Getting to know us better!

Kathy, Kim and Mel the human (not Mel the Horse)

Where would Mane Stream be without all of the terrific staff members who work so hard to keep our programs running on a daily basis? This fall we were delighted to welcome three "new" people to our staff. Well as most know, two are new and one has been here at Mane Stream for 21 years! To get to know them a bit better, in addition to asking them about their professional backgrounds we inquired about their favorite foods (because who isn’t interested in food?) and the most enjoyable vacations they had ever taken.

Kathy - .jpg

Kathy Mikula, Volunteer Coordinator
Kathy says she loves working at Mane Stream because the people here are so welcoming and dedicated to our mission.  Kathy has worked at several not-for-profits, most recently as the volunteer coordinator at the Center for Food Action in Englewood, NJ. Kathy grew up in Michigan and moved to New Jersey about 20 years ago after graduating with a degree in Communications, German, and Philosophy from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.  She enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, kids and two dogs, and describes herself as history lover and movie buff.  Kathy’s favorite vacation was a visit to Iceland, a unique country with beautiful landscapes and a fascinating history. 

2017 Fall Spirit Wear - it's in.jpg

Melanie Dominko-Richards, MS, CCC-SLP, HPCS, Coordinator of Therapy Services
Mel gets great happiness and gratification from seeing the joy and excitement that Mane Stream’s clients get out of being around our horses as she was once in their shoes. Mel started out as a camper at Mane Stream in 1996; she loved it so much that she eventually became a volunteer and finally a staff member!  She is a New Jersey licensed Speech-Language Pathologist with a Certificate of Clinical Competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She also holds a BS in Education and an MS in Speech-Language Pathology from Seton Hall University and is one of 10 Speech Language Pathologists in the country who are Board Certified Hippotherapy Clinical Specialists. She tells us that she has a passion for avocados, chicken, Honey Crisp apples, and (if she’s not trying to eat “healthy”) Oreos, pizza, and anything Reese’s (definitely the Easter Eggs, definitely not the Valentine's Hearts). Although cooking is not her thing, she did one time make blackened chicken with an avocado cream sauce and managed to not burn her house down (although she did have to unplug her smoke alarm...) Her most memorable adventure abroad was the summer she spent in Australia and New Zealand. The highlights of her trip included feeding kangaroos, snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, learning Hakas from the Maori people, repelling and luging down mountains, and climbing to the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge!

Kim & Ian.jpg

Kimberley Coombs, Database/Fundraising Strategist
Kim tells us that she fell in love with Mane Stream when she began volunteering here 2 years ago after retiring from a career in professional fundraising, and she’s happy to now be a member of the staff on a part-time basis. Kim still volunteers at least once a week because she loves seeing the participants and clients become more comfortable, confident and skilled on the horse and in their therapy as they progress through their sessions. Kim also volunteers with various local and regional organizations, sings in her church choir and the Hunterdon Choral Union, and is a Court-Appointed Special Advocate for children in foster care, in addition to her involvement with the Readington Community Theatre – busy lady!! When it comes to food, her favorites include pizza Margherita and chicken piccata. Kim will never forget her Alaska cruise – a spectacular exploration of glacier fjords, wildlife, and native culture.

As you can see, these three women bring plenty of experience, talent and dedication to Mane Stream, and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.

#GivingTuesday Results

Thank you #GivingTuesday donors!

GT results image - pedi.jpg

We've called the farrier and set up pedis for each of the hard-working herd. There is also enough left over to keep them in treats & warm bran throughout the long cold winter and few other much needed items.

Thank you: Mary Dickey, Michele Gaffney, Bonnie Papso, Lisa Bulger, Vanessa Chambers, Mary Beth Cisneros, Kerry Elizabeth Scholz, Diane Krell, Betsy Cater, Julia Katherine Elizabeth, Jeanne Rogalin, Alison Crowley, Sharmaine Griffith-Moore, Alexandra Kirby Taylor, Janice Herbert, and Stacey Staub.

Beval's Annual Holiday Party

...and the Mane Stream Giving Tree

Still need to holiday shop for the horse lover in your life?

Stop by Beval Saddlery and use this 15% coupon as a gift to yourself.
Then enjoy a glass of wine while you check out the Mane Stream Giving Tree. We are grateful to Beval Saddlery for this opportunity to fill the herd's stockings this holiday season!


New Video Highlights Mane Stream

Sharing the Stories of Izzy and George

Special thanks to Lucy Friedland, Jack Brucker and the rest of the EQUUS Junior Committee who worked diligently to create a heartfelt video highlighting the stories of two participants and the impact Mane Stream has on their lives.  We would also like to thank Izzy's parents and George's mother for taking the time to share their stories.

EQUUS Junior Committee

Lucy Friedland, Chair
Lily Binder, Jack Brucker, Joei Drozjock, Sami Kutakoff,
Robbie Maffucci, Lauren Radi, Caroline Sameth

A Glittering Evening of Giving

EQUUS XXVI - A Starlight Soiree


Among the twinkling lights and shooting stars, almost 300 attendees gathered to honor Linda Dietz, President of the Board of Directors at Mane Stream’s EQUUS XXVI Gala on November 4th at Fiddler’s Country Club in Bedminster. The gorgeous venue, live band and delicious food made for a brilliant fundraising event which had outrageously fun items and exciting vacations in both the live and silent auctions.

A Junior Committee worked diligently to create a heartfelt video highlighting the stories of two participants and the impact Mane Stream has on their lives. We look forward to sharing this piece with everyone soon.

Yet another emotional highlight of the evening was the video created by Lucy Freidland, in memory of her brother Adam. Last year we dedicated our "giving pyramid" to Adam and this year we officially named it Adam Friedland's Helping Hands. The outpouring of generosity from our guests for our mission was a wonderful tribute to Adam, and by naming the pyramid for him, we have guaranteed that his spirit will always be remembered at Mane Stream. 

Mane Stream relies on the generosity of our gala attendees and this year the response was overwhelming, ensuring that our hard-working herd will stay happy and healthy. This enables Mane Stream to support the many programs offered including adaptive riding, equine assisted therapies (OT, PT, and Speech-Language), Matheny School, Horses for Healing for those living with or recovering from cancer and Take the Reins for Veterans.


A Friend of Mane Stream
Kirk Kellogg & Emily Maillet

Linda & Alvin Dietz, Julia & Bob Greifeld, Hal & Kathy Kamine, Steve & Karen Kaufhold, Michael & Jaimie Morais, Open Road Auto Group, Rod & Dianne Ryan, Lee & Justin Sadrian 

Advance Realty, Colonial Wire & Cable Company, Dave McShane, Sandy Olson, Jake & Marianne Saladino, Kevin & Betsy Sullivan, Larry Wellpler & Mady Devine


Thank you to everyone who sent in a super star note honor your favorite Mane Stream Star (board member, volunteer, participant or horse)


Gala Committee

Laura Brucker - Gala Chair
Cynthia Barkman, Krissy Binder, Kristin Brucker, Lora Butler, 
Sherry Donovan, Dawn Drozjock, Lynn Evans, Jill Friedland, 
Stephanie Glickman, Kathy Kamine, Karen Kaufhold, Kelly Ketterson, 
Keri Kutakoff, Desiree LaTorre, Emily Maillet, Donna Marki, Beth Mikosh, 
Jaimie Morais, Tina Osmond, Julia Peter-Kerr, Yvonne Previdi, Lashana Reale, 
Susan Reale, Jeanne Rogalin, Marianne Saladino, Kristen Sameth, Jennie Weil, 
Rael Welsh, Renee Wood

Junior Committee

Lucy Friedland, Chair
Lily Binder, Jack Brucker, Joei Drozjock, Sami Kutakoff,
Robbie Maffucci, Lauren Radi, Caroline Sameth

Gala Night Volunteers

Amy Barkman, Kathy Dermody, Julie Doyle, Laura Edleson, Michelle Geise, 
Nancy Grossweiler, Meg Mikrut, Karen Vogt

Answering the call for 15 years!

Wishing you a happy retirement Paul Geyer! 

Wishing you a happy retirement Paul Geyer! 

A volunteer for almost 15 years, Paul Geyer has extensive experience working with horses and as a volunteer at Mane Stream. As a leader, sidewalker, and everything in between, Paul has continually answered our calls and emails for “Subs Needed” week after week even with a full time job! 

Paul began his journey as a horseman with trail riding horses and progressed to riding the hounds, or foxhunting, before finding his true love, playing polo. He learned the ins and outs of how to play polo by riding next to his friend, a more experienced polo player. 

Polo became Paul’s obsession and he played and owned polo ponies for approximately 25 years. Although he no longer plays, Paul remains very involved in the polo community. He  attends polo matches at the Tinicum Polo Club in Erwinna, Pennsylvania, the club he played at during his polo career. 

After seeing an advertisement in the newspaper to volunteer at Mane Stream, previously known as Somerset Hills Handicapped Riding Center, Paul was motivated to use his equestrian experience as a volunteer.

Similar to other volunteers, Paul loves his interactions with clients and the jokes and insights that they provide during lessons. It makes him feel useful, knowing that parents or caregivers of clients are able take a break from the stressful job of being a parent or caregiver 24/7. He knows that they appreciate lessons just as much as the riders do, as it provides them a short time to relax. 

Paul also appreciates each of the horses in the barn, and each of their idiosyncrasies and what makes them, them. One pony, which stands out to Paul the most is Dart, known around the barn as the “cutest pony in the world.” When he looks at Dart, he can’t help but think that “There is a poor girl out there who outgrew Dart, and was probably heartbroken.” 

Paul’s love for volunteering is clear, and he encourages people to make time for volunteering, no matter what amount of hours they can commit to.

He said to...
“First, come over and find out what it's all about. If you can't put in the commitment, try to substitute when you are available to. Start off with being a substitute, and spend some time with the participants, and you will realize that you get so much more of out it than anything else you may do to fill any free time. Everyone has a couple of hours during the week, at some time, to come over and do it. You’ll get so much out of it and find out that it's so worthwhile.”

Thank you, Paul, for all of your time and dedication to Mane Stream. We will miss you more than you can imagine!

Now it is your turn to answer the call. Get Involved 

Tack Sale Results...EPIC!

We knew the Fall Tack Sale was going to be “EPIC” (as equine manager/event coordinator/head instructor, Jen Dermody likes to say) when a steady stream of tack donations came in all summer long. Lots of NEW brand name items from Prestige, lightly used high end saddles, and a mountain of blankets.

2017 Fall Saddles.jpg

Then on October 7th the first eager customer arrived an hour before opening time. People who have been to the sale before know what a wonderful opportunity it is to pick up horse-related equipment at reasonable prices while helping to support Mane Stream’s mission.  A great crowd showed up this year, with many familiar faces and plenty of new people too.

Thank you to everyone who came to support Mane Stream -
because of you we raised $6,000. 


The Thrill of Competition

Winners Circle         Horse Show Sponsors        Horse Show Volunteers

Fall Horse Show & Open House a Success

October 8th was an action-packed day, with many of our Adaptive Riders, their families & friends, and volunteers coming together for a day of competition and fun at the annual Horse Show and fall Open House. 

In support of Mane Stream’s Adaptive Riding program, several sponsors and 24 riders raised a total of $5,500.  This year there were more competitors than in recent years; many were first-time competitors as well as a some who just started riding this fall. The riders bringing in the largest amounts for Mane Stream were Mary Glaser and Cassie Collins. Once again, dedicated volunteer, Kathy Dermody was the judge for the day. Eight champion and reserve champion ribbons were also distributed to riders of all ages. The day’s competitive events were captured by dedicated volunteer photographer Michelle Geise. A photo booth was set up by Jeanne and Roger Rogalin so that participants, their horses and families had an opportunity to have pictures taken together. (to see all the picts got to the HORSE SHOW GALLERY)

Winners Circle

Abby Clay Rutgers Memorial Award – Juan Mantilla
Nancy Penick McGarry Award – Victoria Leone

Champion AM Adult – Elizabeth W.
Reserve Champion AM Adult – Juan Mantilla
Champion AM Junior – Silvia Marchetti
Reserve Champion AM Junior – Chelsea Obermeier

Champion PM Adult – Victoria Leone
Reserve Champion PM Adult – Jon Lega
Champion PM Junior – Julie Lashen
Reserve Champion PM Junior – Matthew Owen

Scheduled for the same day, Mane Stream’s Open House was a great opportunity for visitors to stop by and see what our programs are all about. Guests watched the riders competing in the horse show, toured the facility and learned about the impact and benefits of adaptive riding and equine assisted therapies. The team from Sambulance Safety Squad, which provides safety education for students with special needs, was on hand to offer safety information and show visitors their ambulance and squad car. 

Our sincere thanks to everyone who made the day such a success, including our Horse Show sponsors and Nancy Grossweiler, who donated pizza, and decorated with balloons and blue bows to make the farm look more festive. 

Horse Show Sponsors

Cynthia Barkman & Ron Caruso
Christopher Hatt
Laura & Hank Brucker
Pamella Fernot – H.A. Fernot Co. Inc. 
Karen & Steve Kaufhold

Horse Show Volunteers

Amy Barkman, Deonne Boxer, Lisa Bulger, Brianne Cooper, Alison Crawley,
Erin Cisek, Madison Davis, Debi Delorenzo, Debi Delorenzo, Mary Dickey,
Sandy Dresdner, Michelle Geise, Paul Geyer, Sam Gonzales, Nancy Grossweiler,
Christopher Hatt, Claire Jarvis, Karen Kaufhold, Laura Karg, Lizzie Le-Orlando,
Cate Niemeyer, Tara Pfunke, Francesca Streicher, Emmanuelle Van Vleet, Karen Vogt

EQUUS Auctioneer, Christy Williams of Sotheby's

Christy Williams Auctioneer.jpg

It's the day before A Starlight Soiree, EQUUS XXVI and we are excited to announce this year's auctioneer, Christy Williams of Sotheby's. 

Christy Williams began her career at Sotheby's as an intern in the London Old Master Drawings department in 2004.  She then joined Sotheby's full time in August of 2005 first as a member of the Sotheby’s Press Office and then with the Old Master Paintings team (2006-2010) where she oversaw administration for important museum and corporate sales from the J. Paul Getty Museum, Toledo Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Fresno Museum of Art and Science, HSBC and Bank of America.  She has been in her current role in Museum and Corporate Art Services since August of 2010. 

Ms. Williams manages relationships with over 100 museums and corporations to coordinate deaccessions, acquisitions, valuations and cultivation events. Ms. Williams acts as both a project and relationship manager trying to create transactional opportunities with both institutional and corporate clients.  She works extensively with Bank of America, The Museum of Modern Art and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, to name a few, as well as many university museums.  She too is a licensed auctioneer.  Ms. Williams received a BA in English and art history from the University of Virginia.


Breaking News: Accomplishments

Mel - Certification-breaking news.jpg


Mane Stream is proud to announce that Melanie Dominko-Richards, MS, CCC-SLP, HPCS recently became a Board Certified Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist!

How big of an honor is this? She is one of a handful of Speech-Language Pathologists with this designation in the nation!


Jane - congrats-PATH.jpg


Becoming a certified instructor is an extensive process and one that come with a cost. Mane Stream would like to thank Matt Kamine for providing the funds necessary for Jane Banta to become our newest PATH Certified Instructor.

This summer Jane passed this multi-day test with flying colors!