Horse riders return to healing grounds attending the 12th annual rescue ride in Ellerslie

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For some people, a horse is considered a means of transportation, but for these riders, at Begin Again Farms horses are a gateway to a person’s soul.

“We bring in abused, abandoned, neglected and the unwanted. Sometimes people’s lives change and they can’t keep the horse anymore and there are times when it’s just ugly,” said Rhonda Jackson, Begin again Farms Equine Shelter President.

Riders across the valley registered and saddled up at this year’s 12 annual Rescue Ride to help raise funds on food and the upkeep of the shelter.

Games and a special obstacle course for the horses had everyone on their feet.

“We have about 12 miles of trails so they can go out and do that too and they can have a fun day all day,” said Jackson.

“The obstacle courses are fun the trails are fun because you get to ride with friends, it’s a nice relaxing thing to do aside from showing and riding at home,” said Erin Chalmers, visitor.

Being on the trails, enjoying the gifts of mother nature the farm has to offer felt somewhat like therapy to the riders.

“That’s what horses have always been for me. I’ve been riding since I was three and whenever you have a day all you have to do is go out and get on them,” said Kate Heasley visitor.

These strong, lovable creatures can get up close and personal, but in the end, the ride makes it all worthwhile.

“I’m not a therapist, they are the therapy. Not only is it good for the people but it’s good for the horses because we have so many of them we can’t give them one on one attention all the time,” said Jackson.

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