Gradual change can be difficult to see, especially when what you have in front of you is almost impossibly different than what once was. Below is a quick before and after of a few SAFE horses, and their nearly unbelievable transformations over the years at SAFE.

Veronica came to SAFE in 2019 as part of the Fall City 40. Back then, she was essentially feral, thin as a rail and with her long luscious mane twisted into a snarl. Her wariness and sense of self-preservation was strong and long-lasting, and it was difficult to imagine that she would ever be truly gentle, let alone ‘make it’ as a riding horse. And yet, here we are in 2024, where Veronica has been under saddle for going on two years now. That sensitivity still exists within her and likely always will to some degree, but through the support of a strong rider, Veronica has been able to make her way out of the arena and even off the property. Her transformation has been immense and incredible.

Artie was also part of the Fall City 40 seizure. A stallion at the time of his rescue, he lived in the covered round pen during his early days at SAFE while work was done to gentle him, as there was a good chance he would have broken free from the confines of a regular paddock. Artie was also one with a high degree of self-preservation, accustomed to having to look over his shoulder in order to protect his band of mares. Even after a tremendous amount of prep work, his first saddling was explosive, and had us rethinking if it was worth it for him, or for us, to continue the journey of making him a riding horse. But now, several years later, Artie is nearly unrecognizable as the gentle, intermediate riding horse he has become.

Edward was surrendered back in 2021, with severe respiratory issues that left him in need of substantial medical attention. With such poor lung function, whatever calories should have been going to his nourishment were instead being used to keep him breathing, leaving him very thin in addition to being unhealthy. He was a nervous guy, in turns pushy and flighty, and aside from the hurdle of restoring him to good health, there was a great deal that he needed as far as training was concerned. But these days, Edward is almost completely unrecognizable in more way than one, and in search for his forever home.

Pepper was another Fall City 40 mare, also tremendously emaciated and practically wild. While her demeanor was perhaps more mellow than some others mentioned here, it still takes a lot to take a horse from a bag of wild bones and help them grow into a healthy, domestic creature. These days, Pepper is one of the safest SAFE horses, and a living reminder of what change looks like.