Like most horse lovers my affair with horses started in childhood at age 11. I was blessed with the opportunity to “work” on the last remaining trail riding business in the city of Milwaukee, Glass House Ranch. My “job” was caring for the horses, feeding…and when the owner Rollie was in a really good mood, riding! Those horses and that place, in a very real sense, salvaged me from a very difficult childhood.
I’ve carried that love and devotion to “all things horsey” ever since. Over the years I’ve tried my hand at breeding, boarding, showing and training until I finally discovered within myself several years ago, my gift, my passion, my fulfillment is in loving, caring for, and nurturing these animals.
Greetings! I have been in love with horses for what seems like my entire lifetime. From the time I was a young girl, I was obsessed with horses. I had books, Breyer models, movies, and I even pretended I was a horse when playing with friends! I remember my grandfather found an old leather harness in his barn when I was about 10. I spent that entire summer hauling that halter around, pretending there was a horse in it! When I became a teenager, I talked my parents into paying for lessons at the local stables and got involved in “Horseless Horse.” We spent our time working with horses at a local farm. In exchange for our hard work, we got to ride and show them.
Over the years, I have found myself gravitating back to horses in some way. This latest adventure with A.G.E.S. has by far been the most rewarding and wonderful so far, and was the catalyst which prompted me to adopt some of my own forever equine friends, including Chance, the horse love of my life. I now help out in the office with bookkeeping and other behind-the-scene administrative tasks. I also do many of the transports, as I love a good road trip and the adventure rescue provides (who needs to climb mountains??). I love the horses, the mission, and most of all the people I have the privilege of working with, who shine a dedication and love that is unparalleled to any other. My only regret is that I didn’t find this wonderful place sooner. I am looking forward to journey ahead and the meeting the many horses whose lives we will impact.
Ellen was born and raised in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin which is where she resides with her husband, Cole; daughter, Olivia; and two blue heelers, Spy and Caliber. She is an animal lover and will be able to contribute her knowledge of business to the foundation. In August of 2014 she opened SOEL, a fitness studio and boutique in Elkhart Lake. SOEL offers indoor cycling, yoga and cardio & strength instruction classes. She and her startup company, SOEL are eager to team up with A.G.E.S. to broaden and strengthen the foundation’s presence in the Village of Elkhart Lake and surrounding region. “Amazing Grace Equine Sanctuary is doing wonderful things for horses, donkeys and even llamas! Animals have always been a passion of mine and I am so honored to hold a position on the board of directors for such a fine foundation.”
Director of Training and Rehabilitation
Chelsea Harley has spent her life pursuing one passion- horses. As a young girl Chelsea would spend her time doing anything around the barn she could to work off riding lessons. After high school Chelsea spent three months in Costa Rica, giving horseback tours in the rain forest, and along beaches to earn room and board before returning home and working full time for the Hunter/Jumper trainer she had taken lessons from for several years prior. After three years of apprenticeship in the show industry Chelsea attended Meredith Manor International Equestrian Centre in West Virginia, from where she graduated with honors after completing a hands- on program of study focused on training. Chelsea’s other studies there included: farrier craftsmanship, barn management, breeding, riding theory, and showing. After attending Meredith Manor, Chelsea studied with Mary Schreiber, the founder of EQUISSAGE©, earning certification as both an Equine Sports Massage Therapist as well as in Canine Therapeutic Massage.
In September of 2013 Chelsea Harley joined Amazing Grace Equine Sanctuary as the Director of Training and Rehabilitation. Chelsea’s understanding of the biomechanics of the horse and her experience in the field have given her a solid understanding of how to assist and care for horses through even their weakest physical and emotional times. During her years in the competitive side of the industry, Chelsea saw many instances where the emotional and occasionally even the physical welfare of a horse was disregarded when money and performance came into play. Chelsea will be the first to tell you that she has no interest in “breaking horses.” Though not meant as a literal term she just finds the suggestion unappealing and prefers to refer to her work as “un-breaking horses.” Each horse that comes into A.G.E.S. has been through a varying level of trauma and Chelsea is proud to be here to help heal their minds and their hearts.
Chelsea Harley can be reached for training inquires at email@example.com; please use subject line HARLEY EQUINE.