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

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 jenni@manestreamnj.org

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

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