Archive for the "Newsletter" Category
Pony Power’s partnership with The Valley Hospital expanded this year to include patients and siblings from both the Butterflies Pediatric Hospice program and the Kireker Center for Child Development.
“Therapeutic riding is one of the few sports that allow siblings of different abilities the chance to participate together,” says Executive Director Dana Spett “But a Butterflies parent shared with us an added benefit that we didn’t anticipate; seeing their sibling enjoy riding was soothing to the patient.”
The Kireker Center focuses on enhancing quality of life for children with a variety of developmental delays, and the Butterflies program provides comprehensive home-care to patients with life-threatening and life-limiting illnesses. Both programs encourage sibling participation. Ten participants from these two Valley programs are riding with us each week this spring!
At least 20 of our volunteers who walk our horses in lessons participated in a clinic given by Susan Stegmeyer, a United States Dressage Federation Bronze Medalist and trainer who has been working with Pony Power horses and instructors for the past year.
In a survey conducted after the clinic, 80 percent of participants found establishing their role as a true leader of the horse to be the most valuable piece of information Susan provided, and 100 percent of those surveyed said the clinic should be required for all lead walkers.
“I would love to attend more clinics,” wrote one participant. “This was interesting and it makes great sense. It was an ‘ah ha’ clinic.”
Stay tuned for upcoming clinic dates this summer!
On April 16 NJ’s First Lady Mary Pat Christie came to Pony Power to honor founder and executive director Dana Spett with the prestigious NJ Hero Award. Mrs. Christie established the Heroes Program in 2010 to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary work done by individuals and non-profit organizations in New Jersey.
As part of the event attended by nearly 50 people, including Mahwah Mayor Bill Laforet, staff, volunteers and community partners, Dana led Mrs. Christie on a tour around the farm and introduced her to the range of Pony Power’s activities, from therapeutic riding to equine-assisted mental health sessions to its community gardens.
“Dana and her staff are doing amazing work at Three Sisters Farm,” said Mrs. Christie. “It’s such a nurturing environment. You can see the special relationship that is formed between the students and the horses. The expression of joy on the faces of each of the riders as they gain more self-esteem, independence and pride is priceless. I’m proud to name Dana Spett a New Jersey Hero for her commitment to give life-changing learning experiences to our special needs children, adults and their families.”
Christie added that the bestowing of the award was timed with Autism Awareness month, and she said the committee felt this month would be the best time to recognize Spett, as Pony Power works with many autistic children and adults on a daily basis.
“Of course, what I came up here to find was that [Pony Power] does that and so much more,” she said.
For further information on the award presentation, see event coverage on the Office of the Governor page, the NJ Heroes website, the Mahwah Patch and the Bergen County Record.
Thank you to everyone who submitted suggestions for our newsletter name. The winner is “Pony Tales” submitted by Jan Kalman. Congratulations, Jan! A Starbucks gift card is on its way.
It’s been a busy fall for us with our gala, the storm, lesson make-ups, and holidays. We are happy to be finalizing our winter registration and to begin preparing for spring and summer.
We invite you to join some of our local corporate partners in helping to fulfill holiday wishes. Mahwah-based Capacity Coverage and Ramsey-based Rodman Publishing fulfilled holiday wishes from two Children’s Aid and Family Services group homes for 17 children to participate in a one hour session that will include riding and ground activities with our horses. Please click here to making riding possible for more children by contributing to our holiday appeal.
If you haven’t had a chance, please check out our Facebook page and like us! And for an added incentive, Triple Crown Nutrition is giving away $100,000 on their Facebook page to a few nonprofit equine organizations. Triple Crown will select 20 nominees and from December 14-19, everyone will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite equine charity. Thank you in advance for your vote!
We have so many very talented and wonderful volunteers that it is difficult to pick just one to profile. Pony Power Therapies is honored to have Rachel Delcher as an exceptional volunteer.
Rachel is a high school student who has been riding for as long as she can remember and has been a dedicated volunteer here starting as a high school freshman in 2009. Rachel’s calm and confident manner is always a pleasure to be around when on the farm. She is the type of reliable volunteer that you can trust in any situation! Currently Rachel is waiting to hear about college acceptance as an equine science major.
This extraordinary young woman represents the excellence of our therapeutic riding program. We are lucky to be surrounded by kind and generous people who come together every week to push our clients to reach beyond their goals.
Pony Power Therapies is now a member of carrots4acause, a program of the Equus Foundation, which aims to bring together interested individuals and organizations with equestrian and horse-related organizations across America. Sign up as an individual to learn more about CHAMPIONS, their incentive-based equine service volunteer program. If you login a minimum of 24 volunteer hours by December 31st, you have the opportunity to be considered for specific awards, such as scholarships.
Pony Power Therapies offers services to veterans and their families in our community through Pony Power for Heroes. As a result of a unique partnership between PATH Intl. and Wounded Warrior Project, we are able to provide this service free of charge to veterans who are registered with Wounded Warriors or meet the criteria to be registered.
Each summer, Pony Power Therapies also offers Operation Pony Power, a 4-day extended day program open to children whose parent(s) are serving or have served in the military. For more information or to join the next group of veterans or to sign up for Operation Pony Power, contact Leigh at 201-934-1001 or
Pony Power is proud to have Jodi Huntington and Jackie Lowenfels lending their expertise to broaden our classroom-based curriculum for our school groups. Jodi has been working with children for over 10 years. She completed her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy and Doctorate in Counseling Psychology. She comes to Pony Power with extensive experience in working with children who have developmental disabilities, learning challenges, and complex medical histories.
Jackie is currently enrolled in Dominican College’s Occupational Therapy Professional Degree program. She is a lifelong horseman and former FEI dressage rider. She is a firm believer in the power of horses to change children’s lives and hopes to contribute to research on the use of horses as a tool to aid in the sensory reintegration of children with development disabilities.