Riding Towards Healing and Hope for Special Needs Communities

The Stoneybrook Foundation is a therapeutic horse riding center offering a variety of programs to improve the lives of children and adults living with special challenges. The organization services a wide array of people with disabilities, including wounded veterans, autistic people, people with developmental and learning disabilities, at-risk youth and more.

Paula Cinti, the executive director of the Stoneybrook Foundation, says she is proud to serve the students at the center and felt called to support the organization.

“I have always had a heart to serve the community but have only recently gotten involved with Stoneybrook Foundation after answering the calling on my heart to do more for the special needs community,” Paula says. 

Stoneybrook Foundation’s programs help students improve their physical as well as emotional wellbeing. Horseback riding can improve physical health by promoting balance, flexibility and muscle strength, and the relationship formed while working with horses provides therapeutic relief for riders with emotional challenges.

Making a difference in the lives of others is what Paula enjoys the most about her work.

“I love the scripture in the Bible when Jesus said, ‘What you do to the least of these, you do to me.’ I’ve always felt a need and a calling to help the less fortunate and those with special challenges,” she says. “I've chosen this work cause because the Stoneybrook Foundation's mission lines up with what's important to me.”

The facility is the only center in Westmoreland County accredited by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH). Therapeutic instructors are educated in equine management and are certified PATH International instructors. Paula says the organization hopes to add volunteer staff soon as well.

“It takes a number of instructors, therapists, staff and volunteers to make it all come together,” Paula says. “We look forward to welcoming volunteers in the near future and always welcome instructors and barn staff to reach out.”

The foundation is offering equine-assisted trauma and grief management beginning in June and has a Horse Powered Reading Program starting this summer. Those interested in applying to become Stoneybrook Foundation students can do so online at stoneybrookfoundation.org/new-students

Stoneybrook Foundation
260 Mountain Trail Lane
Acme, Pa. 15610
@StoneybrookFoundation on Facebook and Instagram
(724) 613-3312