Confirmation Service Project

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"Shoes for Shoes" program brings in the $ while saving the environment.

Sophie Wayner, a sophomore at Westfield High School and C-1 member of Somerset Hills Pony Club was looking for a confirmation service project that supported her love of horses and their healing effects.

Currently boarding and training in dressage at Hunt’s End Farm in Gladstone, Sophie stated that “horses are more than my hobby, they are medicine for me. Since childhood, I have struggled with multiple sensory issues and challenges. I always have been interested in therapeutic riding as a whole and personally have donated tack to the Mane Stream Tack Sale last year.” 

That’s where “Shoes for Shoes” comes in! Sophie started her own shoe collection and obviously chose her location well because in just 1 month she collected 239 pairs of shoes. They will be sorted, boxed and sent all over the world to be worn by people in need. And the best part is that Mane Stream will receive $.50 a pound which will go directly to help pay for our horses shoes.

The horses think you're awesome Sophie! And we do too!!

52-Week Charity Marathon

A "Give-Back" Bucket List Before My 50th Birthday

This is Kimberly Bustamante's mission and guess which organization made her list? That's right, on May 3rd from 10-3pm she will be working hard on the farm doing a variety of tasks. Kimberley had hoped to accomplish several things throughout the year including connecting with others, rolling up her sleeves with some physical work and of course trying to make a tiny difference in the world. We think she'll be able to accomplish all three!

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At the time this article was written Kimberly had completed 43 Weeks of good deeds with these worthy organizations Feed My Starving Children, Special Olympics, Charity Thanksgiving Dinner, Our Hearts of Hope, Journey to Jupiter, Family to Family, and many more.

From Kimberly's Blog:

This blog is my “give-back” bucket-list  – each week for the 52 weeks leading up to my 50th birthday I am going to volunteer at a different charity as a way to give back and give thanks. This is the journey I want to take as I walk towards my 50th birthday.  A celebration of life through helping others and getting involved.  Continue reading... 


Demystify: EAAT (Equine Assisted Activities & Therapy

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Tuesday, June 5th from 7:30-9:00pm

Continuing education classes are usually reserved for Mane Stream Volunteers. However, #terminologytuesday has been opened to the public and we hope to have the room full.

Coordinator of Therapy Services, Melanie Dominko-Richards, MS, CCC-SLP, HPCS will share the ins & outs of EAAT, the history of the industry, program differentiation, terminology and the reasoning why.

We hope YOU will come and then share your new knowledge with your family and friends.


Merck Team Comes to Spring Clean

The first corporate workday of the season!

Bright and early on Monday the 26th of March the Merck Manufacturing Office of the President Team showed up ready for action. After a brief overview of what Mane Stream does and a tour of the facility, Volunteer Coordinator, Kathy Mikula got down to business assigning tasks.  They worked hard for several hours painting, cleaning, and sorting & boxing up shoes for the "Shoe for Shoes" program. AND....they were lucky enough to groom some horses.

We couldn't do it without the help from groups like your.
Thank you!

And thanks to new Mane Stream team member Jenni Tevlin for bringing her department to the farm and taking some pretty awesome picts too!

Cicada Volunteer: Lizzie Le-Orlando

That’s right, when volunteers come back after a break of a few years, they are dubbed “cicadas”. We love our volunteers and when they return to Mane Stream we are especially excited. 

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From the minute Lizzie filled out her Volgistics profile we knew it would be a match made in heaven for Mane Stream and Lizzie. She wrote, “I’m looking to fill my spare time doing something meaningful. I've always enjoyed working with horses and I know that riding is great for everyone. I love that Mane Stream works to provide that experience to people who might not otherwise have access.” 

Lizzie got involved in her high school’s community service club and saw the opportunity to volunteer at Mane Stream. She rode horses when she was in middle school so she thought that Mane Stream would be a great fit. When asked about her first volunteer experiences at here Lizzie said, “I was very shy but I remember looking up to the staff and older volunteers who were great role models because of their warmth and compassion.” 

Lizzie danced ballet for 13 years and was contemplating becoming a ballerina. But, breaking her foot junior year confirmed dancing would be more of a hobby than a career path. Her other passion had always been mathematics which led to work towards an actuary degree at Rutgers University. However, she decided she wanted to do something she felt passionate about and that would make a difference in the community. 

There are several nurses in Lizzie’s family and when they shared their experiences with her, and she realized a career in nursing would fulfill all her requirements. She is thrilled to be graduating this May with a nursing degree and is excited about securing a nursing job upon graduation. When she is not studying or giving of her time here at Mane Stream she enjoys reading, according to Lizzie she comes from a family of bookworms.

Lizzie returned to a regular Monday therapy volunteer slot about 10 months ago and is always willing to work as a sub. She has also been involved with our Matheny School and summer camp programs. We’re hoping that her future job will leave time for Lizzie to help with camp again this year since it holds a special place in her heart.

Lizzie says that her favorite memory of Mane Stream is volunteering for summer camp. At summer camp she enjoyed getting to know all the riders and seeing them make friends with each other. Lizzie especially enjoyed the summer camp horse show and painting the horse in front of the barn.

Lizzie is a dedicated and compassionate volunteer and everyone here at Mane Stream feels honored she is part of the Mane Stream family. Thanks for coming back Lizzie!

Making a Difference One Month at a Time

“Partners in Possibilities” Jen & Manny


Mane Stream’s Partner in Possibilities program makes it easy to support our riders and participants every month. Partners Jen and Manny told us they are “more than happy to be in Partner in Possibilities monthly giving program.”

Jen and Manny became Partners in December 2017 after attending our Boot Scootin’ BBQ for the first time in May 2017. Jen keeps her horse at Red Tail Farm and, while riding at the farm last spring, noticed massive tents going up for the event. She and Manny attended the BBQ as guests of Linda Dietz, Red Tail’s owner and vice president of Mane Stream’s Board. “Of course we went” said Jen, “because who doesn’t love a good BBQ for a good cause?”

Jen and Manny enjoyed the Boot Scootin’ BBQ  (our biggest bash of the year, with over 350 people kicking up their heels all evening long to rockin’ music). Jen found Linda Dietz’s passionate support of Mane Stream contagious, and later that year she and Manny attended our annual gala fundraiser, EQUUS.

Jen, a principle scientist and office practice leader for TRC Engineers, Inc. in New York City and Manny, a partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York City felt an immediate connection to Mane Stream’s mission. Jen explained, “I understand Mane Stream’s mission, as I volunteered at a similar organization in high school and we are the parents of a child who benefits from therapeutic services. However, Mane Stream’s approach is so much more sophisticated than the limited adaptive riding of long ago that I remember. Manny and I are impressed by the wide variety of services provided by Mane Stream to both children and adults.” 

“The monthly giving program makes it super easy to give small amounts on a regular basis…everyone can do it!” Jen is right - becoming a member of our Partner in Possibilities program is easy. For as little as $5 a month, you ensure that our clients, riders and horses have the consistent support they need to thrive. Click here to join Partner in Possibilities now.

Welcome Jenni Tevlin


We are truly excited to welcome Jenni Tevlin, MS, NCC, LPC to the Mane Stream Family. As Veterans and Mental Health Programming Specialist, she will be heading up our OPERATION: Take the Reins program for veterans and service members. The spring session starts May 2nd and we hope you'll spread the news far and wide that we are looking for participants for this FREE equine assisted program.

Enough about all that now let's hear about Jenni and why we are so excited!

Jenni is a PATH Intl. Certified Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning.  She holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree in Animal Science, with a specialization in Equine Science, from Rutgers University, as well as a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Monmouth University.  Jenni is a NJ-State Licensed Professional Counselor, a NJ-Disaster Response Crisis Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. She is also currently in the process of completing her mental health and equine specialist certifications through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA). 

Jenni has a certified therapy dog named, ‘Sweet Pea’ who she takes with her to schools and community events.  Jenni has developed and taught graduate courses in Animal-Assisted Therapy for Monmouth University’s Professional Counseling Program and undergraduate courses at Rutgers University Animal Science Department. Due to her expertise in the field Jenni was recently awarded a $4,000 grant, which she used to jointly collaborate with teams from Rutgers and Monmouth Universities to investigate the impact of Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) in both horses, and veterans with PTSD.  The resulting paper was accepted for publication in 2018 in The Journal of Equine Veterinary Science.

In addition to these achievements in the field of animal assisted therapy, Jenni’s other professional credentials include 17 years of experience in Research and Development, Project Management and Human Resources in the pharmaceutical industry. 

She currently loves spending time with her teenage son, Nicholas, her husband Bill, 3 dogs, 2 horses and a rabbit, and enjoys taking riding lessons and competing at low level horse trials on her shire horse, Maverick, as well as visiting Disney World each year.

Interested in signing up for OPERATION: Take the Reins or to receive counseling with Jenni at Mane Stream? Contact Jenni directly at

More than BBQ it's a BASH!

5th Annual Boot Scootin' BBQ


Tickets are now available for Mane Stream’s 5th annual Boot Scootin’ BBQ, to be held on Saturday, June 2 at Red Tail Farm in Bedminster. Come out and kick up the dust, pick out your favorite jeans and boots and get ready to party all night long in support of Mane Stream’s equine assisted therapy programs and the services they provide to the local community with special needs.

This big bash starts at 6:00p.m. with a tasting from a local distillery and several corn hole sets for those looking to get a little competitive. Fred Whaley of Southern Man BBQ will be adding a few new twists to his sumptuous country style BBQ. The evening will be hosted by NASH 94.7 and live band, “The Mourning Doves” is sure to keep everyone on the huge dance floor.

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The rustic evening under the stars includes chances to win a diverse selection of silent and live auction items including fun experience packages and baskets filled with something for everyone. At 10:00pm when the auction closes, the winner of the 50/50 Raffle will go home with more than $1,000, though you need not be present to win. Raffle tickets are available for purchase at the farm or you can call the office. All proceeds will be used to improve the quality of life for individuals with physical, developmental, emotional and medical challenges.

Last year’s event was almost sold out, so get your tickets now. Individual tickets are $125 each. With two massive tents there is seating for everyone though the five sponsorships levels receive reserved seating and extensive recognition options.

Purchase Your Tickets Now

Jen Dermody, Event Coordinator