Pam Connelly-Castle, originally from LaGrange County, is the founder of Ride with Faithin Columbia City, Ind., an equine assisted psychotherapy non-profit organization.
Since the organization’s founding in 2008, Connelly-Castle has been using a borrowed horse trailer for the program, which she uses to haul up to 11 horses to shows and riding locations, making it necessary to make multiple trips. She’d been looking all over for the right deal on a new trailer to help her kids in equine therapy.
Connelly-Castle outlined her dilemma almost two years ago to Shipshewana Trailer Sales and Services, a company that has a steady partnership with CornPro and Golden Trailers. Though other companies all over Indiana had hesitated to assist Connelly-Castle’s small non-profit, Jim Hilgendorf, owner of Shipshewana Trailer, immediately saw the opportunity to help.
Hilgendorf asked his partners at CornPro and Golden Trailers about a possible horse trailer to be made for Ride with Faith. They agreed to make a Golden trailer specifically for Connelly-Castle’s needs, valued at around $18,000, with well over half of this value contributed by Shipshewana Trailer Sales and Services. She was thrilled when they asked her to pick her own color.
Connelly-Castle expressed her extreme gratitude to Jim Hilgendorf – “the man who made this happen” – and CornPro/Golden Trailers. “Some hesitate to donate to smaller non-profits, but when somebody steps up and makes a donation like this, it goes straight to the cause,” Connelly-Castle said. She is excited to show the trailer to the kids and teens at Ride with Faith, who she said have earned it through their hard work, learning, and growth this year.
Connelly-Castle herself has worked hard within the Ride with Faith organization. She is certified by the Department of Mental Health and the Family Services Associations of Indiana, and with just four years under her belt, Connelly-Castle has seen kids open up on the farm.
Participants learn the value of hard work through horses, the “hard stuff behind the fun stuff,” as Connelly-Castle puts it, and some are able to show horses all over the Columbia City area, if funding permits them.
Funding, in fact, is one of the major issues that hinder the Ride with Faithkids in showing horses and pursuing other goals. Connelly-Castle stressed the importance of donations, like that of this horse trailer, for those at Ride with Faith who don’t quite qualify for Medicaid, but still need a tremendous amount of help.
On the Ride with Faith farm in Columbia City, some of the things the kids in equine therapy say are “enough to break your heart,” according to Connelly-Castle. She is greatly rewarded when, on the wide trails and fields of the farm, she begins “seeing the healing come out