Monday, September 14, 2015

Spotlight: Special People United to Ride

There's something amazing about how a bond with an animal can offer therapeutic benefits to those who need it. Special People United to Ride (SPUR) offers this through horsemanship for people with a variety of disabilities including: ADD, ADHD, Autism, Bipolar Disorder, Blindness, Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Cystic Fibrosis, Developmental Delays, Down Syndrome, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Scoliosis, Spinal Cord Injuries, and Tourette’s Syndrome. 

Each person who comes to SPUR is unique with his or her own special needs. SPUR, a non-profit 501(3)(c) organization, provides these individuals the opportunity to achieve personal goals through therapeutic horsemanship. A dedicated group of individuals work together to staff the equestrian center year round. Instructors are certified by PATH International, the governing body of therapeutic horsemanship. In addition to the staff, over 100 volunteers help with programs serving more than 200 students with disabilities annually. Sunnyside’s professional team and trained volunteers help students work to improve self-esteem, social skills, balance, muscle tone and posture, and to process sensory messages sent to the brain. Riding a horse provides a variety of physical, emotional, and psychological stimuli. 

Current Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies include: 
  • Individual Therapeutic Horseback Riding Lessons
  • ARIES Group Therapeutic Horseback Riding Lessons
  • SPUR's Equine Environment for Learning Program
  • Equine Facilitated Wellness Programs
  • Wounded Warrior Veterans Program and SPUR sponsored Horses for Heroes Veterans Program
The Monmouth County Park System's Sunnyside Recreation Area in Middletown provides a safe environment for SPUR's participants within its beautiful Equestrian Center. With an 18 stall stable, an outdoor instructional ring, and an 80’ x 200’ indoor instructional arena, SPUR has the ability to offer therapeutic riding year-round.

Donations to SPUR make it possible to invite all ages with a range of disabilities to participate regardless of their economic status. Donations can be made to SPUR by clicking here

** And don't miss another valuable chance to help SPUR during 5% Day at Whole Foods Market of Middletown and Marlboro on Wednesday, September 16. Five percent of the net sales on this special Community Giving Day will be donated to provide Therapeutic Equestrian Riding Scholarships for students and veterans with disabilities. **

For more information on SPUR, visit