Programs

Internship Opportunities: Internships/Service Learning currently provided to: Boston University, Lesley University, Merrimack College, Middlesex College, Northshore College, Salem State, UMASS – Lowell, UMASS – Amherst, and others are welcome.  Please contact Patti Lessard, Director of Operations and Programming for more information: animaltherapy63@hotmail.com.

Programming

After School Enrichment: Time to hit the barn after getting a jump on your homework! This unmounted program allows students the opportunity to work with their friends, meet our horses, and discover what it takes to run a barn.

Angels of America’s Fallen:  Strongwater has partnered with “Angels of America’s Fallen” to provide healthy and fun developmental equine activities and services for children through age 18.  Regardless of cause of death of their parent, there is 100% loss to the child.  This program is available immediately at no cost to the family.

Autism Rides:  The Autism Rides Program provides small groups allowing participants the opportunity to develop new skills, knowledge and problem-solving abilities, build relationships, increase attention, communication, responsiveness and willingness to follow instruction, engage with a sensory stimulating environment, enhance motor skills and coordination, and improve self-esteem.

Change of Lead: A program which provides a new purpose for individuals struggling with substance abuse as they learn skills, help other individuals, and interact with horses.  Individuals establish a foundation of recovery and begin to function effectively in their families, bringing self-worth and confidence back into their lives.

Freedom Riders:  Veterans’ and their families are welcome, at no charge, to participate in weekly activities.  Participant’s may partake in individual or group sessions based upon independent needs.  Strongwater provides Equine Services for Heroes under the auspices of PATH International (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship). We support the Wounded Warriors Project and Horses for Heroes.  Click here to see our Veterans Ride!

Home School Program: We welcome the opportunity to share with home school students the functions of running an equestrian center.  This program offers students math, reading, health & nutrition, care and responsibilities in maintaining the well being of horses.  Additionally, students will learn grooming, anatomy eventually incorporating riding as part of their studies.

Horse and Human Arts Program: This is a holistically-developed program that ties in hands-on, unmounted activities with specially designed multimedia art projects.  Participants with a variety of diagnoses including PTSD, Alzheimer’s, addiction recovery and more may participate.  Participants have seen a wide variety of benefits, including but not limited to: improved posture, increased eye contact, vocabulary and speech skills as well as relaxation.

Hospice:  Families and loved ones in need of comfort deserve the benefits of our equine companions.  Upon arrival, participants are encouraged to touch, listen, groom, hug and possibly ride based upon medical authorization.

MS: Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies: This program consists of a 7 week session of small group mounted and unmounted activities.  The natural movement of the horse has been proven to simulate the human walking gait, while stimulating neurons.  It can also lead to improvements in body awareness, balance, coordination and muscle control.

Pegasus Employee Assistance: This day-long or weekend workshop combines simple tools of self-care and the opportunity to be with horses in a beautiful environment. Participants learn to apply tools of relaxation, mindfulness, and creative expression experienced in this workshop to other parts of their life, including their work.

Special Olympics Equestrian Team: Certified Coaches for Special Olympic Equestrian Team compete each year in equestrian games!

Stable Friendship: This 7 week, hands-on unmounted program works with elementary and middle school-aged children.  It provides the human/animal bond that teaches youngsters how to care and respect another living being while also designed to foster emotional and behavioral change and growth for children facing adversity in their community.  Using our horses will provide an excellent model for teaching boundaries, self-awareness, and building effective communication tools in a fun and inspiring context.

Strides in Reminiscing:  Participants in this program have been diagnosed with a neurological disorder such as Alzheimer, Dementia, MS and other related diagnosis.  Our purpose is to improve the autonomy and self-esteem, communication skills, strength and balance capabilities, and socialization opportunities.  The consistency of equine assisted activities with participants carry over between weeks enabling a potential 90%  improvement in the following areas:  trust and self-esteem, communication, socialization and relationship building.  The calming effect of Strongwater’s environment allows participants to decompress obtaining quiet fulfillment which then carries through into their home environment.

Therapeutic Riding:  Our experienced team of instructors provide challenging individualized lesson plans for each participant.  Participants will learn beginner to advanced riding skills enhancing core strength, balance and coordination, improved fine and gross motor skills, increased focusing ability, and self-esteem.

Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy:  For some people, sitting in an office and talking with a therapist proves too difficult for a variety of reasons.  For this reason, Strongwater provides individuals with Equine Assisted Psychotherapy or “EFP.” Whether one is suffering from symptoms of depression, anxiety, and/or grief, we can help.  EFP provides individuals experiential learning in our arena to include a psychotherapist and an equine specialist with activities that will allow one to learn about themselves through interactions with a horse in a peaceful and caring environment. Please call Beth A Walters, M.S.W., M.Ed., LICSW at 781-307-1513 for more information and pricing. Some insurances accepted.  Beth is an EAGALA Certified Equine Assisted Psychotherapist.

Tiny Tots: A specially designed riding program for little ones ages 4-6 years old, focusing on attention, memory, patterns, numbers and colors while increasing balance and coordination.  The interaction with horses, staff and other children builds social skills necessary for developing healthy relationships.


Application Process:

The application process for all of our programs is the same. Once a completed Participants Application and Release Form (Click here to go to our Application Forms) has been received by our office, you will be added to our waitlist The information you provide will assist us with scheduling and determining the goals and the appropriateness of the program for an individual. Program openings are determined based on the needs of the individual and the availability of resources. Many of our participants return each Session and openings are limited. Please know that we do all that we can to integrate participants whenever possible.

When an opening becomes available, but not less than three weeks prior to the start of any Session, you will be contacted to schedule a pre-riding assessment. A $50 assessment fee, payable in cash or check is due at the time of assessment, prior to scheduled enrollment into a program. No pre-riding assessment is required for able-bodied participants in our Kids Summer Sessions. Due to the nature of therapeutic riding and other equine related activities, there are individuals for whom Strongwater Farm’s programs are deemed inappropriate during the evaluation process and such individual are not accepted for enrollment or not eligible to continue in Strongwater Farm’s programs. This determination is made on the basis of physical, behavioral and other limitations. Participants applying for the Therapeutic Riding Programs will be required to provide a Medical History form signed by a physician on or before the date of the pre-riding assessment.

Strongwater Farm reserves the right to determine if we are unable to serve an applicant or that continuance in a program by a given individual is inappropriate due to unavailable resource(s)and or/safety concerns including PATH Intl. guidelines relating to contraindications for participation.

Under Massachusetts law, an equine professional is not liable for an injury to, or the death of, a participant in equine activities resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities, pursuant to section 2Dof chapter 128 of the General Laws.

Attendance:

Strongwater Farm expects consistent attendance by all participants. If a participant unable to attend a regularly scheduled lesson, notification must be made by calling the instructor at his/her designated number as soon as the absence is anticipated so we may provide sufficient notice to staff and volunteers.

Payment:

The tuition for each Session is payable in advance no later than seven (7) before the day of the first scheduled lesson. The tuition charge is a flat fee and is nonrefundable except as herein specifically provided. Tuition helps to defray the cost of operating expenses. Current fees are listed on Registration Forms under “Sessions”.

Attire:

Participants should dress weather appropriate and always wear an equestrian helmet (ASTM/SEI approved), long pants (even during summer), with sturdy-soled boots or shoes with a ¼ heel unless alternative attire arrangements are made for a therapeutic lesson. Participants will not be allowed on the horse unless properly dressed. Participants must be prepared to ride outside in all weather conditions. Strongwater Farm recommends that participants dress in layers.