Starting a therapy clinic on a farm…..
In the autumn of 1998, one of Laurie Landy’s dreams came true. When Special Strides, Inc., a non for profit 501c(3), opened its doors, Laurie was able to combine her passion as an occupational therapist, her love of the natural environment, and her knowledge of equine movement. Stymied by the limits of traditional classroom based therapy, Laurie envisioned an environment where individuals could reach their therapy and recreational goals in a locale that supported all their needs; physical, emotional, sensory, and communication.
- 1998 – Special Strides Therapeutic Riding Center was founded by Laurie Landy, OTR
- 2000 – Clinic expanded with addition of physical therapy
- 2004 – Program offerings expanded to include Adaptive/Therapeutic Riding
- 2004 – Steven Werthan Memorial Fund provides financial assistance to its first recipients
- 2008 – Joseph Farrelly Therapeutic Driving Program opened its doors
- 2011 – Became a PATH Premier Center
- 2013 – Equine Facilitated Learning expansion
- 2016 – Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy expansion
- 2016 – Received Accreditation Renewal as a PATH Premier Center
Special Strides is located in Monroe Township in Central NJ. The facilities encompass 200 acres of training areas (outdoor and indoor arenas) and wooded trails. Special Strides is proud of its trails, which include a variety of sensory equipment such as trampolines, swings, an adventure course with balance beams, and a variety of playground equipment. Children can explore the farm during therapy and witness the changes of seasons, pick vegetables in the gardens, and visit the other farm animals such as a rabbit, cats, goats, sheep, chickens, and alpaca. Special Strides offices are located in a heated/air conditioned office including a fully equipped therapy clinic.
Since its inception, Special Strides has focused on improving the quality of life for all individuals who pass through the stable gates; patients, riders, families, volunteers, staff, donors, and community members.