OTA Student Completes Rotation

Sam (the person, not the horse) Eppell

Have you seen this smiling face around the farm?   That’s Sam! Our most recent OTA student who has spent the last 8 weeks learning and then doing everything under the sun.

Have you seen this smiling face around the farm? That’s Sam! Our most recent OTA student who has spent the last 8 weeks learning and then doing everything under the sun.

My Time at Mane Stream

I am currently an Occupational Therapist Assistant student at Lehigh Carbon Community College in Schnecksville, PA. At the beginning of the program, students pick fieldwork sites for their level II rotation which takes place during the last semester of the program. Since I was three years old I have been riding and working around horses. I knew I wanted to find a facility that utilizes equine movement as a treatment tool to help increase my knowledge of occupational therapy and be able to work with the type of animals I love!

After doing some online research I found Mane Stream and saw they offer internships for graduate therapy students. I called and spoke to Melanie Dominko-Richards and we set up an interview. When I got to Mane Stream the environment felt welcoming and almost, in a sense, like home. After speaking with Melanie and Gina Taylor about the program and what was expected of me, I knew this was where I wanted to do my rotation. Mane Stream is different in the sense that it isn’t just a typical clinic, but offers a unique experience for the clients with the use of the horses. Each therapist is able to have their clients bond with their horses and treatment team, making it more special and fun for the client.

Tacking Presentation @ Volunteer CEU Class

Tacking Presentation @ Volunteer CEU Class

Grooming Demonstration for Volunteer Training

Grooming Demonstration for Volunteer Training

Over my past 8 weeks I loved seeing each client improve their skills to reach their own personal goals and it was an honor for me to be a part of each of their journeys. For me, saying I increased my knowledge of equine movement is an understatement. I have learned so much from both Gina and Melanie during my time here about the purpose of the therapy equipment, the reasons why each horse is paired with each client, the movement of the horse, and so much more. Each program at Mane Stream offers a welcoming environment for each person that walks in the door. Mane Stream is a place to not only achieve personal goals or increase your independence but a place to bond with your horse, instructors, therapist, and volunteers making it so memorable!

After I graduate this May and pass my National Board exam, hopefully this June, I plan to work in either an outpatient pediatric clinic and/or in a geriatric setting. I personally love all aspects of occupational therapy so I won’t be too picky with where I can get a job!

"It has been a pleasure to work with Sam over the past 8 weeks. From working and learning with Gina, it was great to be able to see her integrate those skills into her SLP and PT co-treatments with our other therapists. Her dedication for learning and passion for horses is unmatched. Not only was she helpful in getting her fieldwork assignments completed on time, but she was extra help with the day to day management of the horses. I know that Blaze, Justin, Dart, Ian, Mel, and Minnie are going to miss the daily TheraPlate sessions, but I will do my best to make sure they stay on track. It's great to know that she won't be leaving us forever and that she will be back on Tuesday to volunteer! I wonder if she'll come back after she gets her license..."     Melanie Dominko-Richards, MS, CCC-SLP, HPCS, Coordinator of Therapy Services

"It has been a pleasure to work with Sam over the past 8 weeks. From working and learning with Gina, it was great to be able to see her integrate those skills into her SLP and PT co-treatments with our other therapists. Her dedication for learning and passion for horses is unmatched. Not only was she helpful in getting her fieldwork assignments completed on time, but she was extra help with the day to day management of the horses. I know that Blaze, Justin, Dart, Ian, Mel, and Minnie are going to miss the daily TheraPlate sessions, but I will do my best to make sure they stay on track. It's great to know that she won't be leaving us forever and that she will be back on Tuesday to volunteer! I wonder if she'll come back after she gets her license..."

Melanie Dominko-Richards, MS, CCC-SLP, HPCS, Coordinator of Therapy Services

“I was really impressed at how quickly Sam picked up long-lining! From the very begining I could immediately tell she had extensive horse knowledge, she quietly listened to everything and seemed to absorb it all. I even showed her a technique that I have never taught anyone else here at Mane Stream which she then replicated on the first try. IT BLEW ME AWAY!”   Dan O’Donnell, Long-time Volunteer & Long-lining Master

“I was really impressed at how quickly Sam picked up long-lining! From the very begining I could immediately tell she had extensive horse knowledge, she quietly listened to everything and seemed to absorb it all. I even showed her a technique that I have never taught anyone else here at Mane Stream which she then replicated on the first try. IT BLEW ME AWAY!”

Dan O’Donnell, Long-time Volunteer & Long-lining Master