Meet the Trail Guides

Derrick, Owner

Weekdays – Primary Mount: Walter

Derrick, born and raised in North Carolina, has been riding since he was a teenager. An Army veteran, he is currently in his 29th year as a paramedic. Derrick opened DM Outdoors and established Safe Haven Farm in 2015 after going on a ride with another barn. He was so disappointed in the “follow the leader” style of ride. DM Outdoors started with 3 horses and a small trailer, just wanting a way to help with the costs of owning horses. It has evolved into a place where we’ve ended up rescuing horses and people alike. Derrick has been told more than once that he can never shut down DM Outdoors… not because of the impact to the public or the horses, but because of the loss to the people that have been helped by and have become a part of the Safe Haven family. 


Weekends/Weekdays – Primary Mount: Whiskey

Ashley is originally from Farmington, Missouri and her passion for horses started as a young child living on her grandparents’ farm. She grew up a military child, moving a lot, and later joining the Marine Corps. Due to the constant moving, Ashley didn’t get to ride as often as she wanted, but her love for horses never went away and she sought out time to ride any chance she got. In 2021, her husband found DM Outdoors, and took her riding for a date. They began riding regularly with us, falling in love with riding all over again as well as with the people working here, ultimately beginning to volunteer themselves. Ashley is a proud Marine and Law Enforcement Veteran.


Weekends – Primary Mount: Walter

Originally from Massachusetts, Mel moved to North Carolina to be closer to family and for warmer weather. She has worked with animals her whole life, and for the past 3 years, she’s been developing her career in the veterinary field as a veterinary technician, working full time at a small animal veterinary hospital. In her free time she loves spending quality time with friends and family, being outdoors with her two dogs, relaxing at the beach and fishing. Mel started volunteering at Safe Haven Farm in 2021. 


Weekdays/Weekends – Primary Mount: Jack

Joey was born and raised in Southeast Georgia in multiple small boarding towns of the Okefenokee Swamp. He is the middle child to two siblings and spent much of his time in the outdoors around farmland. A high school athlete, Joey joined the Marine Corps from which he will retire in December 2022.  He is a former semi-professional football all-star, father of 4 children, and husband to another one of our volunteers.  Joey is also the proud owner of a Bureau of Land Management Mustang named Rocky who resides with our boys at Safe Haven Farm. Joey began officially volunteering at our farm on the first day of 2022. 


Weekends – Primary Mount: Whiskey

Sabryna was raised in North Carolina but was born in Ohio. She grew up in a military family and decided to stay in North Carolina for school. She currently has an associates degree in science and will be attending NC State University in the fall of 2022 to major in animal science. From a young age, Sabryna has always had a passion for working with animals, which is why she has decided to study to begin a career as a veterinarian. She loves volunteering and would spend all her time working at a dog rescue. After volunteering a little over 1,000 hours, Sabryna wanted to branch out and  work with horses. She found DM Outdoors and fell in love with the atmosphere at our farm, and began volunteering with us in 2021! 

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