2 School Field Trips in May

Farm Fun at Mane Stream! 

The Linden Schools (Middle & High Schools) and the Jardine Academy visited Mane Stream in May for a day of fun and learning. Our trained staff chose activities that were tailored to the ability and ages of the participants with the opportunity to learn about responsibility, teamwork, social skills and horses in a safe and relaxed environment. And the kids had fun!

The Jardine Academy

The Linden Schools (Middle & High School)

Seniors Learning to Lead!

Each visit is filled with special moments both touching and funny. 

Eight members from the Adult Day Center of Somerset County visited the farm twice more since their first visit in April and they spent time in the barn grooming and getting to know and love our horses. 

It has been amazing to see the members who have come all three times become more comfortable and confident with each visit. It doesn't matter if they grew up with horses or not. One member told us she has never been around horses at all but you would never know it by the way she went to work grooming an extremely muddy white Welsh pony named Mel. (The therapy volunteers who arrived shortly after this group left have no idea how much work they were spared.) 

This most recent group included a spry gentleman who grew up on a farm in Roanoke, VA. He told us he used to plow fields using horses because tractors were in short supply due to the war [Korean War]. This jokester was so comfortable leading little pony Justin he was cracking jokes saying, "I charge $.50 an hr!" and stopped to pose for a picture giving Justin some "bunny ears". 

36 Girl Scouts Earn Badges at Mane Stream

Fridays have been super busy at Mane Stream recently! 

This spring we hosted 36 Girl Scouts (Juniors & Cadettes) at the farm on 4 different field trips and we have another troop coming on June 15th. 

 Girl Scouts from both Troop 90234 & 60295

Girl Scouts from both Troop 90234 & 60295

 GSHNJ Girl Scout Junior Troop 20005

GSHNJ Girl Scout Junior Troop 20005

This new program was developed in collaboration with the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey council. We offered the opportunity for local troops of all abilities to visit Mane Stream with the goal of completing either the Junior Horseback Riding badge or the Cadette Animal Helper badge.  Junior Girl Scouts earning their Horseback Riding badge at Mane Stream learn horse anatomy, horse care & safety, how to make horse treats, grooming, tacking and took a short riding lesson with our PATH certified instructors. Cadettes working on their Animal Helper badge learn how horses help people emotionally and how they help people with disabilities. Our Coordinator of Therapy Services, Melanie Dominko-Richards MS, CCC-SLP, HPCS, gave a short talk describing how equine assisted therapies benefit our clients in a variety of different ways.  Girl Scouts learned about how clients who work with horses and a mental health professional can see a reduction in their stress and anxiety. They also learned about the treatment strategy of hippotherapy and how the horse's movement is utilized by trained OTs, PTs, and SLPs to help clients reach their treatment goals. This group also got to make treats, lead and ride!

The Midland School GS Troop #60884 had a blast!

 Midland School GS Troop #60884

Midland School GS Troop #60884

“Thank you so much for providing such a wonderful experience for our girls! The girls were so excited to meet the horses up close and personal! The horses were so beautiful and truly amazing! They were so friendly, calm, and patient with our girls. They absolutely loved the whole experience…petting them, grooming them, tacking and untacking, making a horse treat and feeding them, and especially riding them. The instructors and volunteers were all so helpful, caring, and encouraging and went above and beyond to make every girl feel comfortable and confident. It was the first time for 3 of the girls including Sadhika who got to use the cool lift from her wheelchair to the saddle. They were so proud of themselves (and so were we)! The other girls who had ridden before loved showing off their confidence on the horses. Thank you for creating such a wonderful adventure that we will always remember!” Thanks again and you truly had a positive impact on these girls!! The Midland Girl Scouts

We are scheduling troops of all abilities for the fall so if you are interested please contact Jen Dermody at jen@manestreamnj.org. If you'd like to volunteer to help with one of the sessions contact volunteer@manestreamnj.org.

Kids Edition of Horses for Healing


It's true that cancer knows no age and Mane Stream's Horses for Healing 6-week program made a big difference in these kids' lives. Daniel & Katelyn have overcome fear, learned new skills, increased their balance and developed a love for horses. 

Both children live in the same town and were in preschool together.  Their parents heard about Horses for Healing, our FREE program for those living with, recovering from, and living life after cancer. Since one child had just finished cancer treatment and the other just beginning they decided to sign up together. 

During our interview, Katelyn stated when asked did you have fun? “Yes! Yes, I’m going to miss Tink!” Katelyn’s favorite part was brushing Tink and trotting and she would like to continue to learn to ride.

Daniel’s father stated, “Of all of the therapies he’s been through, this one has a lasting impact. All week he is talking about riding. He’s excited to come back each week - we don’t get that with PT, OT, & SLT [speech]. He talks about it at school and he knows which day of the week he rides. Daniel often says, “Tomorrow I ride horses!”

Daniel’s father also mentioned, “Improving balance was an important part for us.  Daniel has been able to figure out how to balance [on the horse]. Though he still has a way to go.” He also wrote after the program's last session, "Daniel loved riding yesterday! He even told me riding a horse was "better than the letter U" (the letter of the week in school).

Summer Sessions of Horses for Healing are still available.
(June 18 - July 9 and July 16 - August 6).

Please contact Kelly Champion at kelly@manestreamnj.org

Fresh New Faces

Have you seen these new faces around the farm?

Mane Stream would like to introduce the newest members of the team...

  Alanna Flax-Clark, Special Projects Manager

Alanna Flax-Clark, Special Projects Manager

Alanna Flax-Clark, Special Projects Manager
Alanna looks forward to collaborating with various schools, groups, and adaptive sports organizations while here at Mane Stream. Alanna will be doing community outreach to share her first hand experience about the benefits horses can have for people with disabilities and hopes to help with any further adaptations that can be used for our riders .

Alanna is a Para-equestrian training for the Paralympics in 2020 with her Dutch Riding Pony, El Paso.  She recently moved here from Los Angeles.  After only competing internationally for less than two years, she is currently ranked 7th in the world for her classification. Diagnosed with a chronic neurological disease and then further paralyzed from an infection in 2008, Alanna discovered her love of horses when she started riding for therapy and then learned about the sport of dressage from her adaptive riding instructors. Visit her website and read the most recent article in Sidelines Magazine. Alanna has a Bachelor of Science in Biology & Psychology, and a Masters Degree in Special Education and brings a wealth of knowledge about horses and adaptive riding to Mane Stream.  

  Marla Guariglia, MS, CCC-SLP

Marla Guariglia, MS, CCC-SLP

Marla Guariglia, MS, CCC-SLP
Marla Guariglia is a New Jersey licensed Speech-Language Pathologist with her Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). Her undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders was completed at Montclair State University and her graduate studies in Speech-Language Pathology at Teachers College, Columbia University resulted in a Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology. 

Marla's career has included working in many settings such as hospitals, private practice, public school and special education schools.  She has many years experience in the public schools addressing a wide range of disabilities including cognitive impairment, Autism, and language-based learning difficulties to name a few. She is looking forward to expanding her skills and education in hippotherapy and will be taking the Level I course from the American Hippotherapy Association (AHA) in June, 2018. Born and raised in New Jersey, Marla enjoys tap dancing, yoga, and spending time with her dachshunds and three grown daughters.

Make sure to say hi to Alanna & Marla next time you're at the farm

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!

mile-39 - Kimberly.png

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.

RSVP to volunteer@manestreamnj.org