News & Announcements

Therapeutic Riding at Centenary (TRAC) Program Continues to Serve Clients with Special Needs after 10 Years

07/22/2013, 10:03 AM

Hackettstown, N.J. - The Therapeutic Riding at Centenary (TRAC) program has served children and adults with disabilities in North and Central New Jersey since its opening 10 years ago. The full-service therapeutic riding program, which is housed at the College’s Equestrian Center in Long Valley, N.J., has offered equine assisted activities to its clients since the program began in 2003.

For the ninth summer in a row, TRAC will run Centenary Riding Experience, a two-week riding program for current clients, starting at the end of July. Participants will work on their riding skills and learn about caring for a horse.

Participants meet from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Equestrian Center, where they ride each day for up to an hour and a half and learn how to care for, groom, tack and bathe their horses. They also learn about equine anatomy and enjoy an equine-related arts and crafts session.

“TRAC and therapeutic riding programs across the country, in general, have made such an impact on many people,” says Dr. Octavia Brown, Professor of Equine Studies at Centenary College and Director of TRAC. “It is a pleasure to acknowledge that we are celebrating our 10th year of service and the program is one that is extremely successful and sought after by clients near and far.”

Therapeutic horseback riding offers a variety of benefits for children and adults with disabilities.  As a physical activity, sitting on a moving horse causes the rider’s upper body to respond to the movement of the horse in a three-dimensional manner.  The rhythm of 80 to 100 steps each minute stimulates reflexes and balance reactions in a way that cannot be duplicated by the human therapist. On the psychological and emotional level, the thrill of being seated on a horse or pony that is trained to respond willingly to the rider’s signals is a powerful benefit.  As a form of cognitive therapy, the rider learns to relate to the space of the riding arena, including other riders and special equipment, and interact with his horse to navigate safely. 

Dr. Brown will also share her knowledge in South Korea this summer after the completion of the Centenary Riding Experience program. She will present two talks at the 2013 International Sport Conference hosted by the Korean Society of Leisure and Recreation and sponsored by the Korean Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.    Subjects will be the scientific evidence of the effectiveness of equine assisted activities and therapies, and the education of TR instructors at Centenary and the USA in general.  Dr. Brown will also be touching base with Centenary alumni who are working in therapeutic riding in Korea thanks to the training they received at Centenary through the TRAC program. 

For further information about volunteering or becoming a TRAC client, please call Professor Brown at (908) 852-1400, ext. 2174, or e-mail her at browno@centenarycollege.edu. in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary College’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix is designed to provide an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world.


Centenary College’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township (Morris County).  The Centenary College School of Professional Studies offers degree programs online and in two locations: Parsippany and Edison, and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.  The School of International Programs recruits international students for study at Centenary and Centenary students for study abroad.