Begin Again Farms Equine Shelter, Ellerslie, GA

The BAF Writing Project: an Introduction

Posted on Aug 22, 2016 in News & Events

I’ve never been big into horses, although I’ve ridden a few trails and been around horses from time to time. It was my Mother, Aunt and Brother that were the “horse people” of the family. I had simply tagged along over the years, though I’ve always considered them to be beautiful creatures with beautiful spirits.

My first encounter with Begin Again Farms was in August 2015 and was also a product of my tagging along. I was home visiting, and had brought with me a friend that was a very skilled rider. She had spent several days volunteering at the farm, and I finally made it up there to check it out. Well, you know how you can feel the energy of a place? Sometimes we’re more aware of it, as in cases when a location strikes a particular chord in our being. Upon driving up to the farm, I felt immediate peace and hopefulness. I had the opportunity to sit down with Rhonda Jackson, the President of the Equine Shelter, and she explained to me what they did. I could feel the passion in her words. Helping these horses through whatever abuse or illness they were facing, providing the necessary rehabilitation and a place to retire or the chance to find good homes was what it was all about. After hearing a few of the horses’ stories, something within me wanted to write them down and use them to build more awareness for the farm. This was indeed an interesting occurrence, as I am not a writer. I suppose the only thing that makes one a writer is if one writes.

…Cue almost a year later. Life events have brought me back to Georgia, and I immediately thought once again about the work being done at Begin Again Farms. Actually, the idea of writing about the horses has been sitting on the back burner all this time. I was thrilled when Rhonda agreed to meet with me again to discuss this project. When the timing is right, it’s just right. Funny how and when things line up, eh? Perhaps it’s not that funny after all. It happens all the time.

So, this is a writing project in which the stories of the horses will be told, quite candidly, through a series of short stories. These stories will be regularly updated and posted on this blog. Some will be happy, some will be heartbreaking, and all will depict the truly inspired mission of Begin Again Farms.

Like many great stories, this one begins with love. The love one being has for another being – one spirit has for another spirit. It is that unconditional love that many of us have been fortunate enough to experience – perhaps as a parent for their child or even an owner for their pet. Love for love’s sake. “I love you because you are.” That is the beginning of the continually unfolding story of Begin Again Farms.

Our hope is that these short stories will reach a broader audience to spread the word about BAF and help advance our mission of becoming a nationally recognized authority in equine rescue, rehabilitation and placement.

Thank you for reading.

"Count your rainbows, not your thunderstorms." Alyssa Knight

“Count your rainbows, not your thunderstorms.” Alyssa Knight

Heather Ray is an artist, traveler and yogi. After spending several years abroad, she is back in her native Columbus, GA. Putting her creativity to use, she is happy to help out and share the amazing stories heard around Begin Again Farms. Please send any questions or comments to or contact Heather directly at

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