"...to provide children and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities or disorders a program of individualized equestrian instruction in a safe and supportive, family farm environment. We provide opportunities for the professional development of our instructors and volunteers as well as ongoing training of our horses for therapeutic horseback riding and equine-assisted activities."

Celtic Charms Therapeutic Horsemanship is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit, operating exclusively as a therapeutic equestrian center on a 27-acre quiet farm setting in Howell, NJ. Facilities include large indoor (80' x 200') and outdoor (175' x 330') arenas and extensive natural woodland trails. Our attractive barn, with a temperature-controlled, family-friendly observation waiting room, is attached to the indoor arena enabling lessons year-round.

Download our flyer here

We are dedicated to bringing joy and personal achievement to children and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities or disorders by teaching all forms of horsemanship including horseback riding, carriage driving, grooming, tacking, equine care and behavior, and general horse information. Students are taught either individually or in groups of up to three riders. Individual lessons are 45 minutes in duration, groups are 60 minutes and both include time for horse care.

Therapeutic horsemanship, or equine-assisted activities and therapies (“EAAT”), provides students with the opportunity to learn about horseback riding, carriage driving, grooming, tacking, leading, horse care and behavior, and safety around horses.  Celtic Charms helps students to reach their full potential, whether learning to maintain a balanced seat or jumping small cross rails in the show ring, and it’s fun!  All of these activities have therapeutic benefits that can transfer to other areas of the student’s life.  Our instructors have been trained by PATH Intl. to adapt lessons to suit the unique needs of each individual.

Horseback Riding

Learning to ride a horse begins with balance, posture, and alignment. This is the foundation of horseback riding, whether you are a beginner or an Olympic rider. What is so wonderful about horses and riding is that the horse provides a dynamic base of support; a rider starts building core strength just by sitting on the horse. As the horse moves the rider is continually challenged to maintain his/her balance, requiring muscles to contract and relax to stay upright. Stopping and starting the horse, changing speed and direction increases the benefits. All of this movement helps strengthen core muscles and build muscle memory, thereby improving the three essentials - balance, posture and alignment.

Carriage Driving

Carriage driving helps to improve balance, postural alignment, physical and mental coordination, and planning and problem-solving skills. It provides new learning opportunities for riding students and it’s also great for increasing confidence! Although drivers are seated in a carriage behind the horse, the program is no less challenging than horseback riding.  Drivers become a team with their equine partner as they work together to achieve the sequencing and maneuvering of carriage driving.  Carriage driving provides opportunities for individuals who may not otherwise be able to participate in traditional riding programs, such as students who have a fear of heights, students who cannot ride owing to weight limits, and students who are physically unable to ride.

The many benefits of therapeutic horsemanship include:

  • developing riding skills and equine knowledge
  • improved balance, posture and alignment
  • improved physical and mental coordination
  • increased muscle strength
  • increased confidence
  • improved self-image and self-esteem
  • improved social skills
  • increased focus and concentration
  • improved planning and problem solving skills
  • learning how to take care of an animal

Some of the disabilities that can benefit from therapeutic horsemanship include, ADD/ADHD, amputation, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, depression, developmental delay, down syndrome, head trauma/brain injury, hearing impairment, learning disability, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, speech impairment, and visual impairment.

  • Individual and group riding lessons
  • Individual carriage driving lessons
  • Horse shows
  • Special Olympics local training program
  • CELTS (Celtic Extended Learning and Training thru the Summer) program
  • Instructor training program
  • Volunteer workshops
  • Black Stallion Literacy Foundation program
  • Vocational training through schools and group homes
  • Field trips for school groups, group homes, youth groups, etc.

Children can begin riding at the age of four, and there is no upper age limit for adults.  All participants must provide a physician's statement showing that it is safe for them to ride.  Children between the ages of three and four can be accepted only after careful evaluation; however, they are limited to walk-only, lead-line lessons until they turn four years old.  These early lessons teach basic riding skills and provide the benefits associated with the movement of the horse.

Our students' riding skills vary from beginner to jumping small cross rails, and students progress at their own pace.  Students benefit from knowledgeable instruction and social interaction with staff, volunteers, fellow students, and horses.

Download student application here

Horses and ponies are carefully chosen for their calm attitude, temperament, manners and adaptability. Ongoing training and exercise ensure their continuing suitability. We ensure that our equine friends are happy and content by keeping their environment as natural as possible... in herds and out in the pasture.

Bridie: Bridie is our gorgeous 15.3hh, chestnut, draft/quarter horse cross mare, who loves to work. She's strong enough to carry our larger students but gentle enough to carry our smallest!

Enya: Our 15hh, quarter horse, flea-bitten gray mare, Enya, is our "been there, done that" sweet ol' lady. She won our hearts with her gentle, trusting nature. Enya has been retired from the program but our princess still enjoys visits from her adoring subjects.

Thanks to Chelsea & Chanel, our beautiful ol' girl has been sponsored for 2015.

Finn MacCool: Gentle Finn MacCool is our 15hh, chestnut, welsh/quarter horse cross gelding. Always ready to please he sensitively follows the directions given by our students. With lots of lift at the walk and trot he's perfect for the student who needs extra movement.

Lucky Finn has been sponsored for 2015 by Anthony Pinto. Thank you Anthony!

Our rock star Mazoo, is a 15.3hh quarter horse paint. Preferring the company of people rather than horses, he commands attention... and gets it! He's always a crowd pleaser at our "Experience the Magic" days.
Thanks to Christine, handsome Mazoo has been sponsored for 2015.

Merlin: Our little magician is a 11hh chestnut, welsh gelding who is perfect for our smallest students. He is also the face of our Black Stallion Literacy Foundation™ program.

Thanks to Andrew Barb, our little magician has been sponsored for 2015.

Misty: Misty is a very cute haflinger, and the foundation of our carriage driving program. Our grateful thanks to Ann Miles of The Carriage Barn in NH, for entrusting this lovely, experienced mare to us. Misty is a gorgeous 13.2hh haflinger.

Riley: Handsome Riley is our 15.3hh chestnut (what other color would we have at Celtic Charms!) gelding. From "out west" he's a boys' boy and loves nothing better than to hang out with Mazoo at his new "home on the range"!

Rockadoodle: Rocky is a handsome 20+ year old bay welsh/quarter horse gelding. He had a very illustrious show career before "retiring" to us. (Rocky is still wowing everyone at horse shows; he brought home a Special Olympics First and HRH of NJ Second at their October horse show this year.) Rocky is a popular pony with our students, teaching many to not only transition from on lead to off lead riding, but also to canter and jump. Thanks to the Shapiro family for sharing this wonderful pony with us.

Seamus: Seamus is our registered paint show pony. At 14.2hh he turns heads with his superb conformation, sorrel coloring and flaxen mane and tail. A veteran show pony, Seamus and his students show off their talents and do us proud at every HRH of N.J. horse show.

Seamus has been sponsored by Tom Dircks for 2016. Thank you Tom.

Tahra: Lovely Tahra is a sweet, 14.2hh chestnut, welsh/quarter horse cross. She has been beautifully schooled and is the perfect pony for our independent students.

President: William M. Landuyt
Kevin G. Kilgallen, Esq.
Mark A. Alexander
Patrick Barton, MS – Henry O. Boenning – Wallace M. Conover –
Cheryl A. Krause-Parello, PhD, RN – Susan P. Levine, MA, CSW –
Argo T. Parrello, PE

View board biographies

Our experienced instructors are dedicated, knowledgeable, PATH Intl.-certified professionals who love to share their passion for horses with their students. Their knowledge of disabilities enables them to customize lessons for optimum student success. Ongoing continuing education ensures instructors keep pace with advancements in the field.

Executive Director: William Landuyt
Program Director: Christine Landuyt
Program Administrator: Geralyn Drury
Equine Manager: Christine Landuyt
Fundraising Coordinator: Sara Van Ness
Volunteer Coordinator: Nancy Forsyth
Animal Attendant: Karen Kucin
Facility Manager: Ralph Reo
PATH Intl. Certified Riding Instructors:
Beth Donoghue
Dolores Cutler
Nancy Forsyth - Special Olympics Local Training Program Coordinator
Christine Landuyt - Advanced Instructor and PATH Intl. Mentor
Melinda Mordarski
Wende Pickens
Sara Van Ness
PATH Intl. Certified Driving Instructor
Nancy Forsyth - Carriage Association of America Proficiency, Level 1

There are so many opportunities for volunteers at Celtic Charms from leading horses and side walking students during lessons, to horse care, and barn and facility maintenance. Not sure about working with horses? No problem, we have trails that need clearing and maintaining, fences that need checking... the list goes on.

All volunteers are required to attend our administration workshop, which covers liability, confidentiality, evacuation and safety procedures etc. Lesson volunteers, who need to be at least 14 years of age, attend workshops to learn grooming and tacking, leading and horse communication, side walking and disability awareness.

Three levels of training give volunteers the opportunity to advance within the "ranks" and improve their horsemanship skills.

Download volunteer application

Congratulations to one of our volunteers, Karen Martin, for being selected by PATH Intl. as their 2012 PATH Intl. Volunteer of the Year for Region 2. Region 2 encompasses Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. Karen is also our first 1,000 hour and 1,500 hour volunteer. Thank you Karen for being part of the Celtic Charms team!

As a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit, we are dependent on the generosity and support of those people who believe in our mission and the benefits that therapeutic riding can produce for our riders. We could not run our program without the help of our sponsors and volunteers.

Become a volunteer
Our program is labor intensive and we could not survive without our volunteers. Please see "Volunteers" above for further information.

Be a sponsor!
Lesson fees do not come close to covering the cost of running the program. We need your financial support to help:
a) Maintain the program. It costs approximately $3,000 per year to take care of one horse. This amount pays for the vet, vaccinations, farrier, dentist, feed, hay, shavings. Why not "sponsor" one of our horses for a month, six months or a year! It makes a great gift.
b) Fund scholarships. Many of our students would not be able experience the benefits of riding without the support of our "Pink Sock" scholarship fund. Your gift of $750 would allow us to offer a six-month scholarship to a child who would otherwise not be able to experience the benefit and joy of horseback riding.

Donations can be made by either pressing the Donate button below and making a contribution through PayPal or by sending a check to Celtic Charms Inc.

View the journal for the 2014 Ride-A-thon

Winter Solstice tree lighting and carol singing date TBD

Tuesday thru Friday
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
9:00 a.m. - noon

Tuesday thru Saturday
Hours vary, call 732.987.5333 for more information

We are closed on Sundays and Mondays.

671 Fort Plains Road, Howell, NJ 07731
View map

Download easy-to-print directions

HRH of N.J.
PATH International
N.J. Horse Council
New Jersey Equine Advisory Board
Rutgers, Equine Science Center
ARC of Monmouth
Family Resource Associates

A copy of Celtic Charms' 2015 Form 990 is available upon request.



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Enya and Misty

Lovely Tahra

Nancy and Misty



671 Fort Plains Road, Howell, NJ 07731 | 732.987.5333 | info@celticcharms.org