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SHADOW Equestrian has:


NARHA provides for certification standards, which require that safety be of paramount importance. The NARHA certification standards are not only in place for the safety of our special needs children, but also for our volunteers.

•Trained Volunteers

Our volunteers, who range in age from 14 to 70, are trained to NARHA standards, and are the real strength of any therapeutic riding program. A minimum of three volunteers is required for each student’s lesson.

Prog Pict

•Trained Therapy Horses

We currently utilize four horses, two ponies and one miniature horse in our therapeutic riding program.

•Year Round

In fair weather we utilize our half acre grassy outdoor arena. This spacious area allows the full use of the games and activities for the students. In foul weather and during the winter, our brightly lit 60’ x 100’ indoor arena allows for uninterrupted 12-month therapy lessons. This permits our children to benefit from the continual riding…

•Grooming and Handling

Our riding programs are for children only, but the benefits of bonding with a horse can be seen in all age groups. For special needs adults, such as Down Syndrome, we have developed a grooming program, which allows persons too large for our riding programs to groom and pay loving attention to an equine. In 2010, SHADOW began a preteen/teen grooming progran for our participants that no longer qualify due to age or weight. They still gain the benifits of bonding with our horses as well as working on muscular and balance issues.

•Local Horse Shows

Many of our students participate in the local county 4-H shows. They do an exhibition to showcase the abilities they have and to promote recreational therapeutic riding.


As a recognized public charity, SHADOW Equestrian and our client families rely heavily on the support of individuals, companies and groups for the continued success of its therapeutic riding programs. Since our tuition only covers approximately 30 percent of our budget, 70 percent of our funding is needed through contributions from the public.

* North American Riding for the Handicapped Association


Kay E. Drissel (President), 1907 Monroeville Rd. Monroeville, NJ 08343Phone: (856) 694-4034     Email: shadoweq@verizon.net



   Stephanie, age 11, has been attending SHADOW Equestrian for three years. She has recently been diagnosed with Hallervorden-Spatz-Syndrome, known as NBIA, a rare progressive genetic, neurological disease that affects involuntary muscle movements. This affects her speech, her ability to walk, and her vision. The complications from the disease affect her breathing and swallowing.  To this date, they have not found a cure.  
Despite her disease, she is a very loving child who has no boundaries.  She wakes up every morning with a smile on her face especially knowing she is going to school.  She loves seeing and being with her peers.  Her most favorite thing of all is going to her therapeutic riding lessons.  She knows what day she goes to her lesson, and when you tell her what day it is, she just has a smile that just lights up her whole face.  That smile stays there until she gets back home from her lesson.
Our expected goal was to see her strengthen her upper and lower extremities, which she has, especially her upper body.  We would like to hope that her lower extremities will also improve, but eventually her disease will take over.  SHADOW Equestrian and their staff have been an important role model in Stephanie’s life.

Stephanie’s mom, Darlene

2010 Update: 4 years later, Stephanie is now wheelchair bound, but has no intention of giving up her time at Shadow. She now grooms her horse from her wheelchair, which aids in strengthening her upper body. But best of all, she still bonds with her favorite horse as he nuzzles her and makes her feel special.


   My daughter, Autumn, who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome, began horseback riding over a year ago.  Our goals at that time included strengthening her gross motor skills to assist in her beginning to walk, coordination and balance, fine motor development, and social skills such as communication and listening and following directions.
Within a few lessons, she began socializing and enjoying the lessons.   She would listen to the instructor and volunteers and attempt to follow directions.  They would do various activities to help in fine and gross motor areas as well as coordination and balance.  Before age two, Autumn was walking!
She is now three years old, and running, jumping, walking up and down stairs. She knows her numbers up to ten and she knows four colors.  She can sign them as well as say them.  I did not expect them to help her in this area of learning but the volunteers do.  The love and enjoy Autumn and she loves and enjoys her time with them as well.  This is a positive activity for children with disabilities. They can learn, be with animals, and be loved for who they are.  We love SHADOW Equestrian and it has been a positive activity for our child.
Autumn’s mom, Kim

2010 Update: 4 years later, Autumn continues to ride at SHADOW. Her verbal and physical skills have progressed and her love of horses has grown as well.