Saturday, April 9, 2011


     Lucara and Merlin                                 Pagi: high five

From GallopNYC:

GallopNYC offers therapeutic horseback riding lessons to children, adults, and school groups. Kensington Stables graciously rents us horses and ponies and allows us to use the rear of the stable for riding.

As one Mom said,
[My child] LOVED his...lesson today. [The instructor] communicated so well with [my child], who had the BIGGEST smile on his face, and I had tears in my eyes repeatedly through the lesson. I felt so proud, as did he! The GALLOP days are the highlight of our week.
We work with children and adults with special needs as well as children with literacy delays, learning disabilities, family problems, or kids who are just having a hard time in life. We also work with veterans, kids in counseling programs, and at-risk kids. Some of our volunteers have a disability.

We offer lesson to 150 riders each week, at three locations, and  rely on about 200 volunteers (as well as 15 or so horses and ponies. The animals don’t exactly volunteer, but they do enjoy the carrots they get as rewards).

The teachers we work with say this about GallopNYC:

It is amazing to watch my unruliest students calm down, my most  scattered students focus, my quietest students shout, and my least  expressive students laugh when they interact with you and the horses.... I feel like we can never do enough to express our gratitude.  --Special Needs Public School Teacher
We see measurable gains in academic skills in our riders, and we also see an increase in confidence and empathy. In a recent New York Times article, Randall Lockwood from the A.S.P.C.A. explains: “…empathy is  essentially innate, but I also think empathy can be learned, and I know  it can be destroyed.” The article states that equine-therapy programs are “one of the most promising methods for healing those whose empathic pathways have been stunted.”

Without GallopNYC, many children with disabilities in New York City would not otherwise have the opportunity to ride horses or to enjoy any animals in a positive, meaningful way. 

Contact GallopNYC at or (917) 740-4696, or send an e-mail to info [at]
Kensington Stables
51 Caton Place at E. 8th Street
(718) 972-4588
info [at]