T-Shirt Design Contest


Last year over 100 t-shirts were tie-dyed by campers, volunteers, instructors and staff. This year we are asking YOU to come up with a FUN design that will get everyone in the spirit.

Are YOU ready?


Design Requirements: 

1) Your design must include either…
   “Mane Stream Camp 2018” or
   “Mane Stream Summer Camp 2018”

2) Black design on white background
    (no thin lines)

3) Size: 8” x 10” (portrait or landscape)

4) JPEG (high resolution) or paper artwork

Send to: louisa@manestreamnj.org

Monday, April 16th

Mane Stream Swag Goes to the Winner!



Chores are FUN...at Mane Stream!

Camp is so much more than riding.

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For eight weeks over the summer, Mane Stream hosts a summer camp for children of all abilities. Days are filled with everything horse – riding lessons, crafts, games, and farm chores. It’s no surprise that every camper has a favorite horse and, of course, trail rides rank up at the top of the list of favorite activities. But we are a little surprised that a lot of the kids really enjoyed doing chores that can sometimes be hard work – including picking up horse poop! Three camp families shared what they like best about Mane Stream Summer Camp.

 Lexi on Minnie trotting with the assistance of her volunteer buddies.

Lexi on Minnie trotting with the assistance of her volunteer buddies.

Lexi has attended Mane Stream Summer Camp for the past several years. Her mom, Janine, knows that socializing with other children at camp is just as important as learning to ride and that her daughter has benefitted from attending a camp for children of all abilities. According to Janine, Lexi’s riding skills and sensory issues improve week after week and year after year, thanks to the benefits of repetition and the “awesome job” done by the staff, volunteers and interns. Janine reports that when she picks Lexi up at the end of a camp day, she is always excited about what they did that day. Lexi and her mom both enjoy Mane Stream Summer Camp, especially the continued benefits it provides for Lexi.

 During Horses, Horses and More Horses Week, Tess practices her form on Navajo.

During Horses, Horses and More Horses Week, Tess practices her form on Navajo.


For the past three summers, Tess has attended our summer camp at Mane Stream. For Tess, who is typically developing, it was a family affair because her older sister Catriona was a volunteer and staff member several years ago.  Tess loves riding and tells us that her favorite horse is Mel. “Riding gives me some time to put all my problems and worries behind me.  It also makes me more free to be myself. . . Riding is my comfort zone/happy.” Regarding farm chores, she insists that “For first time campers you might not like cleaning the stalls, but as you learn more it's not as bad. You learn that this is all part of the horse world.”  She also stated, “The instructors always make you feel comfortable and find great ways for you to meet the other campers.”  Through the years Tess has become friends with and looked up to several campers. No matter their abilities, the bond with horses brings them together. 

Tess’ mother, Colleen, says that having her daughter attend a camp for children of all abilities “has been a blessing” and the family values the “confidence and enjoyment that Tess gets from it.”  Over the years, Tess has grown to perceive the other campers’ varying abilities not as limitations, but simply as differences that might exist in any friend.

 Grace taking the reins of Minnie, the Norwegian Fjord with the assistance of her volunteer buddy Kate.

Grace taking the reins of Minnie, the Norwegian Fjord with the assistance of her volunteer buddy Kate.


Grace, a typically developing camper has attended camp for 4 years now. Allen, Grace’s dad is a veteran and Grace’s first couple of years were funded by generous gifts made at our Boot Scootin’ BBQ fundraising.  Now, as money permits, she returns for as many weeks as possible. One of Grace’s favorite activity’s at camp is feeding ice cream to the horses, especially to Chandler. She also loved doing chores, which she said was fun in spite of having to scoop poop!

Grace's mom, Janet says that Grace has learned about kindness, compassion and friendship as a result of meeting children of different abilities. Janet also sees the benefits of horseback riding: “Horses have a peaceful, charming energy that puts most people at ease. Spending time with horses has the ability to ease any negative feelings or anxiety and is a very effective for mindfulness. We have seen Grace's riding skills improve too.” Janet believes that “the most impressive thing to us about camp is the well rounded curriculum. Grace learned riding, she did chores and had fun doing crafts. . . [Mane Stream] camp deepened her sense of responsibility, reduced her anxiety, and introduced her to an adventurous side of riding.”

 We're sure your child will make connnections with our horses just like this. 

We're sure your child will make connnections with our horses just like this. 

We are thrilled that our campers and their families love Mane Stream Summer Camp as much as we do! All of the parents agree that camp is a worthwhile investment, and that our volunteers, interns and staff do an outstanding job of attending to campers’ safety and individual needs. Grace’s mother said that when she picks her daughter up at the end of the day, “She is tired but very happy.” We know parents like to pick up happy and tired children, and we do our best to make it happen.


Come to the Open House on April 8th to see what all the fun is about. BONUS…all attendees receive a $25 Early Bird Discount!


June 18 - August 17, 2018 (NO CAMP JULY 2-6)
8 fun-filled five-day sessions from 9AM to 2PM Monday-Friday
(for children 4 years and older, each session is limited to 10 campers per week)
Check it Out

Survey Results Are In!

We asked YOU how we did and this is what you said...

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Written by: Kathy Mikula, Volunteer Coordinator

We were happy to see that 87% of our volunteers reported they are very satisfied with their volunteer experience (an increase of 22.6% from 2016) and 13 percent are satisfied. 100% very satisfied is what we are hoping for in 2018.   

Thanks so much to everybody who filled out the volunteer survey. We could not do what we do without our volunteers.  If you did not get the opportunity to fill out the survey please know that we welcome comments and suggestions all year round.

We would like to address a couple of the volunteer comments/concerns that were mentioned in the survey.

  1. Please offer more volunteer training and continuing education.

    TRAINING: In addition to the power point presentation and the hands-on horse training at volunteer orientation, we have added a new element:  we are physically walking each volunteer thru what they need to know when they arrive at Mane Stream for their first volunteer shift. We will review everything from signing in to first aid/emergency procedures. We will continue to make sure that when a new volunteer joins the team they are introduced to the other volunteers and that all of their questions are answered.

    CONTINUING EDUCATION: On a monthly basis we will be having continuing education classes either about horsemanship or disability awareness (these were the top two requested topics in the survey.)  The first continuing ed class is scheduled for 02/01/18 and the topic is long lining for therapy.  We will be sending out notices about our other continuing education classes shortly.

  2. Provide better communication about cancellation/time changes.

We are always open to new ways to communicate effectively with our volunteers. Currently, we make phone calls and send emails and texts to communicate with our volunteers.  If there is a last minute cancellation or time change Kathy will either call or text volunteers.  If you have a preferred method of communication please let her know.  Every active volunteer who currently has an assignment should also be receiving Volgistics reminders.  If you ever have a question about your volunteer assignment please contact Kathy.

Thank you for all your suggestions and comments.  My door is always open if you need anything.  Thanks for all you do for Mane Stream!

Kathy Mikula,  volunteer@manestreamnj.org

Who's the new President of the Board of Directors?

Congratulations Karen Mikita-Kaufhold!

2018 Board President, Volunteer Long-Liner, Fundraising Event Committee Member, Westminster bound?

Karen Kaufhold - with dogs.jpg

She’s 5’3” with a never-ending supply of energy, a deep well of creativity and a subtle sense of humor.  Karen Mikita-Kaufhold is Mane Stream’s new President of the Board of Directors and we are excited! An extremely dedicated volunteer for all our programs and events, she is also always there when anyone from Mane Stream needs her to calmly assess any situation. These qualities have been put to good use over the past 17 years that she’s been volunteering at Mane Stream. We hope you enjoy her story where you’ll learn about her passion for her dogs and the participants and horses of Mane Stream.

Karen never rode a horse until she moved to Hunterdon County. She took lessons at Fairwin Farm in Annandale with Nanci Urban. (For those who remember Lily the pony, it was Nanci who donated her to Mane Stream). Karen loved her lessons and even leased a pony and horse at one time.

Karen never had the desire to show and took lessons purely for pleasure. While she is not currently taking lessons and misses it at times, she fills her time with agility training and competing with her 3 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels…and, of course, volunteering at Mane Stream.

Before all this though, Karen graduated from Montclair State College with a BA in Fine Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design. She continued her education with interior design and accounting classes. Now, she and her husband of 28 years, Steve, enjoy spending weekends and a lot time during the summer at their lake house in White Lake, NY which is in the southern part of the Catskills.

Karen says, “Our cabin is a great place to relax. I love to snowshoe in the winter and kayak in the summer on the lake. We also enjoy hiking and taking long walks with our dogs.”

She got her first Cavalier in October of 2004, a 16-week old puppy they named Emma. They were looking for a companion dog for their Golden Retriever, Slim and chose a Cavalier for its affectionate, playful, active and sporting traits.

Soon after completing puppy obedience classes at Top Dog Obedience School, Karen and Emma starting training in agility. Two years later they competed in the Novice Jumpers course where Emma performed perfectly with a score of 100 and took home the first place ribbon. After two more trials where Emma qualified and placed, she received her Novice Jumpers with Weaves Preferred title. After that Karen was hooked on the sport for the bonding experience with her dog and how much fun they had together.

Since 2007, Karen and her dogs have won several titles, with the highest title earned with Gracie. Gracie got her MJPB which is a Master Bronze Jumper with Weaves Preferred title in AKC.  You must first complete Novice, Open, Excellent, before moving into Masters level and the highest achievement is a Championship MACH or PACH title in AKC.

Karen’s ultimate agility goal: “I am working to achieve a MACH title with one of my dogs and also to go to the Westminster agility trial. Gracie had enough qualifying points to enter Westminster in 2016 but, unfortunately, she hurt her leg and back, and in 2017 she succumbed to congestive heart failure.”

Currently, Karen trains at Top Dog once a week with all three dogs -Reggie (Tri-color) and Rue (Blenheim) both 5 years old and litter mates, and Willie (Ruby), 1-year-old. Karen has jumps and weave poles at home and trains on the flat. In October of 2016, she and Reggie competed at the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, USA Agility National Specialty where they were awarded the Evening Star Open Agility Award. This is given to those who have achieved the Highest Combined Score in the four trials in the Open Class.

Are you wondering how she has time for Mane Stream? Well, we did say she has a limitless supply of energy! Karen has been volunteering at Mane Stream for 17 years which makes her one of our longest volunteers tallying several thousand hours over the years. She says her favorite part is seeing the participants' progress, whether it is becoming a better rider in adaptive by learning new riding skills or just seeing the joy in their faces as they have the experience of riding on top of the horse. In therapy it is seeing the improvements our clients make in their therapy goals and being able to be a part of the team to help improve their quality of life. She has been able to volunteer for years with the same clients and seeing all the progress they have made over time is so special.

Karen’s also loves witnessing the bond that develops between the client and the horse.  Often clients will give their horses a loving hug or pat when they finish their session or lesson.

Karen fondly recalled, “I remember when, each week, a particular therapy client would get back into his wheelchair, Beyra would turn her head and put it in his lap for him to pet her goodbye, it always brought tears to my eyes.”

After several years of dedicated service, Karen was invited to join the EQUUS Committee. She helps with the silent auction creating all of the certificates which allows her to use her creative training.  She says she has always enjoyed setting up the auction with Marianne Saladino, former Mane Stream Board Member and silent auction queen.

Karen finds volunteering very fulfilling. She likes meeting new people and has formed great friendships over the years, but most of all she enjoys giving back to the community. Not only does Karen volunteer in a variety of ways, she is always looking to get more people involved. Karen knew her husband, Steve’s finance knowledge, and expertise would be helpful to the organization, so she recommended him for a position on Mane Stream’s Finance Committee 6 years ago.

Soon after getting involved with the fundraising side of the organization Karen was asked to join the Board of Directors. Karen has now served on the Board of Directors for 10 years, giving her time each month helping to ensure the administrative and fiscal health of Mane Stream continues.

Karen wants everyone to know, “I am so passionate about the organization and am happy to be able to give my time to program, to the fundraising committees, and be on the Board.”

Thank you, Karen, for taking the reins at Mane Stream!

Why do we long line in a therapy session?

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Melanie Dominko-Richards, MS, CCC-SLP, HPCS shares the reasons why Mane Stream long lines in our therapy sessions.

Walking past a therapy session at Mane Stream for the first time may offer more questions than answers. Our therapy is unique in that our licensed therapists are trained in the use of equine movement as part of an integrated plan of care. Therapy sessions are also unique in that our horses are long lined instead of led. 

Why do we long line you ask?
The purpose behind the treatment strategy of hippotherapy is the horse's movement. Long lining allows the horse more freedom of movement through his head and shoulders.  

How do we get the best quality movement?
In order to provide quality movement, a horse needs to be able to use their back and haunch muscles correctly. When used appropriately (engaged), the horse is able to bring his legs underneath him more (track-up) and walk with more intensity (impulsion). Once achieved, this beneficial movement provides a stable platform for our clients to work on their targeted therapy goals.

What are the advantages of Long Lining?
1. Our therapists often ask for frequent changes in direction since what we ask a client to do in one direction we ask them to do in the other. In adaptive riding, leaders constantly have to change sides. There is no need for the long liner to switch sides since the horse is being driven from behind. 

2. Long lining also affords the long liner the ability to quickly respond to a request from the therapist. Often during a therapy session, our therapists are responding to either a movement or a behavior from the client that needs to be addressed quickly in order to change/effect the targeted behavior/movement. Since a leader does not have control of the bit as a long liner does, asking a horse to stop or turn quickly becomes more difficult. 


Who is the volunteer with the lead rope? 
A therapy session that is long lined uses another volunteer since we need someone to act as the header. Headers are an important part of the therapy team during a therapy session that is long lined; it is their responsibility to ensure the safety of the horse during an emergency situation as well as be the eyes and the ears for the long liner who only sees the back of everyone. 

Can all horses be long lined?
Long lining requires extensive training from both the horse and the horse handler’s perspective. Most horses that come to Mane Stream do not have formal long lining training. The Mane Stream staff works with these horses to ensure they have the knowledge and the physical ability to be appropriate for long lining. 

What type of experience does a long liner need? 
Our long liners are expected to have significant knowledge in horse behavior, in horse movement, and school figures as well as having significant riding experience with a riding professional. Long lining is a skill that constantly needs to be practiced and refined. Each horse reacts to and behaves differently when in lines, so it becomes important to be able to handle different types of horses in order to be an experienced long liner.

Are you interested in learning more about long lining? 
Mane Stream is a hosting a “Long Lining for Therapy” workshop for volunteers on Thursday, February 1st at 6:30pm. Come and join us to learn more about the long lining process, team members, equipment, and safety considerations. 

Your VOTE is needed for us to win as Hunterdon's BEST Outpatient Facility

You know our licensed therapists provide
Unbridled Possibilities to those with special needs
but we want everyone to know too.

  1. Please place your vote before 2/28/18 at midnight
    (Category: Wellness - Outpatient Facility)

  2. Only 1 vote per email address (vote)

  3. Then ask your family and friends to vote too! (vote)



Just in case you need a reminder of why Mane Stream should be named as Hunterdon's BEST Outpatient Facility in 2018 check out this video about Izzy's story.

POSTPONED - Watch WEG Parathon


this event has been postponed. We will let you know when it will be rescheduled.

Horse Radio Network (HRN) will host the 2018 World Equestrian Games (WEG) Parathon January 11, 2018.

The live video event will include Paralympians, WEG athletes, coaches, and international riders giving viewers an in-depth look into their sport, their horses, and their personal stories. The WEG Parathon will run Thursday, January 11th from 7 PM- 9 PM Eastern.

This is a special two-hour live fundraising event for the United States Para-Equestrian Association to benefit the riders attending the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, NC in Sept 2018. Funds raised through the HRN Parathon will benefit the Para-Equestrian disciplines of Para Dressage and Para Driving through USPEA, a 501(c)(3).