Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center Serving all individuals with unique abilities and health needs

A Tree Shines at Pearl S Buck

A Tree Shines at Pearl S. Buck

From November 15th  through December 30th, the Ivy Hill Foundation, Inc. has the unique Pearl S Buck Treeopportunity to participate in a  historic Bucks County holiday tradition, the Pearl S. Buck Festival of Trees. The event showcases beautiful trees and vignettes designed and decorated by some of Bucks County’s best artists and decorators as well as by local community groups to convey the spirit of Pearl S. Buck’s legacy as an activist, humanitarian and author. Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center created their holiday presentation in Miss Buck’s bedroom, and joined Ivy Hill’s theme Horses + Love = Hope with Miss Buck’s quote “Hope Brings Comfort.”  Led by Ivy Hill Board of Director member and Quester Grace Emmell-Leister, the room pays tribute Pearl S Buck Bedroomto the horses and riders of Ivy Hill, as well as Miss Buck’s specia- needs daughter. “The idea for the room’s design was based on The Child Who Never Grew, Miss Buck’s personal story about her daughter” said Emmell-Leister. “I must say that we have captured the essence of what Pearl Buck was about, and I find it unique that we are in the inner sanction of her bedroom”  continued Emmell-Leister.  “The equestrian theme is justified because her children had equines on that property, and there are two pictures of her children in our room.” Throughout the room, quotes from Miss Buck’s  writings on handcrafted signs created by Ivy Hill Instructor Sarah Mantle Pearl S BuckYoungstrand are displayed that touch an emotional chord. Questers Gaudy Chapter #270 members Donna Cochran and Anita Lamond created a warm and personal design that includes two quilts handmade by Cochran, a winter village and train layout done by Rick Pool, and an equestrian-themed Christmas tree and decorations done by Chris Brockett, Bud Leister, John Cochrane and Howard Peters-Strickland.  During the Festival of the Trees,  about 2000 visitors will visit the Pearl S. Buck estate, located at 520 Dublin Pike in Perkasie, and vote for their favorite room. Please encourage your family and friends to see the wonderful work of all the decorators. Once again, thank you to Grace, Chris, Donna and John, Anita, Bud, Howard, Rick, and Sara.

Making Ivy Hill Greener


The Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center is in the middle of a new project to make the facility more sustainable and environmentally friendly.  It is called “Making Ivy Hill Greener.”   In December 2016, Ivy Hill started a recycling program, manure composting and rainwater collection.  In the future, Ivy Hill has plans to construct a Horticultural Therapy Garden using raised beds for Square Foot Gardening, which will provide easy access for the handicapped and another way to utilize the composted manure and collected rainwater. This therapeutic garden will complement the thriving equine assisted therapy program.

At Ivy Hill, our clients and horses are our top priority, and thus we want to develop an environmentally friendly facility. We have found three ways to help us achieve our goal of creating a positive environmental impact. This three- pronged approach includes manure management, water conservation and environmental education.

In addition to using a manure pickup service, Ivy Hill started composting our equine partners’  droppings.   Active Composting Manure has many benefits–fewer green-house gases are released from manure; it is more cost-effective than manure pickup,  finished compost can be spread on Ivy Hill facility gardens and pastures  and extra compost can be sold to landscaping companies to fundraise for current programs/horse care.

Currently, Ivy Hill uses an onsite well for all water needs. Wells can “dry-up” meaning that a new well must be dug deeper or in another area to reach more groundwater. This process is very expensive, so to reduce our dependency on the well, we have installed a rain water collection system. This new addition will allow us to water the indoor riding arena weekly, as well as the extensive landscaping.  It should be noted that water used for bathrooms and drinking water will continue to be sourced from the well.

Environmental education opportunities will flourish in a rich, hands on program at Ivy Hill. The water from the collection tank and finished compost will be used for an on-site vegetable and flower garden. Some of the many benefits of involving clients in the care of a vegetable/flower garden at the facility include fostering teamwork and leadership skills by working together to take care of a common garden, cultivating an appreciation for nature and living things and practicing fine and gross motor skills through watering, weeding and pruning.

Those working on “Making Ivy Hill Greener”  project include Chris Brockett, Grace Emmell Leister, Marissa Cubbage and Brad Walters and his family, who own Green Works Farm, as well as the Master Gardeners of Montgomery County. A junior at Juniata College studying Environmental Science and a summer intern at Ivy Hill, Marissa Cubbage is very involved in this project. She says, “Like any facility of its size, Ivy Hill has an environmental impact. Manure and rainwater management are complicated issues that need site-specific attention.  I am so glad to be a part of tackling this issue at an equestrian center where so many lives are positively affected.”

Board of Directors member Grace Emmell Leister has always been interested in the environment. She hopes that this will help to make Ivy Hill more sustainable through the cost savings associated with manure removal and the rain water collection to conserve that natural resource. Emmell Leister, an educator for over 30 years, loves to help today’s young people build their resumes. This project provides Marrisa Cubbage with actual school-to-work experience at the same time “Making Ivy Hill Greener.”

President and CEO Chris Brockett explained ” you broadly interpret our mission at Ivy Hill, we work to make life better while helping people with their challenges.This project continues our mission in some new and exciting ways.”

Volunteers and donors can help with our project in the following ways:

  • Donate materials for composting system or garden
  • Water and weed garden
  • Sell or purchase garden produce
  • Bag or purchase finished compost
  • Check and record daily temperature of active compost

If you have questions or would like to help with this project, please contact  Grace Emmell Leister at m_gel@comcast.net or Marissa Cubbage at marissacubb@gmail.com.

Newman’s Own Foundation $500k Holiday Challenge!!!

Ivy Hill is super excited to let you know that we’re part of an amazing campaign called the Newman’s Own Foundation $500k Holiday Challenge, a friendly fundraising competition where organizations compete to raise the most money for their cause throughout the holiday season.

We’re looking for our supporters to give as much as they can so we can win the grand prize of $150,000. And to help, each week there are Bonus Challenges which are opportunities to raise even more money and win extra cash for the cause.

For every $500 raised online by our organization between November 21st at 12pm ET and November 28th at 11:59:59pm ET, Ivy Hill will be entered for a chance to win $2,500. There will be 1 winner each day for a total of 8 winners.

If you want to go a step further and join our fundraising team, that would be even more incredible. Imagine the money we could raise together if you reached out to your network about our cause. To donate or to join the fundraising team, please  CLICK HERE.


 GreatNonprofits.org Award is based on Positive Online Reviews

2017 Top-Rated Non-Profit (002)


Perkasie, PA – Ivy Hill Foundation, Inc., d/b/a Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center announced today that it has been honored with a prestigious 2017 Top-­‐Rated Award by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations.

We are excited to be named a Top-­‐Rated 2017 Nonprofit,” says Chris Brockett, President & CEO, Ivy Hill Foundation, Inc. “We are proud of our accomplishments this year, especially our outreach program for seniors and our development of community collaborations. The Top-­‐Rated Nonprofit Award was based on the large number of positive reviews that Ivy Hill received – reviews written by volunteers, donors and clients. People posted about their personal experiences and relationships with Ivy Hill. For example, one parent wrote, “This therapeutic equestrian center has proven to be a God send. The instructors, the horses and everyone involved are just awesome, every day.”

While the Top-­‐Rated Awards run through the end of October, Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center was part of the inaugural group to qualify for the year. In addition, Ivy Hill has been added to GreatNonprofits #GivingTuesday Guide—an interactive guide to top nonprofits throughout the years. Look for this near the holidays for an opportunity to support the program.

“Savvy donors want to see the impact of their donations more than ever,” said Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits, “People with direct experience with Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center have voted that the organization is making a real difference.”

“Being on the Great Nonprofits Top-­‐Rated list gives donors and volunteers more confidence that this is a credible organization,” says Donna Carlson, Ivy Hill Foundation, Inc. Development Associate, “The reviews by volunteers, clients and other donors show the on-­‐the-­‐ground results of the impact Ivy Hill makes. This award reflects the recognition and appreciation of our community.”


About Ivy Hill: Since 1999, Ivy Hill has created therapeutic programs for individuals with cognitive, physical, emotional, behavioral and psychological needs utilizing the equine experience,

as well as providing financial, social and emotional support for their families and caregivers. Services include therapeutic riding, hippotherapy, Equine-Assisted Learning, mobile outreach and Inclusion Summer Camp. Ivy Hill also provides competition training for participation in Special Olympics, off-site competitions and Home Shows. Lessons are customized to the needs and goals of each individual rider.


About GreatNonprofits: GreatNonprofits is the leading site for donors and volunteers to find reviews and ratings of nonprofits. Reviews on the site influence 30 million donation decisions a year. Visit www.greatnonprofits.org for more information.

Media Contact:

Donna Carlson, RN, BS,     Ivy Hill Foundation, Inc. Development Associate, dcarlson@ivyhillequestrian.org, 215-822-2515

Ivy Hill Riders Triumphs in Harrisburg

Montgomery County Resident Wins in Equestrian Competition

 PERKASIE, PA – Briana Raquet, a 14-year old Ivy Hill rider from Harleysville took the Blue Ribbon for her performance in the Pennsylvania National Horse Show Foundation Friday Unassisted Therapy Championship Class on October 21.

Raquet, who has been riding at Ivy Hill since she was 5, was elated with her performance in Equitation on her Ivy Hill therapy horse Flash, a Norwegian Fjord.

Raquet“The Pennsylvania National Horse Show was an experience that I’ll never forget, thanks to my Ivy Hill Family,” said Raquet.

Raquet was one of two riders who successfully qualified for the Harrisburg competition by their performance at the Devon Horse Show this past summer. Raquet and Riley Powell, another Ivy Hill rider, excelled in their abilities on equitation, position and communication with their horses.

Renee DiDomenico, Raquet’s mother, credited her years at Ivy Hill for preparing her for this challenge and the challenges she faced every day.

“I am so grateful to Ivy Hill and her instructor Megan Hance for shaping her into the confident equestrian she has become,” said DiDomenico. “She started riding with Ivy Hill when she was only 5 and now, the barn has become part of her everyday life. When she is on the horses, she is confident and focused. We are so proud!”

For Briana Raquet, Ivy Hill has become a family affair. Her grandfather, Rick Pool, works at the barn and on the grounds and brings Briana to her weekly lessons and to the barn for her duties as a volunteer. He accompanied her to the horse show along with her Ivy Hill team.

“I had tears in my eyes when Briana won first place, given the challenges she has had since a young child of 5 years old riding at Ivy Hill.  None of this would have been possible without the dedication of the Ivy Hill family and horses at this wonderful facility,” said Rick Pool, Raquet’s grandfather.

About Ivy Hill: Since 1999, Ivy Hill has created therapeutic programs for individuals with cognitive, physical, emotional, behavioral and psychological needs utilizing the equine experience,

as well as providing financial, social and emotional support for their families and caregivers. Services include therapeutic riding, hippotherapy, Equine-Assisted Learning, mobile outreach and Inclusion Summer Camp. Ivy Hill also provides competition training for participation in Special Olympics, off-site competitions and Home Shows. Lessons are customized to the needs and goals of each individual rider.

For more information, to volunteer, or to donate to support Ivy Hill’s unique programs, visit www.ivyhillequestrian.org or call 215-822-2515.

Ivy Hill is a designated charitable organization of Thrivent Financial’s Choice Dollars Program!

We are pleased to announce that Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center is now a designated charitable organization of Thrivent Financial’s Choice Dollars Program. Thrivent Financial “connects faith and finances for good.

ThriventIf you are an eligible Thrivent Financial member and have Choice Dollars® available to direct, please keep us in mind. For more info or to direct Choice Dollars, call 800-847-4836 and say “Thrivent Choice”  Or click here: http://bit.ly/XJrPZN.”

Halloween Bash on Oct 26, 2017, 6-8 pm

Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center is proud to partner with Pritchard, Bieler, Gruver & Willison P.C. on their Halloween Bash  to provide those with special needs the opportunity to trick-or-treat in a fun and safe environment.  If you are interested in trick-or-treating, hosting a booth or becoming a sponsor please fill out and submit the registration form located at www.pbgwbash.com.






Ivy Hill Receives Widener Memorial Foundation and VNA Grant Awards

 PERKASIE, PA – Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center, located at 1811 Mill Road in Hilltown Township, has received major grant  awards this summer from the Widener Memorial Foundation in Aid of Handicapped Children and The VNA Foundation of Greater North Penn totaling over $48,000.

The Widener Memorial Foundation grant for $31,161 will fund the installation of an elevator to the facility’s second floor, as well as expand and complete the outdoor Sensory Trail that will be used in Ivy Hill’s  equine-assisted activities and therapeutic programs. The elevator will provide access for children, families and visitors with mobility challenges to participate in all activities at the facility. A Sensory Trail Touch and Try activity station will feature sports inspired activities designed to help improve a rider’s balance, eye/hand and bilateral coordination, tactile and defensiveness cognition.   Grace Emmell-Leister,   Ivy Hill Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors member and author of the grant, spoke of the inclusion and accessibility that was essential for all participants in the program.

” We are delighted that the Widener Memorial Foundation funded the proposal for an elevator for access to the second-floor arts and music therapy sessions, and materials for the Sensory Trail at Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center” said Emmell-Leister.  “These interactions are essential in the sometimes isolated world of a special needs child.”

Ivy Hill Foundation President and CEO Chris Brockett echoed those sentiments. “We are so grateful for this support from the Widener Memorial Foundation as it will allow us to expand the services we can offer to families with special needs children, our program participants and visitors to our facility “ said Brockett.

The VNA Foundation of Greater North Penn awarded Ivy Hill a $17,000 Behavioral Health Grant to create a collaborative partnership designed to achieve positive results with at-risk student populations from local school districts.

“The VNA Foundation values the important work done by Ivy Hill to partner within the community and improve the lives of so many”  said Executive Director Joanne Kline.

The goal of the partnership between Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center and the Souderton Vantage Academy is to develop therapeutic and behavior management utilizing the equine experience, enabling students to seamlessly and successfully transition learned skills to their home schools, engage in the world around them, build confidence, restore trust and reduce emotional isolation.

This is a great new opportunity to allow students an opportunity to build connections with these special animals as well as grow their self-esteem and confidence,  said Director Megan Hance.   We look forward to this partnership this school year.

For the last 18 years, Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center has remained focused on its Mission to create therapeutic programs for individuals with cognitive, physical, emotional, behavioral and psychological needs utilizing the equine experience.

To support Ivy Hill’s  programs, sponsor a horse or a rider, or volunteer at Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center, or for more information, please visit www.ivyhillequestrian.org, or call 215-822-2515.

For More Information, please contact:

Donna Carlson

Ivy Hill Foundation, Inc., Media Coordinator

dcarlson@ivyhillequestrian.org  |  609-290-4450