Archive for the "Newsletter" Category

Coming Soon… an All-New Pony Power Website!

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We’re thrilled to announce that Pony Power will launch its all-new website next month! The completely rebuilt and redesigned will provide a more easy-to-use, engaging and integrated experience for those seeking information about our program, special events, news from the farm and more.

Tee Off “Fore” a Cause

Mark your calendars! On Monday, June 1, we will be holding our Annual Golf & Tennis Outing at Montammy Golf Club in Alpine, NJ. Bring your friends and colleagues along for this fun-filled day in the sun in support of Pony Power’s participants and horses. Guests will enjoy a great day of golfing or tennis, helping to raise critical funds for Pony Power’s horse-assisted activities for special needs and at-risk populations. There’s more than one way to get involved!

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We’d like to extend a special thank you to this year’s leading event sponsors, CS Technology and The Eric & Julie Epstein Charitable Foundation. For more information about the event, contact Lauren Cotton at or (201) 934-1001.

We Proudly Welcome Two New Board Members

We are thrilled to welcome two new members to Pony Power’s Board of Directors – Anne Armstrong-Coben, MD and Steven Hirsh. Anne is an Assistant Professor of Pediatric Medicine at Columbia University. She also serves as an Advisory Dean at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons and is the Associate Director of Community Pediatrics residency training. Anne’s clinical work focuses on children in foster care; she is also Medical Director of the Medical Services and Advocacy Center at Children’s Aid and Family Services in Paramus, NJ.

Steven has been President of Lamart Corporation, a family owned manufacturing company based in Clifton, NJ, since 1990. He has served on the board of the Beth Israel Hospital in Passaic, NJ, and is active with Hope Autism Foundation. Steven and his wife, Alice, were instrumental in starting the day program for adults with special needs at Metro West JCC, now known as Camp JCC. 

We’re Springing into Action!

Kinnelon_3This week marked the first of our spring semester, and Pony Power is in full swing! We’re proudly serving more individuals – some new, many familiar – than ever before. Each week, up to 174 children and adults will experience the joy of being on the farm and engaging with Pony Power’s unique horses and ponies in meaningful ways.

We’re also happy to welcome three new partners this spring through which we’re able to provide programming to developmentally delayed men and women over 21 years old – Quest Autism Programs in Wyckoff, Yachad – National Council for Jewish Disabilities in Teaneck and New Horizons in Autism in Ramsey.

New Community Partners Lend Support

Kinnelon_1As we kick off our spring semester at Pony Power Therapies, we’re happy to share news of budding community partnerships, through which we’ll be able to extend the multifaceted benefits of horse-assisted activities to even more individuals.

Allendale Woman’s Club
On Wednesday, April 1, the Allendale Woman’s Club will host its 2015 Fashion Show, and Pony Power Therapies is honored to serve as this year’s primary beneficiary! This annual event, which brings together hundreds of residents from Bergen County and beyond, helps raise critical funds for area organizations. Funds raised during the Fashion Show will help us continue to enrich and improve the lives of at-risk youth, including those struggling with addiction, trauma and loss, through horse-assisted activities. The event will take place at Seasons in Washington Township, NJ beginning at 6:30pm. To purchase tickets, please contact

Hackensack University Medical Center
We are honored to share that a portion of the proceeds of the 4th Annual Susan Zabransky Hughes Memorial 5K Run in Saddle River, NJ will be directed to Pony Power Therapies. With this incredible support, and in partnership with Hackensack University Medical Center, we are happy to soon provide therapeutic riding and other horse-assisted activities to pediatric oncology patients and their families from the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital through our summer extended-day program, as well as therapeutic riding lessons in the fall. This year’s Memorial Run will take place on Saturday, April 25. For more information, please contact Jessica Anton at (551) 996-5614.

Pony Power is turning 15!

This year, we’re so proud to be celebrating our 15th Anniversary. Since 2000, we’ve had the joy of helping thousands of children and adults develop skills and reach new milestones – one lesson at a time, but we couldn’t have done it without you!

We’d like to extend a special thank you to all of you – our riders and their families, volunteers, donors and event sponsors – who have helped to make the past 15 years so special.

We’ll be celebrating this milestone throughout the year by:

  • Gabrielle Tracey_VideoSharing video testimonials each month from long-time staff, volunteers, rider families and others who have grown with us on our journey. Follow us at to check them out!
  • Hosting a barbeque event on May 3 to acknowledge the hard work of past and present volunteers
  • Launching a newly designed Pony Power website that offers news from the farm and other pertinent information about our programs
  • Commemorating in festive ways at our annual fundraisers – the Golf & Tennis Outing on June 1 at Montammy Golf Club and the Fall Benefit Horse Show & Family Fair on October 11
Pony Power’s office manager, Gabrielle, is celebrating a special anniversary, too! Click the image to watch her video message. Do you have a special Pony Power story that we can share as part of our anniversary celebration? Please let Kerry know at!

Thanks to you…

A Letter from our Executive Director

Dana2 2I’m happy to reflect back on 2014 – an incredible year for Pony Power Therapies. While there are so many successes to share, here are just a few. We have…

 …seen meaningful growth.

We provided empowering experience, both on and off horseback, to more individuals than ever before, reaching kids and adults through more than 4,500 sessions.

We were able to do so thanks to the support of our amazing team of volunteers. This year, a record-breaking 279 individuals dedicated an outstanding 9,053 hours.

…developed new partnerships.

Throughout the year, we sought new opportunities to partner with groups of individuals that would benefit from the power of horse-centered programming. Collaborations include Covenant House of New Jersey in Newark, Barnstable Academy in Oakland and New Horizons in Autism in Ramsey.

 …launched new programming.

We are thrilled to have piloted and implemented three brand-new programs this year, including (1) our Horse-Assisted Life Skills program for developmentally delayed adults, (2) a Youth Empowerment program aimed at enabling emotional growth and learning in young girls and boys, and (3) Team Building sessions for professionals.

…grown our team of people and ponies!

In 2014, we welcomed three new team members – Classroom Curriculum Coordinator Laura Maresciallo, Communications & Development Associate Kerry Donovan and Horse-Assisted Life Skills Associate/Instructor Miriam Berman; three new ponies – Butter, Luna and Rascal; and two new members of our Board of Directors – Jim Napolitano and Elissa Goldner.

…received national recognition.

This year, Pony Power was featured in an unprecedented number of top national and local news outlets, reaching a sum total of more than 10 million individuals nationwide! Most notably, we were highlighted on the TODAY Show and in Family Circle magazine, both of which spoke to the history and success of the program.

We could not have accomplished all of these successes without your involvement, and we hope you’ll take this opportunity to make a tax-deductible, year-end contribution before December 31

Life Skills Training for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

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Thanks to the generosity of one of our individual donors, this fall, we developed and piloted a Horse-Assisted Life Skills program for adults with developmental disabilities. This program was conceived in response to the need for meaningful programs for adults over 21, many of whom who are now aging out of traditional services. Adults participate in non-riding activities such as grooming, stable management and team lead walking; each session focuses around one of six particular life skills, such as communication and critical thinking, and allows participants to learn by doing.

In planning for this new program, we successfully worked with the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) to include “Horse-Assisted Life Skills Training” as part of its billable services, ensuring that interested participants can apply their allotted DDD funding to their Pony Power sessions. Moving forward, Pony Power will adapt this life skills curriculum to serve other populations, including at-risk children and adults.

Join the #GivingTuesday Movement & be Entered to WIN!

Giving-Tuesday-Logo-e1386099430562Mark your calendars – December 2 is the day! This year, Pony Power Therapies is joining nonprofits everywhere in celebrating an ever-growing movement of individuals who want to make a difference this holiday season. After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, comes #GivingTuesday, a national day of giving back, and we are thrilled to be a part of it!

Over the last 15 years, we’ve had the joy of seeing so many participants experience magical moments and victories while riding and interacting with horses, but there are countless more children and adults who can greatly benefit from our program.

For every $25 you donate on Tuesday, December 2 (between 12:01am and 11:59pm), you’ll receive an entry to win a one-on-one Horsemanship Training session with a Pony Power equine specialist. TWO winners will be chosen! Winners will learn how to approach a horse, how to read its body language, how to catch and halter, how to groom a horse, and more. Plus, each will enjoy a special tour of the farm.

It is because of the commitment and generosity of people like you that we’re able to continue harnessing the power of the pony to bring healing and well-being to so many.

Remember, December 2 is the day! To make a secure, online donation at that time, click on the blue “Donate” ribbon in the upper right hand corner of this page.

To make a donation by phone, please contact Lauren Cotton, Development Director, at (201) 934-1001 or

TODAY Show, Family Circle Feature Pony Power in National Stories

temp-3We’re thrilled to celebrate the start of our fall semester in a BIG way. This morning, Pony Power Therapies was featured in a national segment on NBC’s TODAY Show! The organization was highlighted as part of the network’s Hope To It segment, a weekly piece that touts nonprofits across the country making a difference. Show host Willie Geist interviewed Founder and Executive Director Dana Spett, a veteran participant and a rider’s parent. Plus, the piece also featured riders from two of our institutional partners, The Children’s Therapy Center and ECLC of New Jersey. If you missed it, click here to check it out!

Dana and Pony Power were also recently featured in the August issue of Family Circle magazine, a national publication reaching more than 5 million readers monthly. From Dana’s experience as a horse professional, to the organization’s history and current programming, the article shares Pony Power’s story. To view a PDF of the piece, click here. In addition, Pony Power figured into an episode of One-on-One with Steve Adubato on NJTV, two pieces in The Bergen Record and more.