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

Tack Sale Results are Epic!

When the line of cars starts forming outside the main gate at 7:00 am, you know the day is going to be EPIC! And that's exactly what happened on Saturday, April 6th for the Mane Stream Spring Tack Sale.

According to Equine Manager, Jen Dermody and Barn Manager, Holland Kochanski, this was the largest Mane Stream Tack Sale EVER, resulting in record breaking sales of $8,500. The great deals on wonderful saddles and a LARGE selection of tack trunks that all sold, were part of why this sale was such a success. But it could not have reached EPIC proportions without all the generous donations from the surrounding horse community and the substantial donations of NEW bridles, girths, saddle pads, boots, reins, and martingales from local Prestige distributor.

Thank you to everyone who helps spread the word about our Tack Sales, you made this one an EPIC success! Tell your friends and share on social media - it makes a big impact. THANK YOU and keep it up!

Don’t forget Mane Stream accepts donations of tack and other horse related items ALL YEAR LONG. You can help make the Fall Tack Sale a success by donating now or setting up a tack drive at your barn or school!

Contact Jen Dermody jen@manestreamnj.org if you need to schedule a pick for large quantities.

Therapists Travel to Kentucky

(l to r) Gina Taylor, MS, OT, HPCS and Coordinator of Therapy Services, Melanie Dominko-Richards, MS, CCC-SLP, HPCS

(l to r) Gina Taylor, MS, OT, HPCS and Coordinator of Therapy Services, Melanie Dominko-Richards, MS, CCC-SLP, HPCS

Fittingly, this year’s American Hippotherapy Association Biennial International Conference was held in the heart of horse country, Lexington, Kentucky. Our Coordinator of Therapy Services, Mel Dominko-Richards and one of our occupational therapists, Gina Taylor attended. Both Mel and Gina are very active in AHA, Inc. - Mel was just elected to the AHA,Inc. Board of Directors and Gina is a faculty member and past board member. They had a great time connecting with colleagues and hearing about what is new in the industry.

The conference opening session focused on the new definition of hippotherapy and reminded the professionals present that hippotherapy is not a stand alone therapy. Therapists at Mane Stream and at other centers like ours, provide occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language therapy and we use the horse’s movement as one of the treatment tools in our toolbox. The therapy needs to be front and center. This led into a great discussion on terminology and reimbursement and how its all tied together.

Both Mel and Gina are Board Certified Hippotherapy Clinical Specialists, meaning that they have both sat for and passed a rigorous exam given by the American Hippotherapy Certification Board. At conference, there was a special reception for all of the HPCS credentialed professionals and it was a great opportunity to meet colleagues from around the country and celebrate the hardwork and dedication it takes to attain and maintain the HPCS credentials.

The second day of conference was filled with presentations on the biomechanics of the horse, the nutrition needs of the horse, and what we can do as equine professionals to keep our horses in tip-top condition. One of the great facts that we learned was that when a horse gallops, there is close to twice the horse’s body weight (4000 lbs!) of force on the hoof! Mel and Gina had a wonderful surprise when at the end of the keynote speaker’s presentation, there was a photo of a therapy session at Mane Stream!

The final day of conference was filled with breakout presentations by leaders within both the therapy and horse industry. Mel and Gina attended different presentations that pertained to their clinical and personal interests. They both got to preview a new course that is being rolled out by AHA, Inc. about utilizing and improving critical thinking skills in your therapy practice. During the awards session at lunch time, both Mel and Gina were recognized for their continued involvement as committee chairs for the Social Media and Marketing Committee and the Online Education Committee.

Although most of their time in Kentucky was devoted to the conference, Mel was able to experience some of the local sites. She visited the Kentucky Horse Park and though she wasn’t able to get the full tour, she was able to see a statue tribute to the great Secretariat and see where Man O’ War and some of his offspring were buried. Did you know that Man O’ War’s galloping stride was 28 FEET IN LENGTH? She also went behind the scenes at Keeneland Race Course, KESMARC (Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine and Aquatic Rehabilitation Center), and Spy Coast Farm (which was the highlight of the day for her!). From learning about the the superstitions in the horse racing industry, to the rehabilitation of sport and racing horses alike, to seeing newborn foals it was a memorable a day.

The conference was only a few days but Mel and Gina learned so much great information they are so excited to bring back to Mane Stream to make our therapy services even better than they already are! From the presentation of one of AHA, Inc.’s Board of Directors and quoted from Maya Angelou “Do the best you can until you know better...then do better-” we can’t wait to implement all that we learned to continue to bring unbridled possibilities to our clients and their families!

If you are interested in learning more about AHA, Inc., check them out on Facebook or follow them on Instagram @theahainc

Celebrating Our Teams' Players

Our favorite week of the year is next week.

It’s volunteer appreciation week!

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We love celebrating our volunteers year round, and for one week in April we make it extra special. Our volunteers help our programs run glitch free. They are a vital part of the team working to support our participants as they progress to the next level and we are excited to show our appreciation for their hard work. Without our volunteers it would be Game Over!

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What sort of fun plans do we have in store for our amazing volunteers?

Well, make sure you stop by the barn during the week of April 7-13 to find out!

March eCurrent Newsletter

March 2019: Got Talent? No matter what...find your place at Mane Stream. Talent Needed: Graphic design, summer camp interns, weekly volunteers, auction item solicitors. Find out where you’ll fit in!

  • Scouts Earn Badges @ Mane Stream

  • Get Creative! T-Shirt Contest Needs You

  • Auction Items Needed for Spring Event

  • Seeking Tack Donations

  • Passport to FUN! Open House 4/7

  • Become a Camp Intern!

  • Orientation & Training Schedule

  • Volunteer CEU: Basic Sign Language

  • Donate Your Old Vehicle

Seeking Camp Interns!

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Make an impact this summer while growing your leadership and communication skills.

This summer we are searching for 3-4 interns (High School Senior or College Student) who will assist in planning and leading of activites for children of all abilities in a group setting. They will also supervise teen volunteers to ensure general safety of all campers. This is an ideal opportunity for individuals looking for experience working with horses and children with special needs.

Learn More & Apply!
Unpaid Internships

Earn Your Scout Badge Here!

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Calling all Brownies, Juniors, Cadets and Boy Scouts too!

Developed in 2018, this new program offers the opportunity for local troops of all abilities to visit Mane Stream with the goal of completing either the Brownie Pets badge, Junior Horseback Riding badge, Cadette Animal Helper badge or the Boy Scout Horsemanship badge.

Depending on badge requirements at Mane Stream you can learn horse anatomy, horse care & safety, how to make horse treats, grooming, tacking, take a short riding lesson or learn how horses help people emotionally and how they help people with disabilities.

Read about the 2018 Scout Field Trips

Then contact us to design the right field trip for your troop.

Jen Dermody
PATH Intl. Certified Registered Advanced Riding Instructor
 jen@manestreamnj.org

T-Shirt Design Contest

SUMMER CAMP 2019 NEEDS YOUR CREATIVE STYLE!

Every year campers, volunteers, instructors and staff look forward to the NEW camp t-shirt. Once again we are asking for YOUR help coming up with a FUN design that will get everyone in the spirit.

ARE YOU READY?

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Design Requirements: 

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

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

DEADLINE: MONDAY, APRIL 15TH

MANE STREAM SWAG GOES TO THE WINNER!