Steve and Laverne Harris began Friendly Horse Acres in 1984 on a small farm in Auburn, Washington.  The farm began with Jodee (April Star Jodee), and Splash (Sadie's Splash), and kept growing as more horses and ponies came to join the original two.

Laverne had always been interested in horses.  In fact, her mother informed her that her first word rather startled her city-bred parents.  It was "horse."

Laverne was involved with riding lessons by the time she was eight. She saved until she was able to purchase her first horse, Nifty, a British Columbia, Canada, mustang.  Laverne was 14; Nifty was two.  Laverne added another horse when she was 17.  Dusky Babe was a frisky little Quarter Horse.  A few years later Laverne sold her horses to begin life in the "real" world. 

Steve grew up on a farm in Renton, Washington.  He was familiar with pigs, cows and sheep but he was always interested in horses, although it wasn't until he married Laverne that he had first hand experience with that particular animal.

After Steve survived a life threatening operation, the couple decided it was time to stop waiting.  With the enthusiastic encouragement of their then nine-year-old son, Mark, the couple went searching for those first horses.  Jodee and Splash came home.  Other horses, then ponies, followed.

Eventually, the Auburn farm became too small for the number of animals and that is when the family moved to Buckley.

Steve tried racing his homebred Quarter Horse, but he eventually settled on a passion for draft horses.  He is the jack-of-all-trades around the farm.

Over the years the horses and ponies of Friendly Horse Acres have been favorites at parades, birthday parties and visits to retirement and nursing homes in the community.

Laverne's passion for equines has never diminished.  Her primary concern has always been appreciating the horse on the animal's own terms.  She was able to pass this love on to the youngsters in the neighborhood who began to hang around the farm.  These impromptu lessons eventually evolved into a more structured schedule of lessons.

Laverne stumbled across TTEAM, and she embraced that system of handling horses since it is so consistent with what she has always believed.  Horses must be respected as individuals.

Out of the Harris' Quaker faith, the idea of a family camp for people who are not experienced with horses and who might be a little timid about such a large animal, began.

 In 2004, Friendly Horse Acres became incorporated as a non-profit organization.  Now everyone, no matter their circumstances, can enjoy the horses and ponies.

Contributions are welcome.  Sponsorship programs are also available.

For more information please contact Friendly Horse Acres

eMail: friendlaverne@friendlyhorseacres.com