• 732-446-0945
  • information@specialstrides.com
  • Monroe, NJ 08831

Meet the Staff – Learn More

Founding Director

Laurie Landy has pursued dreams of love, family, community and enhancing lives at the home of Special Strides. In 1998, she founded Special Strides with the support of her family. Laurie holds a degree in Occupational Therapy from SUNY Downstate and has focused much of her professional life in pediatrics. Laurie has worked for JFK Rehabilitation, a variety of school systems, Early Intervention and private practice. In addition she is NDT certified (neuro-developmental  treatment), and has years of practice and study in the area of sensory integration and hippotherapy  treatment strategies. Laurie enjoys teaching and mentoring teenagers, college students, interns and professionals in their quest to seek knowledge and understand how to help individuals reach their potential with the partnership of treatment, and horses. She takes great pride in her family farm as a haven for discovery, happiness and attainment of mastery.

Executive Director

Susie received her bachelor degree in Physical Therapy from Thomas Jefferson University, in Philadelphia, in 1986. Initially specializing in adult rehabilitation with a focus on spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury, she quickly fell in love with pediatrics and specialized in incorporating hippotherapy treatment strategies into her practice. She has been the co-director of Special Strides since 1999. Susie is also the Past President of HRH of New Jersey and the Vice President and Treasurer for the American Hippotherapy Association, Inc. She is the editor of Hippotherapy Magazine and presented three times at their International Conference. Susie loves sharing the excitement of physical therapy, pediatrics and equine assisted therapy with the many physical therapy students that have completed their clinical experiences at Special Strides. Susie has achieved her Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist (HPCS) certification showing excellence and knowledge in the field.


Therapy Staff

  • Jane Burrows, PT, DPT, APCS

Jane has been in practice as a physical therapist for almost five decades. She is the assistant to the Directors and the Facility manager at Special Strides. She has her Doctorate in Physical Therapy, is a Clinical Specialist in Hippotherapy and an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. In her spare time she loves to long line the horses, train them in-hand and keep their feet trimmed up.

  • Alison Clodfelter, PT, DPT

Alison Clodfelter is a pediatric physical therapist. She graduated from Thomas Jefferson University with a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree in 2020 and has been working as a pediatric physical therapist since September 2020. From a very young age, she had a strong interest in dance and in science and found a way to combine the two in college and in graduate school through physical therapy. She loves helping kids find the joy of movement and find their own strength when they unlock new abilities they did not know they were capable of!

  • Lindsay Clark, PT, DPT

Lindsay started at Special Strides as a Level 2 PT student from Northeastern University. After she graduated in 2015, she returned to Special Strides as a pediatric Physical Therapist.


  • Lauren Bigelsen, OTR/L

Lauren received her bachelors and masters in Occupational Therapy from Ithaca College. She completed her specialty fieldwork for OT at Special Strides in the summer of 2018. She returned to Special Strides in May of 2021 as an employee.



  • Christine Eiserle, MS CCC-SCP






Adaptive Riding Instructors & Equine Specialists

  • Charlene Skwara-Barn Manager/Program Director Adaptive Riding

Charlene is Barn Manager/ Director of Adaptive Riding. Charlene is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University with a degree in Equine Science. She has been involved with horses since she was 4. She has been a PATH Intl. Registered Instructor for the 20 years. Charlene also serves as a mentor to up and coming instructors. Charlene has both trained and competed at top levels throughout her career.


  • Ellen Rankins- Equine Trainer, Advanced Adaptive Riding Instructor

Ellen has been an adaptive riding instructor certified through PATH Intl. since 2012. After completing a B.S. at Auburn University and a M.S. at the University of Florida in animal sciences, she moved to NJ to work on her Ph.D. at Rutgers University. She is currently investigating the interaction between horses and humans with her research that takes place at Special Strides.


  • Dina Parrello, Adaptive Riding Instructor, Equine Facilitated Learning 

Dina Parrello holds a Masters in Industrial Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a BA in Psychology from Purdue University. She received her PATH Intl. Registered Instructor Certification from TRAC at Centenary College and also holds the PATH Intl. Equine Specialist Certification in Mental Health and Learning. She had been involved with Therapeutic Riding, as a volunteer and then as a teacher since 2003. She is also the President of HRH of NJ, the state organization for NJ centers and programs that provide Hippotherapy, Therapeutic Riding and Equine Facilitated Learning and Equine Facilitated Mental Health Services.