One day, Izzy’s mom noticed that she was having troubles moving her neck and turning her head to the left. They went to the doctor, and they were told that it was probably just an ear infection. But just to be sure, they ordered a CT scan and later a MRI. To their surprise and horror, they discovered that little Izzy had a tumor wrapped around her spinal cord.
A few days after the discovery, Izzy was on an operating table for a ten-hour long spinal cord surgery. She weighed just 18 pounds at the time of the surgery. The surgery went well, but more treatment was needed. At just 14 months old, when other toddlers her age would be crawling, walking, and talking, Izzy began her first chemo infusion. After 42 chemo infusions, Izzy and her family were able to start the long recovery journey.
Izzy participated in the therapeutic riding programs at Mane Stream. She learned and enjoyed the unique therapeutic exercises at their facility, and especially her time on her horse, Justin. Izzy is now able to sit upright and use her core more. Although these improvements may seem small, for Izzy’s parents, it means everything.
Izzy’s mom shares, “If we couldn’t come back to Mane Stream, the idea actually just triggered some tears because they do so much. Mane Stream has something so very unique and very special, in a different way, to engage their kids – it doesn’t matter what their diagnosis is, they find a way to connect these kids to their horse, and make whatever magic they need to make happen.”
For over 45 years, Mane Stream has offered equine therapy and therapeutic riding for individuals with disabilities. For those with disabilities, horseback riding is not just another therapy session – it’s a journey into a new and unexplored world that gives them a sense of independence and freedom. Riders are challenged in new ways and they enjoy their time on the horses at Mane Stream.
Founded in 1972 by Octavia Brown, Mane Stream has grown immensely. It was one of the first centers of its kind in the United States, and started off with just three horses and six riders. Now, they have a 12-acre farm that’s home to 14 horses and ponies, with 15-35 volunteers helping out every day. In the beginning, there was only one program offered. Now, Mane Stream offers not juts adaptive riding and therapy services, but also programs for veterans and people affected by cancer, and there’s even a summer camp.
Visit their website below to learn more about the different programs offered and the magic that happens at Mane Stream.
How to Contact This Farm:
83 Old Turnpike Road PO Box 305
Oldwick, NJ 08858