Begin Again Farms Equine Shelter, Ellerslie, GA

Volunteer Information

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Melissa Heaney at

    How should I dress? What should I bring? What else do I need to know?

Ω Keep the weather in mind! If it’s cold at your house, it’s colder at the farm! Dress in layers to keep warm (and so you can peel off some if it gets warm or if you get dirty!) during winter months. If it’s hot at your house, it’s hotter at the farm! If you burn easily, sunscreen is a must during the summer.

Ω Don’t wear your good clothes! You WILL get dirty. Chances are pretty good you will get dirt, horse poop, paint, or something else on your clothes while working at the farm. The best attire is probably jeans and an old t-shirt.

Ω Loose clothing can be dangerous! Extremely loose clothing can get caught on fences and loose nails, so wear clothes that fit properly.

Ω Wear the right shoes! Horses Poop, on the ground, you will step in it sometime or another. Rubber boots are a good choice, but boots of any kind are preferable. Keep in mind, if you get to ride, you will want a small heel to keep your foot in the stirrups. Sneakers or tennis shoes are acceptable, but sandals and flip flops are not appropriate. Many volunteers keep an extra pair of shoes with them, just in case.

Ω Protect your head! All riders at Begin Again Farms, must wear a helmet. We have all sizes, so we are sure to have something fit you. If you want to bring your own, you may. If you have long hair, you might want to have something to tie it back with.

Ω Accessories not necessary! Necklaces, bracelets, and dangly earrings are best left at home. They are very likely to get lost or broken on the farm.

Ω Protect your personal items! If you don’t have a good protective case for your cell phone, you might consider leaving it at home or in your car, at least. Begin Again Farms will not replace lost or broken cell phones or other personal items.

Ω Gloves: While not required, a good pair of work gloves is a smart idea if you want to protect your hands. Most of the time, extra gloves are available for those who do not have their own.

Ω Eating/Drinking:If you plan to be at the farm all day, you should bring water or other drinks with you to stay hydrated. Water is often available at the farm, but not always. We have a refrigerator on the farm, but no microwave. While we may provide food for volunteers at certain times, we cannot possibly do so every day. You should consider bringing a lunch and snacks if you want them, with you.

Ω Bathroom: THERE IS NO RESTROOM ON THE FARM! We bring in porta-pots for special events only. There are a few discrete locations to take care of “personal matters”, or you can drive to the store in Ellerslie and use the restrooms there.

Ω Parking:Normal parking is around the arenas just inside the gate. Special parking is marked during events. Remember that some of the horses may be running free. Do not leave things on or outside your vehicle that may hurt horses, or that you don’t want eaten!

Ω Everyone wants to know: When do we ride?Unfortunately, we do not get to ride every weekend. There are opportunities to ride, often unannounced. We have several trail rides each year, where riders pay to bring their own horses to ride the trails. (All horses must have Coggins papers) Also, riding lessons are available, for a fee.

Ω Track your time: Visit and register to track your volunteer hours online. We ask that you use your name as a user name, so we know who you are. On the website, you can see how your volunteer hours match up with everyone else. Tracking volunteer hours is very important to us, it helps us get grants to purchase equipment and supplies to provide for our Begin Again Friends!

Ω Paperwork: Riders and volunteers alike are asked to sign a waiver, acknowledging that you are participating in our activities at your own risk, and will not hold the farm responsible should you get hurt. It is also a good idea to make sure we have emergency contact information, just in case! Make sure you give us your email address so we can send you a copy of our quarterly newsletter to share with your friends!

    Safety First!
    Basic Safety Rules for Begin Again Farms Volunteers

• Be calm and quiet. Sudden moves can cause a horse to shy (jump sideways) or kick out.
• When tying use a quick release knot (see below) or panic snap so that if the horse gets scared and pulls he can quickly be freed. The feeling of being constrained can make a scared horse panic to the point of hurting himself or you.
• YOU LIKE THOSE FINGERS? Never loop lead ropes, longe lines, or reins around your hands or any other body part. If your horse pulls away, you could be dragged.
• The safest way to lead a horse is with a halter and lead rope. Don’t hook your fingers through the halter straps, rings or the bit. If the horse pulls away, your fingers could be caught, injuring them or catching your hand so that you are dragged.
• YOU SIGNED THE WAIVER, RIGHT? Never stand directly behind a horse. If you are grooming its tail, stand to one side and pull the tail gently over.
• The safest place to stand is beside your horse’s shoulder where you can see each other, or about 10 or more feet away.
• When grooming, saddling up, or cleaning your horse’s stall, tie your horse up. And don’t leave a tied horse unattended.
• DON’T BE SHOCKED! Many of the fences at Begin Again are electrified. Ask or check to see if the power is on before crawling through or touching fences.