APRIL 2019


From The Director's Saddle

By Brandy Crago
SSTM Executive Director
We are in week 5 of the Spring riding session and already we are getting incredible reports from parents and caregivers.  Families are seeing amazing advances in their riders and goals set for this session are being met, and in some cases exceeded.

Ruby is one example of courage and joy. Ruby spends much of her time in a wheel chair. Her Mom was told that therapeutic riding might help Ruby develop the muscles needed in order for her to support weight and promote walking.

After only 3 weeks of riding, Ruby’s Mom was excited to show us a video. This sweet little girl was moving her hips to music and laughing as she “danced” in her chair. She had never been able to do that before!  The entire team of volunteers that help her ride tried to hold back tears of joy as we watched the “dancing” video. It was truly a gift from God!

Another mother shared that her son with autism becomes extremely verbal at the arena. Most of the time he chooses not to speak in public which we could hardly believe. That’s a side of this little boy we haven’t seen, and it only happens in the arena.

At SS we have the most amazing job ever. To watch, and be a part of the miracles that God performs through the horses and volunteers. Laughter and joy are contagious. As we serve one another in love our joy is full!

 “God keep us near your grace-fountain and bless us!
And when you look down on us, may your face beam with joy!”

Psalm 67:1 (TPT)

Exciting Happenings

Shining Stars All Around
Egg-cellent Fundraiser!!
By Deanna Hyser
SSTM Instructor & Fundraising Committee
We just wrapped up making candy Easter eggs for our 9th annual fundraiser. We made 527 dozen!!  Over the last 2 weekends we had over 30 volunteers mix, mold, dip and pack peanut butter and coconut chocolate eggs. The orders have all been filled, but there will be a small amount for sell at the arena on a first come--first serve basis in case you missed ordering any or just need some extra.  Thank you to all who helped make this fundraiser happen. We couldn’t have done it without you!!
to our TALENT SHOW performers!

We had a great time celebrating their talents.
Thank you to everyone who came out!

2019 Capital Campaign

Shining Stars Therapeutic Riding Program (SSTR) is a 501c3 non-profit organization with a mission to provide a means of therapy using horses to help people with disabilities.

SSTR is celebrating its 15th year in equine therapy. We currently have over 200 participants, 207 volunteers and 16 horses.

Our programs include:
Therapeutic Riding
Cart driving for students and seniors unable to get on the back of a horse
Summer Horse Camps for foster kids and single parent families
Saturday Night Respite (care givers get a 2 hour break while we enjoy the kids)
Stars & Stripes veterans’ program……and more.
Many people are familiar with the indoor Therapeutic Learning Center (TLC) located on York Rd in Gettysburg, but are not aware that the horses cannot be housed there because of zoning regulations. Our horses live on a farm 6 miles from the TLC and are hauled to classes each day. The farm has a 13 stall barn, 4 separate fields, a run-in shed, an outdoor arena, and a house for the stable manager/director to live in plus rooms for offices. This is where we hold Summer Horse Camps, training, cart lessons, and Equine Biology classes.

The current owners are planning to retire soon and must sell the farm, giving SSTR first option to buy. The purchase of this farm will give us a permanent home for our horses and the ability to continue the additional programs mentioned for generations to come.
In order to acquire such a purchase SSTR is looking for “Legacy Givers”. Individuals willing to sow into our special needs community to assure these therapies will be available to them in the future.

 Each Legacy Giver would donate $1200.00 and will have a plaque placed in the TLC to commemorate their part in making this mission possible and to keep their legacy alive!

Please consider the importance of becoming a "Legacy Giver" to bless others!
Go to our website link for detailed information on how you can do this:                             

Volunteers Are Special

The Heart & Hands of Our Programs
Meet Out Newest Instructor!
By Brandy Crago, SSTM Executive Director
In the early fall of 2014, a new volunteer signed up at Shining Stars hoping to make a difference and surround herself in God’s love.  Jenny Prieber, a fifth year volunteer has moved from side walking to leading our wonderful horses, to now becoming one of our newest instructors! She is currently serving as an instructor on Monday night’s lessons.

Jen loves coming for two reasons: seeing the children smile and being in the place of God’s work. “Just opening the door of the arena, I can feel my heart rejoice! And instantly I feel the Lord’s presence, it’s one of my favorite places to be in the whole world,” she recalls.  Jenny’s work with children has been the pivot of her life, this year she will be completing her twentieth year of teaching in the York County school system. The best part of volunteering for her is summer camp. She added, “Summer camp is amazing! We gather at Brandy’s place or barn and learn all about the horses. I think I learn more that week than any class that I’ve taken! Plus, Brandy’s bible lessons stay with you deep in your heart.” 

But what about the horses? Jenny has always had a love for animals, especially dogs and horses. She couldn’t name a favorite horse at Shining Stars, but says Red has a special place in her heart. In ending, she is so grateful for all the volunteers at Shining Stars, without a single one of them helping, our family wouldn’t be complete, and a huge thanks to her husband, Craig Prieber, who supports her beliefs and willingness to help others. Next time you see our volunteer, Jenny Prieber, be sure to say Hi.


Coming Events!

APRIL 27....Gettysburg Riding Club Benefit Show
By Karen Bowling, Newsletter Editor
Plans are underway for the Annual Gettysburg Riding Club's Benefit Horse Show on Saturday April 27, 2019. This is a great local show which gives some of our Shining Stars students the opportunity to ride in several events in public. As before, there are two "regular" classes and two Therapeutic Riding events for our students. And for more fun, there is an "old time" cake walk---so bring $1 if you want to participate in that, along with other fun-loving walkers, and get a chance to win some sweets.  OR just bring baked goods or cookies to donate for the event.

 There are a limited number of spaces for our kids to participate in the Gettysburg Riding Club's Show on Apr. 27...but we try our best, and hope no one feels left out. Your showtime may come next year!

 All are welcome to come on over to the Alice & Kennie Foust Equestrian Park, 102 Hounds Run, Gettysburg, PA to enjoy the horse activities & watch our students (and many other riders!) perform.  Bring a chair and sunscreen!!  The show begins at 9am and can run until 3 or 4pm if there are alot of riders. The Shining Stars students' events are usually completed by noontime. Our faithful friend, the Gettysburg Riding Club, donates proceeds to Shining Stars.

If you have a horse, you are welcome to come participate & ride in the Fun Show..jumping, barrels, poles, more! ...for info, classes and entry fees go to
By Lynn Redden, SSTM Driving Program Director

Shining Stars was lucky enough to have 3 Lovely Ladies join the Driving Program as students in the Spring Session of 2018. They have brightened our sometimes grey and cold arena and always make our volunteers smile. One of the Ladies noticed our hodge podge kicking straps (put together with whatever we had).  She went home, pulled out her leather and tool kit and made us beautiful kicking straps for both driving horses and minis, even emblished with ornate stars and colors to match the harnesses.  These ladies have participated every session since and looked forward to the Fun Show  -  twice last year.  We are all keeping out fingers crossed the weather and wet ground can support our Fun Show April 27th.  The three students will be participating at the same time in a Country Pleasure Driving Class to show what they have learned in the last year. Please come out and cheer them on.
Come out to Shining Stars 5th Annual Spring Bazaar!!!
We will have a food stand and we are also taking pre-orders for
Chicken Dinners which includes half a chicken, macaroni salad,
baked beans apple sauce and a diner roll & butter for $10.
Dinner tickets are available by contacting
Maggie 717-321-5981 or
Yard sale and crafters contact Melissa Bowlin 717-253-8520

We are doing indoor spaces $20 and outdoor spaces $10, rain or shine.

Confirmed spots

Shirley Baker - Hand poured candles,
crocheted afghans and pillows

The Popcorn Lady of Pa

AVON - Melissa Bowlin
Color Street - Kandi Troy
We still have a few slots left for summer horse camp. If you are interested and your independent rider is between the ages of 7 and 14 please sign up ASAP. 
Get a registration form here


Spring TR Classes ........March 11- May 10

Summer TR Classes......June 10- Aug 2
Rider Registration begins April 29, 2019

Fall TR Classes..............Sept 11- Nov 15
Rider Registration begins July 22, 2019
Benefit Horse Show
Held at outdoor arena, 102 Hounds Run, Gettysburg
April 27, 2019

Spring Bazaar & Yard Sale
May the SSTM arena

SSTM Golf Outing
June 22 the Mountain View Golf Club

Horse Camp... August 5-9  

FOR CLASSES or HORSE CAMP GET REGISTRATION FORMS at or call  717-398-8327     
click here to see our past newsletters!


Brandy Crago, Executive Director  

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 SHINING STARS Therapeutic Learning Center/Indoor Arena is located at
 3185 York Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325

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Shining Stars Therapeutic Ministries · 3185 York Road, Gettysburg, PA, United States · Gettysburg, PA 17325 · USA

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