top of page
  • Writer's pictureColton Woods

Equine Rescue Spotlight Series Debut with Safe Haven Equine Rescue and Retirement

Welcome to the Equine Rescue Spotlight Series! Each month Colton Woods Horsemanship will be featuring an equine rescue to raise awareness for the spotlighted organization, their horses and the issue of unwanted horses that are getting a second chance and looking for their forever home. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to work and grow especially close with this first featured organization.

In 2011, my own journey down the path of horsemanship began at a local rescue, Safe Haven Equine Rescue and Retirement. Never would I have imaged the impact those horses and people would have on my life. During my time at SHERR I experienced first hand the talent, willingness and trust the rescue horses had to offer despite their past abuse and/or neglect. Needless to say, a passion and greater understanding grew inside of me for rescues and those folks that continue to ensure those unwanted horses have a second chance and a new beginning.

Colton working with Whiskey on Ground Work

Colton & Brandon unloading and stacking hay for SHERR

So, Who is Safe Haven Equine Rescue and Retirement?

Founded: 2008

Nickname: SHERR (pronounced as 'share')

Recognized as 501 © 3 non-profit organization: Yes

Horses being cared for currently: 14

Horses adopted out since being founded: 67

How many volunteers actively donate their time:11

Volunteers are often the heart of rescues across the nation. If you were seeking volunteers, what qualities would you look for in a person?

  • Dependable, honest, loyal and not afraid to work or get dirty

If there was just one thing you could share with those active in the industry, that are not familiar with the realities and happenings of equine rescue, what would it be?

  • Reality – we cannot save them all. Learn to say no – saying no means that the funding, space etc is not available to help the horse in need. Euthanasia plays a role in rescue.

Following adoption, what sort of careers have the horses that came through your organization found as their new start in life with their new owners?

  • Western pleasure showing, barrel racing and jumping (Hunt Seat)

What do you find to be the biggest difficulty about being involved in rescue?

  • The community cannot relate to horses and their needs like they do with dogs or cats.

What is the greatest joy/reward you find in doing equine rescue?

  • Taking a horse that was once emaciated and uncared for – nurturing them back to health then to see them go to a loving forever home. It’s actually bittersweet.

A huge thank you to Gin Wiltsey and Kevin Belton of Safe Haven Equine Rescue and Retirement for everything they do for the horse and their continued support. If you're drawn to, please visit their website to learn more about SHERR and to donate to support the horses under their care.

Be sure to check out SHERR's upcoming events at and

Donations to Safe Haven Equine Rescue and Retirement may be received: Online at or via US Mail at:


PO Box 5228

High Point, NC 27262

Thank you for tuning in for the first issue of the Equine Rescue Spotlight Series!

Happy Trails,

Colton Woods

bottom of page