Congratulations and a HUGE thank you to our June Volunteer of the Month, Nikki Skillern! Nikki has been part of SAFE since March 2020. She started at the beginning of the pandemic and we are thrilled she stuck it out. The Saturday PM team is lucky to have her as a Co Shift Lead and she arrives early to be a Barn Assist and help the staff with feeding horses and turn in. If that wasn’t enough she is also a Monday Night Check! Thank you Nikki for making SAFE a better place!

How and when did you first get involved with horses? 
I started riding when I was six.  I was going to an overnight YMCA camp that had horses, and my Mom signed me up for a lesson beforehand so I wouldn’t be scared.  Horses quickly replaced soccer and all other sports. When I got older, I was able to exchange barn chores for lessons. I was fortunate to have a couple of my own over the years. I did mostly hunters/jumpers and a little eventing.

Do you have one now you want to tell us about?
While I don’t have horses right now, I hope to again someday! In the meantime, SAFE has helped me fill the horse shaped hole in my life.

What do you like most about volunteering with SAFE?
I love being at the barn, getting to know the horses and watching them evolve over time.  Mucking paddocks is my version of meditation/yoga. I also love the smell of hay, which is good because it always ends up in my pockets.  It’s the best way to spend a Saturday!

Jasper and Nikki

Do you have a favorite SAFE horse? If so, why?
Jasper is one of my favorites.  He’s a gentle giant, and I can’t wait to see where his story goes.  I also had a soft spot for Anderson and his ears, so I’m glad he found a wonderful home.

What do you do when you are not horsing around with us?
I do accounting/bookkeeping for a non-profit in Seattle.  I enjoy farmers markets, book clubs, happy hours and spending as much time around water as possible.

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?
I have family in Colorado and here in Washington.  They’ve always supported my horse habit through the years, and I’m very grateful for that.