, that it all works out and a black stone isn’t what sticks with them. I know Joel worked really hard to get a bunch of white stones in Sophie’s bowl and I’m grateful to him for trusting me with her and giving us both the tools to saddle up cold and ride off.
Julie had this to say about Sophie’s first trail ride and having her at home:
The sun was out … and I wanted to ride! Paul rode the old guy [Sonny] we are borrowing. [We] had cars, kids on dirt bikes, and crazy Xmas lawn stuff we had to get past and she was a rock star! Seriously just some snorting, a few trots, working the bit, and a slight shy at a giant rock. Long droopy rein most of the ride. She is going to be awesome! I’m so totally beyond excited! Best part about the ride… her mouth got quiet when she got a bit more mentally comfortable. What worried her on the way out wasn’t an issue on the way back. She even walked out and wanted to lead a little bit and when following she got comfortable with some distance between her and the horse she was behind. I’m just so over the moon!
Sitting outside on a water trough listening to horses eat after doing chores. Sophie keeps coming to check me out. My heart us full!
We wish them the best and many happy trails! Here are a few photos of their first trail ride and at home together: