Yes, Virginia, There is Another Horse Farm in Bergen County

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Topping a list of leading industrial categories in Bergen County are hospitals and related medical services, professional, scientific and technical services, education and retail.  But, it only took one thoroughbred racehorse, American Pharoah, to put Bergen County on the map in horseracing circles when he became the 12th Triple Crown winner.  Although the three-year-old colt was bred, foaled and trained in Kentucky, he is owned by Zayat Stables, LLC in Hackensack, giving all Bergen County citizens bragging rights to a horse that now joins the ranks of Secretariat, Citation and Seattle Slew in racing’s most exclusive club.

Given its location as a suburban extension of Manhattan, Bergen County is not typically thought of as horse country.  An Internet search showed three equestrian centers, all offering pony rides, lessons, children’s parties and summer camp.  The website www.ohorse.com listed five boarding stables, four horse training stables, one horse leasing stable, two hunter jumper stables, fourwellnessstables offering riding lessons and one sales barn, with many of the same stables overlapping the categories, before bringing us to Three Sister Farm and Pony Power Therapies, located in Mahwah, New Jersey.   It was such a powerful read we have to share it with you.

Since 2000, Pony Power has provided horse-assisted activities to children and adults with a broad spectrum of developmental and physical disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, seizure disorder, developmental disabilities, mental health challenges, visual impairments and traumatic brain injury.  They also serve families dealing with a range of life challenges, such as trauma and loss, substance abuse and recovery, eating disorders, anxiety and depression, relationship and social issues, parenting challenges and more.

Equine assisted psychotherapy is an emerging form of therapeutic intervention in which horses are used as tools to help to form an emotional bond, or trust, between the two species. Therapy involves equine activities set up by a licensed mental health professional, often with the support of a horse professional. Not all therapy includes riding, but allows for an opportunity to care for the horse through grooming, feeding, haltering and leading. The  ultimate goal is for the client to build skills such as personal responsibility, assertiveness, non-verbal communication, self-confidence, and self-control.

The staff at Pony Power, a non-profit organization, consists of licensed social workers, school teachers, PATH International certified instructors, seasoned riders, horse enthusiasts, volunteers and 18 therapy horses and ponies.  Two Pediatric physicians sit on the board, as do others familiar with special needs children.

For a better understanding of the benefits derived from equine assisted psychotherapy, watch a taping from the NBC Today show of their interview with Dana Spett, MSW, founder and executive director of Pony Power Therapies.  https://youtu.be/2F1v2UhD5Ck

Pony Power Therapies

Three Sisters Farm

170 Ramapo Valley Road

Mahwah, New Jersey 07430

http://ponypowernj.org/

201- 934-1001

 

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