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Special People United to Ride (SPUR)

Special People United to Ride (SPUR)

Special People United to Ride (SPUR) located in Lincroft, NJ, is a program that brings the proven benefits of therapeutic horsemanship to individuals with special needs.

    • About the organization

      Working in conjunction with the Monmouth County Park System, Special People United to Ride (SPUR) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides individuals with disabilities the opportunity to achieve personal goals through therapeutic horsemanship. The Park System’s Sunnyside Equestrian Center provides a safe environment for students to enjoy the freedom of riding and handling a horse.

      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.

      We serve riders with many 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.

      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.

      Students from the age of four throughout adulthood come to SPUR to enjoy the many benefits of therapeutic horsemanship. Instructors and students work together in SPUR lessons to attain desired physical, cognitive, and/or emotional goals via a variety of Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT). Children and adults with disabilities begin with a leader and sidewalker in addition to the instructor. Each SPUR lesson is tailored to the individual's own physical and emotional needs. All sessions are 8 weeks long.

    • SPUR Board and Donations

      It is the mission of the Board of Directors of Special People United to Ride, Inc. (SPUR)to raise funds for the assistance of individuals with disabilities through need-based scholarships for SPUR therapeutic horsemanship programs. In addition, the Board of Directors will provide material assistance to the Monmouth County Park System for the implementation of its therapeutic horsemanship programs, when deemed necessary by the SPUR Board of Directors.

      Each person that comes to Sunnyside is unique with his or her own special needs. Your donations make it possible to invite all ages with a range of disabilities to participate regardless of their economic status. The therapeutic SPUR program at Sunnyside is a gift to everyone involved. The support we receive from our SPUR board, all of the dedicated volunteers, and hard working staff make it all possible.

      With your help we aspire to offer state of the art equine assisted programs. As a PATH International Premier Accredited Center, we help shape the future of our industry. Only with YOUR support can SPUR continue to provide the proven benefits of therapeutic horsemanship. Your tax deductible dollars support our scholarship fund so children and adults can have the opportunity to connect with a horse regardless of financial ability.

      General donations of any amount are always accepted, particularly for our scholarship fund, which provides more than $50,000+ in financial aid annually for students who qualify.

      Donations may also be designated for

      • SPUR Veterans' Programs
      • Horse Fund
      • Susan Hughes Memorial Scholarship Fund
      • In Memory of...
      • In Honor of...
      • Area of greatest need

      Horse Donation

      The SPUR program would not be what it is without our wonderful horses. Unfortunately, not all horses are suitable for therapeutic riding. The ideal therapy horse has many special characteristics. Prospective horses are required to complete a 60 day trial period prior to being accepted into the program. If you feel you have that special horse who would be perfect for our program, please call Stephanie Hunt, Stable Manager, at 732-224-1367 ext. 2#.

      The Donation of Time

      The gift of your time is one of the most rewarding donations you can make. You will have the opportunity to meet new people and make lasting bonds with our students and horses. Click here for more information about volunteering.

    • Contact Info


      New student information contact Jackie West, Program Director

      732-224-1367, Ext. 3#

      Volunteer inquiries contact Pat Bernstein

      732-224-1367, Ext. *#

      For more information on programs or instructor opportunities

      732-224-1367, Ext. 3#

      For any other questions contact Jackie West or Lisa Haskell

      732-224-1367, Ext. 3#

      732-224-1367, Ext. 1#

      For questions regarding horses, potential therapy horse donations or employment opportunities as an animal attendant contact

      Stephanie Hunt

      732-224-1367 Ext. 2#




      Barn address

      Sunnyside Recreation Area, 628 Middletown Lincroft Rd

      Lincroft, NJ, United States

      Mailing address

      Monmouth County Park System Attn: Sunnyside Equestrian Center

      805 Newman Springs Road

      Lincroft, NJ 07738


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