MONROE, N.J. — Laurie Landy, Executive Director of Special Strides Therapeutic Riding Center was presented the "Spirit of the Horse Award" for her contributions to "improving the quality of life for all individuals who pass through the stable gates; patients, riders, families, volunteers, staff, donors and community members."

The award was presented during The Rutgers Equine Science Center’s "Evening of Science & Celebration" on Nov. 9 at the Cook Campus Center in New Brunswick, N.J.

Landy, an occupational therapist, opened Special Strides in 1998.

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According to its website: “Special Strides is a non-profit organization devoted to improving the lives of individuals with special needs. With a unique combination of horses, therapy, and affordances of a natural environment, Special Strides is able to achieve recreational, educational and therapeutic goals in an atmosphere that is all about fun. It is the goal of Special Strides to provide all individuals an opportunity to ‘improve their lives… one stride at a time’ regardless of financial status.”

Special Strides offers a wide variety of equine assisted activities and therapy (EAAT) and is located on Congress Hill Farm in Monroe.

The program serves both children and adults and offers physical therapy, occupational therapy, mental health, adaptive horseback riding, adaptive carriage driving, experiential learning and equine facilitated learning, according to the web site.

For more information on Special Strides, including volunteer opportunities, visit www.specialstrides.com or e-mail information@specialstrides.com or call 732-446-0945.

For information about the Equine Science Center see http://esc.rutgers.edu/,  call 848-932-9419 or e-mail Kyle Hartmann at kylehart@njaes.rutgers.edu.

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