"...to provide people with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities a program of individualized equestrian instruction in a safe and supportive, eco-friendly 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, N.J. 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 year round lessons.
We are dedicated to bringing joy and personal achievement to children and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities by teaching all forms of horsemanship including horseback riding, grooming, tacking, equine care and familiarization with basic horse knowledge. 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 provides students with practical hands-on horse experience. Students learn about grooming, tacking, leading a horse, horse behavior, horse care and of course how to ride a horse.
The first step in teaching a student how to ride is to work on balance, posture and alignment. It is the foundation to 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 and as the horse moves, the rider is constantly challenged to maintain his/her balance, requiring that muscles contract and relax in an attempt to stay upright. Stopping and starting the horse, changing speed and direction just increases the benefits. All of this movement helps to strengthen core muscles and builds muscle memory, thereby improving the three essentials - balance, posture and alignment.
Therapeutic Horsemanship has secondary benefits, which can transfer to other areas of the student's life.
There are many benefits of therapeutic horsemanship including:
- improved balance, posture and alignment
- improved physical and mental co-ordination
- increased muscle strength
- increased confidence
- improved self-image and self-esteem
- improved social skills
- increased focus and concentration
- improved planning and problem solving skills
- riding skills and equine knowledge
- learning to take care of an animal
Some of the disabilities that can benefit from therapeutic horsemanship include, ADD/ADHD, amputation, autism, cerebral palsy, depression, developmental delay, down syndrome, head trauma/brain injury, hearing impairment, learning disability, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, speech impairment and visual impairment to name a few.
- Individual and group therapeutic riding lessons
- Horse show competition
- Special Olympics. Celtic Charms is a local training program for the Special Olympics.
- Summer camp
- Instructor-in-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
Students range in age from 4 years and upward and vary in skill level from beginners to intermediate. They benefit from knowledgeable instruction and social interaction with staff, volunteers, fellow students and horses.
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!
Horses and ponies are carefully chosen for their calm attitude, temperament, manners and adaptability. Ongoing training and exercise ensure their continuing suitability. We make certain that our equine friends are happy and content by keeping their environment as natural as possible... in herds and out in the pasture.
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. She takes care of her charges and is perfect for our students who are transitioning from on-lead to independent riding.
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.
Sponsored. Lucky Finn has been sponsored by Andrew Pinto for 2012.
Mazoo: 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 Equine Experience days.
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.
Misty: Misty is a very cute haflinger, and the foundation of our up-and-coming 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.
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.
Sponsored. Seamus has been sponsored by Tom Dircks for 2013.
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.
Irish: Our grey tuxedo barn cat loves nothing better than to be left alone to keep an eye out for all pesky critters.
Jake: Self-appointed mayor of Celtic Charms, Jake, our teacup, pot-belly, rescue pig, is a vital part of the clean up crew... allowing not a morsel of horse food to be left for pesky critters.
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 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.
President: William M. Landuyt
Secretary: Kevin G. Kilgallen, Esq.
Treasurer: Mark A. Alexander
Patrick Barton, M.S.
Henry O. Boenning, C.P.A.
Wallace M. Conover
Cheryl A. Krause-Parello, Ph.D., RN
Susan P. Levine, M.A., C.S.W.
Argo T. Parrello, P.E.
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 individualize 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
Fundraising coordinator: Sara Van Ness
Volunteer coordinator: Nancy Forsyth
Office manager: Lisa Russo
Animal attendant: Karen Kucin
Facility manager: Ralph Reo
PATH Intl. certified riding instructors:
Christine Landuyt - Advanced instructor and Path Intl. mentor
Sara Van Ness
PATH Intl. Certified Driving Instructor
Our lesson volunteers, who need to be at least 14 years of age, attend workshops to learn grooming and tacking, leading, side walking and basic horsemanship.
Three levels of training give volunteers the opportunity to advance within the "ranks" and improve their horsemanship skills.
||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 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. How can you help?
Become a volunteer
There are so many opportunities for volunteers from leading horses and side walking students during lessons, to horse care and barn 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.
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.
Garden State Horse & Carriage Society will be holding an Introduction to Carriage Driving Clinic
Ride-A-Thon - View the journal
HRH of N.J. Open Horse Show and Special Olympics NJ
Winter Solstice tree lighting and carol singing
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
From US-9 North - Freehold
Take US-9 South towards Lakewood. Turn right onto West Farms Road, West and drive .3 miles. Turn slight left onto Fort Plains Road. 671 Fort Plains Road is .5 miles on the left.
From US 9 South - Lakewood
Take US-9 North towards Freehold. 1.4 miles from I-195, take the jug handle to West Farms Road West. Continue for .3 miles then take slight left turn onto Fort Plains Road. 671 Fort Plains Road is .5 miles on the left.
Take the US-9 N exit, EXIT 28B, towards Freehold. Follow directions above for US-9 South.
From the Garden State Parkway
Take the GSP South to EXIT 98. Merge onto Rt-34 North. After ¼ mile, merge onto I-195 West towards Trenton and continue for 6.7 miles. Follow directions above for US-9 South.
HRH of N.J.
N.J. Horse Council
New Jersey Equine Advisory Board
Rutgers, Equine Science Center
ARC of Monmouth
Family Resource Associates
A copy of Celtic Charms' 2011 Form 990 is available upon request.
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