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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Saffyre Sanctuary, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals, Children & Youth, Youth Development - Agricultural

Mission: Saffyre Sanctuary is a rescue and rehabilitation program that cares for horses that have been abandoned, abused, or neglected. By allowing them to rediscover their true nature, we provide every opportunity for them to explore the possibility of enjoying a second career, or offer them a well deserved retirement due to soundness issues, age, or owner hardships. Saffyre Sanctuary assists homeless horses in finding their forever person. Through our networks, we successfully place them in homes that give them a new lease on life. If they are unable to physically perform in their new life path, we try to find other loving places where they can live in peace and comfort or serve as companion equines. Saffyre Sanctuary specializes in rescuing horses that would have no other chance of being saved. These horses are ones that have behavior issues, or are in need of a lengthy recovery and complex rehabilitation procedures. Our focus on quality, not quantity, enables us to give the horses in our care the very best chance of complete physical, mental and emotional recovery. Our unique approach of equine care specializes in holistic nutrition, holistic rehabilitation, environmentally friendly equine housing, and green facility management. Although Saffyre Sanctuary is an all-breed rescue, we have a special place in our hearts to the plight and distinctive needs of the Arabian breed. We are one of very few rescue organizations that works with Arabians, and maintains a following of Arabian enthusiasts who are familiar with their unique disposition. If you are looking to add an Arabian to your home, please consider adopting or fostering one of our loving horses. Volunteer opportunities are provided to children and the community, which emphasize the importance of proper equine care, ownership responsibility, and the consequences of neglect. Through the interaction with our horses, participants learn empathy, compassion, cooperation, and trust. But most importantly, how to understand their nature and become one with them and the world we share.

Target demographics: horses and allow people to find themselves through interactions with our rescued horses!

Geographic areas served: the Los Angeles area

Programs:

Our ultimate goal is to create an environmentally friendly equine facility that will set a nationwide standard in animal husbandry, including but not limited to holistic nutrition, rehabilitation, equine housing, and green facility management.

Educational programs are provided free to children and the community, which emphasize the importance of proper care, ownership responsibility, and the consequences of neglect. Included are donor supported sponsorship programs which will allow inner city children and under privileged families to assist in the care and rehabilitation of the resident horses. Hopefully, the education provided will assist us in raising pubic awareness on issues concerning proper equine care and irresponsible breeding practices.

Some future employees of Saffyre Sanctuary will be students who are enrolled in various extension programs and are interested in gaining work experience in the agriculture and animal husbandry industry. The experience the students have while participating in this program will assist them in making the transition from school to work and will allow them to develop skills that will be transferable to any farm in the future.

 

We have the vision and the mission in place, but we cannot do this without financial assistance.

Community Stories

95 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

9 Stephanie233

Client Served

Rating: 5

Equalia Actualization Certification program offered by Saffyre Sanctuary! I am quite new to really knowing horses, but after a "lightning bolt" moment I decided that I wanted/needed to incorporate these beautiful beings into my life and career on a much deeper level. So after researching several certification programs and not really feeling they were a good fit for me, I called on Kate Neligan (Equine Life Coach) to give me some guidance! Little did I know that she had just partnered with Esta Bernstein and Equalia. After meeting with Esta I knew I found the place I belonged. Esta's relationship with horses is the most amazing thing I have ever seen! She knows her stuff and she knows horses! In a very short time I have learned to look at horses as our partners in life, as they have such great gifts to offer and teach us. They guide us to really know ourselves and how they want/need to be treated, as well as, how we should treat our fellow humans. I have learned so much about their bodies, nutrition, bathing, grooming, how they like to play, be heard and how they are asking for our partnership, and being open to what they have to teach us. I see each and every horse as more beautiful than I ever did before! Where Esta teaches the horse side, Kate teaches us the human side with her life coaching skills. As I have just started to do my modules with Kate, she has gotten me more in touch with meditation and breathing and the healing touch and presence of these magnificent creatures. I am looking forward to her guiding me to be the best equine-assisted life coach I can be, which her years of experience and passion for sharing what she knows! Both Esta and Kate are always sending me helpful references to help me on my way, Not many instructors would be as giving and as invested. I appreciate it so much! Thank you both so much. I know that I have found forever friends and mentors in Kate and Esta and my life is so much richer for choosing to bring them along with me in my journey!

Talia4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at Saffrye Sanctuary for years and it has greatly enriched my life. I recommend to everyone!

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3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Saffyre Sanctuary has changed my life. Not only is it the best volunteer group i've had the privilege to be a part of, it is the most caring treatment of horses i know. I grew up with horses but the few months i've been volunteering at Saffyre have taught me more than my 36 years experience combined. I'm not sure who is benefitting more the horses or the people that lovingly take care of them.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Esta, is a magnificent women. Knowledgeable , kind, patient, spiritual. Horses feelings come first , and because of that I have new found releanship with all my horses and that’s because of Esta the co founder.

Hessam P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

for me saffyre sanctuary is like a gateway to learning about myself . i learned how to listen to a horse and how to connect with these magical beings!

1234asdf

Volunteer

Rating: 5

a beautiful journey starts for you the moment you step into this place! Its all about love, friendship and kindness and devotion . Learning how to be in the present moment with an animal as magical and mystical as a horse!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If you have questions, come and get your answers cos horses never lie!

Chris195

Advisor

Rating: 5

The love, care, respect given to the horses of Saffyre Sanctuary rates a ‘10’ Volunteers learn so much from Esta about horse nutrition, health care and how we are one with these majestic beings.

Saffyre Sanctuary provides workshops, emotional and personal development events for both humankind and horses.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Healthy & Heart based loving care for rescues. Great education workshops and clinics. A wonderful organization.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter Ella and i volunteer at Saffyre every Friday. We feel honored to spend time with such magnificent souls. The staff and the horses are beautiful beings. My daughter has learned the value of hard work and what it means to have a commitment. My daughter Ella lost her grandmother around the same time that Saffyre lost Caley, a resident of the sanctuary. Ella said " Daddy, i'm not that sad because grandma is riding Caley and both of them are not sick anymore"
Only because of Ella's relationship with the horses was she able to deal with death in a beautiful way and i thank the staff for the continued opportunity to be part of the Saffyre family. It does feel like a family and we are blessed to be part of it.

LaVinia M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I took my daughter to Saffyre Sanctuary to volunteer with the horses; she wanted one for herself but I wanted to make sure she would be dedicated to the hard work involved. Then Esta found the best horse for adoption for us. Now Our daughters friends volunteer here as well. It truly is a magical experience. Thank you Esta!

Michelle N.5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Esta came up to Cedar Creek Stables in Brentwood, Ca. She did two work shops where she talked about nutrition for each persons horse(s) and then met with each horse. She communicates with the horses with her special gift. It was truly amazing to watch her interact with the humans and horses. The horses gravitated to her. She also did crystal healing. At the end you could feel the energy shift. She is a blessing. Thanks so much,
Michelle☺

Beth F.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My first trip to Saffyre was an incredible experience. I went with a friend and was introduced to Esta. She is an amazing person who has a gift beyond belief in Equine Therapy. It's as if the horses speak to and through her. It all happens so quickly and organically. It's something a bit difficult to explain. It's so worth the experience. Just being around the stables, the volunteers all smiling and the devotion she exudes is something to hold in your heart. Don't deny yourself an experience like this. Head up to Saffyre. You won't be disappointed!

Beth Francavilla

Donor

Rating: 5

This group not only rehabs and saves horses, they incorporate the community and helping others i.e, humans :) in their work as well. Great group.

Darrell Kieth H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a Off Track Thoroughbred named Kali . I came in off the trail o e day and Esta looks at my horse so Kali stops and they’re looking at each other as I’m
sitting on her .
Then Esta tells me that Kali described to Esta a pain that Esta said sounds like a ulcer .
I called the vet and Kali did have an ulcer which we treated and then she was fine .
That’s all I have to say.
Thank you .

Debbie S.9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I stumbled across this sanctuary through Airbnb and as soon as I found it I knew I had to visit. The horses there are beyond beautiful, inside and out. Their characters shine and the work Esta and her volunteers do for these beauties is phenomenal. I wish I wasn't a 13 hour flight away otherwise I'd be there daily!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love Esta, Karen (lead volunteer), and Saffyre! The loving work they do to help heal the horses they have helped rescue, as well as truly guide other volunteers and visitors to really understand the partnership we can have and the things we can learn from these fantastic, loving creatures. Saffyre teaches the caretaking of horses both physically as well as learning their emotional needs; but in doing so you learn about your own. When you have a loving, mutual respect for these grand horses, you discover a lot about yourself as well. Esta is a fantastic guide and will show you what it takes to care for and learn all there is to learn. Some folks may not fully understand or grasp the spiritual approach at first, but when you see how Esta and her team interact, and you open your mind to what can be learned, your world will open. And this kind of interaction is one everyone should eventually be able to appreciate, because they are lessons that you not only use with the horses, but with your human relationships as well. Patience, kindness, perseverance, intuition--all are things that can be improved when you pause and just enjoy the moments interacting with the horses here at Saffyre.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Who would've thought you could find a horse on Facebook. When my husband and I saw Johnny and read his story from Esta we wanted to help. I watched Johnny move in his video and knew this poor guy still wanted to be a horse but was just very sad. He had just lost his long time owner of 20 years and was missing his love and attention. Now Johnny is 23 looking for a new home. This is not easy for a horse. I went to visit Johnny and gave him a 3 hour spa treatment. He stood for the entire make-over. We talked to Esta about Johnny and the owner's wife watched Johnny with us and could see Johnny took a liking to us. Esta is very knowledgeable of horses feelings and has a tremendous compassion to find them a good home. Johnny is now home with us and our 23 year old Arabian, Zacky. Thank you Esta in helping us find Johnny. Zacky thanks you too.

Dana Joy A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering a short time but I am so impressed by the quality care the horses receive and by the dedication and disposition of the staff. They set and meet very high standards for the horses care on a tight budget. The other volunteers are very dedicated, the stable is well organized and clean and it is definitely a feel good place.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Saffyre Sanctuary for a little over a year. The first time I went was as a part of a larger volunteer group, but my experience was so great that I went back again by myself. And then again. And again.

I didn't know that much about horses when I first started, and I'm a little ashamed to admit that I was even afraid of them. But, like any assumption held in ignorance, the more you learn, the less you fear. I consistently learn something every time I go - about horse physiology or behavior in general, or about one of the horses individually. You hear a lot of people say about horses that they're "magnificent" or "noble" or "beautiful creatures," which they are, but they're also complex individuals with separate identities: likes, dislikes, quirks, fears, love, hurt -- just like us. They also have a sense of humor, as evidenced by the frequency with which they lay a big pile down in the stall you JUST finished mucking out. Magnificent, indeed.

When you volunteer at Saffyre you can expect to shovel horse manure, sweep stalls, fetch water, and haul hay. If you can't physically handle all that, don't let it put you off -- there are many ways for all ages and abilities to contribute, people are kind, and all help is valued.

While it feels wonderful to do something that benefits others, the reason I keep going back is that it also benefits me. Aside from the cathartic aspects of throwing yourself into pure physical labor, there is a peacefulness that comes from the horses themselves. It settles over you while you're there, and stays with you a while after you leave. When you've been there a few times, you'll recognize it; when you can't get out there, you'll crave it. It's a magical, intangible horse thing that's hard to explain - you'll just have to go.

Bird G.

Donor

Rating: 5

These folks are so good with their horses, and do so much to bring love of these special creatures into the light.
Whenever I can I visit them because they are so friendly. (The people too)I feel great about donating to them because I know they treat the animals holistically, and are open to sharing whatever learning they have.
My life is better having been able to visit, talk pet, and snuggle these horses.

Donor

Rating: 5

It just warms my heart to visit at Saffyre Sanctuary. The horses are so well taken care of and loved by the founder Esta Bernstein and the many volunteers and visitors. Thank you Esta for all that you do!

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

Esta and her beloved horses have taught me to have more awareness and better energy in general. I’m always better off after having visited Saffyre Sannctuary. It’s such a healing experience just to be there. I even had a massage from one of the horses!

Cynthia M.2

Donor

Rating: 5

Saffyre Sanctuary Is a Great Rescue! and Esta who oversees the operation of the Sanctuary does an amazing Job! Like many rescues they need funds to pay for feed and vet care for the many horses they save! I send a donation when I can ! I hope that keeping this organization in the top rated rescues, people will take notice of the top rate care that is given to the rescue horses there!! Esta is giving of her time and has always had time to answer questions I had. If people are looking for a Rescue where they can feel confident the money is put to good use to benefit the horses then Saffyre Sanctuary would be a great choice!!

jpatriot

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Have been involved with Saffyre Sanctuary since it's inception. Also been involved with several other Horse rescues in Southern and Northern California for over a year. Every one of these rescues is unique and do a tremendous job in the rescue and preservation of Horses. Each has its own methods and do a wonderful work on behalf of the Horses. The Founder, Esta Bernstein, has a method that is very powerful to the needs of the Horses and worthy to have the Great non-profits five-star rating. Saffyre is truly all about the Horse and their needs above all else.

Previous Stories
2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

One of the most unique Horse Rescues there is that caters to the needs of the Horses foremost. Saffyre Sanctuary also provides therapy programs for at risk youth, High School clubs, special needs groups, and individuals. A great family atmosphere!

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Andrea E.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This Sanctuary has changed my life forever. It is an unnique wonderful place. We get to not only clean the stalls and groom the horses we get to spend bonding time with them out in the arena during play time. It is beyond awesome to be allowed in their herd, where they teach you to be present and in the moment with them.
Esta teaches all the volunteers about their individual nutrition and needs. Each horse has a special custom diet depending on their dietary needs. We are to taught to look at everything from the horses perspectives and not ours.
Saffyre Sanctuary is a magical place to go and forget about our everyday stresses and be allowed to be with some of the powerful yet gentle animals there are.

Miriam T.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My name is Miriam Thiel-Alberts and I am an Animal Communicator from Germany and I think Saffyre Sanctuary is a wonderful and unique sanctuary for horses and humans. I gave an Animal Communication workshop at Saffyre Sanctuary last October and even though I knew Esta, her barn and the horses, I was again pleasantly surprised at how much Esta looks out for her horses and her volunteers.
The horses are not only well kept, but they are also looked after spiritually. They can express their needs and wishes at any time. The horses also play a big role in the coaching and healing of volunteers and can help the healing process by taking active part in the sessions, if they wish to do so.
And this makes a big different to other barns. The horses don’t have to do anything. They may choose to help others to recover from trauma, which they themselves have had to do. Some of the horses come from a terrible place, but looking at them now, you wouldn’t believe their sad stories.
We had a wonderful workshop, with 7 people and we experienced some wonderful healing and amazing animal communications. One woman was sure she would not be able to receive any messages from the horses, but Esta’s horses were so ready to take part in the workshop, because they didn’t have to. They do their work as coaches, mentors and partners in animal communication because they choose to and that I think this is the right way to treat another sentient being.
We should give every sentient being a choice to express their wishes and we often take this in our own life very much for granted. Often forgetting that not everybody has a possibility whether horse or human, to express their needs and wishes so freely.
Esta has created a wonderful oasis in the ego-driven world of today, where horses and humans can co-exist without fear of authentically expressing themselves. And that makes a huge difference in the life of the horses and in the life of the humans, who go to this wonderful place- Saffyre Sanctuary.


Barbara262

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

It is a scam and has been for years. Very few horses are adopted out compared to other real rescues. They call themselves a sanctuary when in reality it doesn't care well for the very few rescues they have and most donated funds are for the director's own 3 horses. For years many have attempted to expose this 501-C as a fraud. Volunteers are stall cleaners, free labor and on occasion allowed to mingle with the director's horses. It give real rescues a bad rap. Horses are not seen by veterinarians often enough, for the exception of the director's. Squalid conditions and a serious fly problem leading to summer soars. Sad for the horses.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Saffyre Sanctuary is a gem in heart of Sun Valley. Esta and Karen are giving their lives to these wonderful horses. Nowhere else have I seen so much care put into even the mundane tasks of taking care of horse, like cleaning a stall. And I have never seen meticulously measured out personalized hot meals given to horses at night. It is a beautiful sight to behold.

Their is an eclectic mix of horses from the loveable quarter horse to the beautiful Arabian stallion, to ex-race horse who's gallop is a sight to behold and the charming barrel chested horse who looks straight out a cartoon.


The amazing volunteers' love and dedication flows directly from them to the horses. You will not find a better group of people are a more deserving group of horses!


If you have a free afternoon, come by and learn about horses and how to care for them. And meet truly AMAZING people!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The horse's & what you think about them & then learn about them, is tremendously valuable. The compassion & caring for the herd is exceptional. Esta takesyou on a journey, which more often than not, is life changing. With your new awareness of life and relationships, you grow and change into a better person. Which transcends into all the aspects of your life.

It was for me. One of the best decisions in my life.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The primary mission of Saffyre Sanctuary is to rescue and rehabilitate abandoned or mistreated horses. The horses receive the care and love they deserve, and to be in space that is carefree and comfortable.

What is not often highlighted is the impact Saffyre Sanctuary's work has on its volunteers. This volunteer-run organization equips volunteers with the knowledge and skills to care for the horses. One would not imagine the positive impact and self-learning that comes from any interaction with the horses (even their cleaning and grooming!)

I have found Saffyre Sanctuary to be not only a "sanctuary" for the horses, but for any individual that is involved with and supports the organization as well.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The nicest bunch of volunteers and course participants. The rescue horses are loved and pampered and with Esta at the helm, we feel secure with her knowledge and caring presence.

Brandon B.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer here once a week. I had no horse experience prior to this, and I really got a lot of hands on time with the horses. The people there are very nice.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Esta Bernstein is just a super woman in all her ways by which she takes care of her horses and instructs people who visit how to be with horse and communicate. She explains clearly, simply, effortlessly without intrusive judgement. And her horses are happy beings. Saffyre Sanctuary is a top-star organization run with committed engagement to simple truths that bring meaning to those who visit. Thank you. All best. ~ Ambika

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm a Floridian and grew up owning a small pony. I've always been in awe of horses though somewhat intimidated by their size. It wasn't until my daughter went to college in California and volunteered at Saffyre Sanctuary that I learned of the work Esta Bernstein does rescuing and caring for horses that were subjected to unspeakable horrors & total neglect.
My daughter has volunteered there regularly for over 2 years and witnessed the hard work Esta Bernstein does every single day from cleaning the stalls, to shopping for the best prices on hay to figuring out how to raise $$ for each month's board to care for these beautiful horses. She dearly loves her rescues and works day & night (with or without her volunteers) to tend to their needs. Saffyre Sanctuary is a place of hope and a place of love. I watched videos of these rescues playing with balls, "kissing" volunteers, & basking in the sunshine; things that would seem impossible considering the horrors they endured.

I donate to Saffyre sanctuary when I'm able but no matter what the donation, $20 or $50 Esta Bernstein sends a personal thank you email everytime. She is so grateful for any help and never takes anything for granted. My daughter keeps me informed of the goings on there and it is such a loving environment for both the rescues and the humans. I'm thrilled my daughter found Saffyre; it's truly a sanctuary for horses and for the people that love them with Esta Bernstein at the helm.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is an awe inspiring organization, and the proof of their deep commitment and hard work can be seen in the radiant wellbeing of the horses themselves. It's a real pleasure to see such devoted individuals doing such beautiful work on behalf of these animals.
~ C. Triffet

Stephen M. S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great organization that really does a lot to help rescued horses. I volunteer and help out every month.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the best time volunteering with the group and caring for the horses . This entire sanctuary is so awesome and run so well. Great

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Coupla Guys and Gals Give Back is so fortunate to have found Esta and Saffyre Sanctuary. Her story and mission is amazing and we LOVE those horses. In a perfect world there would be thousands of Esta's and many more Sanctuaries. Who knows... maybe with your help and support, she could set that in motion. Don't miss out in being a part of this organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such a great organization, caring for and loving on abused, neglected horses and offering them a peaceful living home and bright future. I had a great time volunteering with my 10 year old daughter.