A Perfect Evening for the Boot Scootin’ BBQ

Big BBQ Bash a success!

A full moon and moody clouds created a beautiful evening in the fields of Red Tail Farm for the 5th Annual Boot Scootin’ BBQ held on Saturday, June 2nd. After several days of rain during the week, it all stopped just in time! Over 300 guests had a blast while raising more than $80K to support Mane Stream’s programs.

After passing through a rustic entrance of split rail and flowers, attendees were greeted by adaptive rider, George, on horseback. During dinner, a video featuring George and Izzy, a therapy client, highlighted how Mane Stream's programs positively impact lives every day. Music, courtesy of NASH 94.7 FM, started the party off right and prepped the stage for the live band for the evening, The DeLoreans.

Once again, Southern Man BBQ was ‘on point’, changing it up a bit with the addition of country fried chicken to this year's menu. Thanks to Tito’s Vodka and Melick’s Hard Cider, the evening was flush with tasty drinks. Besides a selection of dessert bites this year, guests could relax around the fire pits for do-it-yourself s’mores. All this and a competitive (not really) corn hole battle made for a magical evening for adults and children alike.

Big thanks go out to Mason Garrity, our auctioneer for the night. Live auction items included Zach Brown and Kenny Chesney tickets and for the first time at the BBQ, we had a live "Wish Line". This year we wished for 5 camp sponsorships for children of service members, funds for camp t-shirts with tie-dying supplies and….a NEW Truck! After several years of frequent repairs to keep the truck running, it was time to ask for a safe form of transport for our staff & horses. Thanks to everyone who made a donation and our friends at Flemington Car and Truck Country's Family of Dealerships we are now able to get the truck we need! 

The evening also included a silent auction with golf outings, Tiffany jewelry, a wine tasting experience, to name a few, as well as a very successful 50/50 Raffle. The winner took home over $2,000!

This country casual event was truly a blast! Thank you to everyone that came to Boot Scootin' BBQ to support Mane Stream's mission and let’s not forget the team of Mane Stream volunteers who worked all night long clearing tables and putting out desserts, among other tasks. Thank you: Chuck Coombs, Laura Edelson, Julie Hyland, Nancy Grossweiler, Christina Katchen, Lizzie Le-Orlando, Dawn Riley, Emily Seguine, Charlotte Tatum, and Karen Vogt!


Julia & Bob Greifeld

Linda & Alvin Dietz, Cynthia Barkman & Ron Caruso, 
Kathy & Hal Kamine, Kevin Prentice

Stephen & Maureen Bezer, Central Solutions Group LLC, Karen & Steve Kaufhold,
Kevin & Betsy Sullivan, Ralph & Bonnie Tursini, Adam & Alicia Winters 

Midtown Direct Properties

Leslie Conason, Linda Fischer, Hoffman Farms, Paul & Joy Kochanski, 
Birgit Kosjek, Kevin & Nancy McCaffrey

Tori Anderson, Laura Brucker, Tom & Kathy Dermody, Laura Edelson, Samantha Gonzalez, 
Nancy Grossweiler, Ed Holloway, Justin Hendrickson, Mark & Shari Hendrickson, 
Justin Kamine, Matt Kamine, Karen Kaufhold, Joy Kochanski, Cheryl Pfleger, Lynn Ruck, 
Marianne Saladino, Kerry Scholz, Tony Tambasco, and Wendy Waters

Applegate Farms, Melick’s Town Farm, Stop & Shop, Tito’s, Wegmans

Introducing 5 Awesome Summer Program Volunteers!

Aren't we lucky? We think so!!

 Bridget Torcivia - Camp Program Volunteer

Bridget Torcivia - Camp Program Volunteer

Bridget Torcivia has been volunteering at Mane Stream for 3 years! She started riding English and then jumping at Lord Sterling when she was 8 years old.  When she began at Mane Stream she initially wanted to only work with the horses.  She now really enjoys her time with the clients.  This is her second year at camp and her first year as a Program Volunteer. As a Program Volunteer, Bridget is taking on more of a leadership role organizing and leading activities for our campers. As a seasoned Mane Stream volunteer, she truly enjoys taking on a leadership role and working with the clients. Next year Bridget will be a senior at Ridge High School.  Her experience at Mane Stream has influenced her interest in pursuing Special Education or Clinical Childhood Development possibly at Rutgers University or the University of New Hampshire. We are grateful for Bridget’s long-term commitment to us!

 Taylor Scott - Camp Program Volunteer

Taylor Scott - Camp Program Volunteer

Taylor Scott just graduated from The College of New Jersey. A psychology major, she did her capstone project on animals and how they reduce stress.  She focused on smaller animals, but was also interested to see if larger animals had the same impact.  While in college she worked a lot with inmates who were involved in different programs using smaller animals. She saw the effects small animals had on the participants and was interested to find out why.  After graduating, her mother was researching opportunities in the area and discovered Mane Stream. She encouraged Taylor to pursue this opportunity. Taylor has not ridden a horse since she was in middle school, but is excited to jump in, observe the extension of her capstone project, and be involved at a place that fits her background.  As a Camp Program Volunteer, Taylor can be seen around the farm in her role as one of the official Camp Photographers, organizing crafts, and helping the volunteers. Her future plans include a move to Houston and we truly appreciate all the time she’s dedicatin to us this summer! 

 Sarah Graham - Camp Program Volunteer

Sarah Graham - Camp Program Volunteer

Sarah Graham is a senior at Rutgers University where she is interested in pursuing social work utilizing animals, in particular, dogs. She heard about Mane Stream through a friend who used to volunteer here, as well as other friends from Rutgers who spoke highly about Mane Stream. She thought this would be a great place to work as a Program Volunteer and see how it might align with her future interests. Her mom owns a horse, so Sarah has grown up around horses. As a Program Volunteer for Summer Camp she is one of the Camp Photographers, helps set up daily activities and crafts, and helps with the campers when they have free time. Sarah says she loves to see how excited the campers get with the horses.  Thanks for dedicating your summer to us, Sarah!

 Ruchi Shah - Volunteer Coord. Program Volunteer

Ruchi Shah - Volunteer Coord. Program Volunteer

Ruchi Shah just graduated from Morris Hills High School and will be attending Barnard College in the Fall. She started volunteering at Mane Stream at the end of her sophomore year when she was looking for volunteer opportunities involving animals. Mane Stream was the one place she found that allows you to start volunteering at the age of 14! Her favorite part of volunteering is getting to know the kids, especially during summer camp when you spend the entire day with them grooming, tacking up, and helping them ride. Ruchi says she loves the mission at Mane Stream, an important reason she wanted to become a Program Volunteer this summer assisting the Volunteer Coordinator. Ruchi is interested in pursuing nonprofit work and being at Mane Stream allows her to gain experience in the nonprofit sector working with people with disabilities.  As a Program Volunteer assisting the Volunteer Coordinator, Ruchi is responsible for checking the volunteer e-mails, scheduling volunteers, and helping with volunteer recognition. If you are interested in volunteering, send an e-mail to volunteer@manestreamnj.org and Ruchi may respond to you when she is here. Thanks for all your help!  

 Madison Brazier - Marketing Program Volunteer

Madison Brazier - Marketing Program Volunteer

Madison Brazier just graduated from High Point University with a B.A. in Communication and a minor in Literature. Before starting her position as Creative Content Coordinator at High Point later this summer, she will be helping in the office with marketing and community outreach.  It has been a while since Madison took riding lessons but she is excited to be back in the barn to see, learn and share the stories of Mane Stream's participants and volunteers. Thank you Madison for helping get the word out!



Say Hi to Bridget, Taylor, Sarah, Ruchi, and Madison
next time you’re at the farm!

A Camper’s Confidence Converts to Competitiveness

  Alex now has more confidence in his abilities!

Alex now has more confidence in his abilities!

Alex started at Mane Stream’s Summer Camp in 2016 when he was 9 years old. He enjoyed “pretty much EVERYTHING!”, which included taking care of the horses and learning to ride. After Summer Camp, Alex decided to continue riding horses at Mane Stream. He learned that "horses are great animals and thought that riding was very fun".  Even though it can be difficult getting to know each horse’s personality and learning how to tell the horses what to do, Alex’s mom, Cathy, indicated that “riding really calms Alex down and makes him feel better.”  Alex says, “It’s interesting how each horse feels so different” and he can’t wait to master cantering!

Alex’s favorite horse used to be Max. Max, who is now retired from the Mane Stream herd, was "big but calm and nice". Alex said that Max helped him learn the basics of riding. Now his favorite horse is Dorito, who helps him patiently learn the “harder stuff” with his instructor, Kelly.  Kelly has a way of always making Alex feel good about himself without being negative. After nearly two years now, the two have a pretty tight bond. 

Alex comes to Mane Stream from quite a distance—over 50 minutes away—so it can be difficult when he firsts arrives and gets out of the car. However, once he gets over that hump, it is “game on”, according to Kelly. Alex loves to learn and follows directions well.  Kelly noticed that Alex was much more relaxed and social the second time he came to camp. He’s also learned to trust Kelly and recently asked to learn to canter, which can be a scary thing. However, together (Alex, Kelly, and his horse) have built the trust needed to make that leap!

Another major factor in Alex’s riding experience at Mane Stream has been his volunteer, Will. Alex believes the volunteers at Mane Stream take care of the horses so that kids can learn and have fun. Will has definitely played a huge role in Alex’s lessons. Will is an experienced rider, so having a teenage guy assist with Alex’s lessons is key. After Kelly gives directions, Will can help if needed by saying, “When I ride I do this too.” That little comment can make all the difference for Alex. Will and Alex have a strong bond and Alex looks forward to seeing Will every week.      

So how did Alex find out about Mane Stream? Alex’s mom, Cathy, stumbled upon Mane Stream on the internet and then spoke to a volunteer who raved about the programs and summer camp.  Cathy felt a camp for ALL abilities was very important for Alex because of his emotional needs and would be a great place to introduce him to riding.  The camp worked very well for Alex because of the small group size, length of the camp day, and the interaction with the horses. It was the perfect fit!  He looks forward to coming back to camp again this year!    

Continuing to ride after camp was more Cathy’s decision. Alex was so successful at camp where he was functioning completely independently without an aid or family member. Since he’s continued, Alex and his mom have observed many improvements! Seeing his riding skills improve was not their main goal, though they have improved tremendously. The calming effect of being with the horses was actually the main goal. When Alex is around the horses he’s able to control his emotions more appropriately. And, when Alex participated in the Fall Horse Show, his eyes were opened to the thrill of competition. “After he won a blue ribbon,” his mom beams, “it was the best!” Cathy stated with surprise, “I never knew how competitive Alex was!” 

Cathy says riding has truly made Alex focus on achieving goals.

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

Sophie Wayner.jpg

"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!!