michells-teamLocated near Gettysburg, PA, Shining Stars Therapeutic Ministries (SSTM) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to provide therapeutic horsemanship programs to children, adults & families with special needs in order to improve physical, mental, emotional and social areas of their lives.

SSTM serves local communities, generally in Adams and York Counties, PA, with student registration open to anyone 3 to 80+ years old with special needs. Instructor-guided exercises, activities and games provide opportunities for student challenge and progress, as well as a means of recreation & enjoyment. We have received many client referrals from surgeons, neurologists, hospitals, schools, etc.,·with recommendations from Hershey Medical Center, the Mental Health/Mental Retardation organization, and United Cerebral Palsy.

At present, the organization coordinates over 130 service-minded volunteers to implement its current programs. All volunteers are required to have background clearances and attend classroom and arena trainings.

Construction of our indoor arena/Therapeutic Learning Center is finished! The TLC will enable us to offer a year-round program in a covered facility meaning no more losses in student progress because of the weather.


~Hochie: An Angel in Horse's Clothing~


Ariana Stambaugh, 8, of New Cumberland, practices riding skills on Hochie, a 30 year-old American paint horse Oct. 22 at the Thomas L. Cline therapeutic learning center at Freedom Valley Worship Center near New Oxford. (Shane Dunlap - The Evening Sun)Everyday Hero: Shining Stars' Hochie known as 'angel in horse's clothing'
The 30-year-old horse works with the most delicate riders at Shining Stars Therapeutic Riding Ministries


From The Evening Sun   By Jennifer Wentz


Eight-year-old Ariana Stambaugh focuses on the arena in front of her as she gives the brown and white spotted horse her command: "Trot." He obeys almost before the words are out, and soon Ariana's blonde pigtails are bouncing on her pink-clad shoulders as he gracefully navigates an orange traffic cone.


Not long ago, people could have watched the horse, Hochie, performing more complicated tricks at rodeos and trick-riding shows while his owner, Brandy Crago, performed athletic feats on his back. 

Read more at The Evening Sun


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~Stars and Stripes Veterans Program~

Stars and Stripes Veterans ProgramStars and Stripes is Shining Stars’ innovative program designed for military veteran needs.


Our second year of working with vets began in March 2015.


All veterans, from any era, are welcome to participate with us in “natural horsemanship” and many other therapeutic endeavors, including grooming and horse behavior.


Veterans and horses working together has proven to be a beneficial pairing. Programs have become very popular across the Country, providing vets with an outlet for dealing with emotions and issues that they may carry from their military service. Horses and people interact in such a way that simply working together can significantly lower stress and anxiety levels.


We provide a comfortable setting for our US veterans to re-energize their lives by starting something brand new. There is no cost to the veterans themselves in this program. At present we are running every Saturday morning at the TLC Arena (3185 York Road, Gettysburg) from 10 am to 12 pm.


Call Mark Murosky at 602-790-5110 to register or ask for more information. Stars and Stripes will be back in session Spring 2015. Check back for updates and info. While veteran’s families are welcome, of course, keep in mind that the Program is designed for the vets themselves and any family member over 18.

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CommunityAid Partnership

CommunityAid Partnership

SSTM is now a CommunityAid Partner! Read more about it & Pitch In. Drop off donations in our bin at Freedom Valley Spring Grove, 23 W. Jackson St., Spring Grove, PA

Summer Horse Camp

Horse Camp

Our 2015 Summer Horse Camps were a great success! Join us in the Fall for our regular sessions!

Horse Camp includes riding lessons, swimming, crafts, character-building Bible lessons, journals, visits from equine pros and more. We offer several sessions each season.

Horsemanship Programs

Horsemanship Programs

Horsemanship Programs help adults and children get the rehabilitative therapy they need.

They don't even realize that they're getting physical therapy—they're having a really good time and a lot of fun while they're doing it. Physical therapy like that can't be found in a classroom or doctor's office!

Silver Stars

silver stars

The Silver Stars program is specifically designed for senior citizens.

Equine therapy is effective in helping older folks who suffer from depression, feelings of isolation, anxiety and other psychological issues. Shining Stars offers a variety of ways to incorporate horses into a weekly physical routine that helps to strengthen muscles, as well. Contact us for more information.