Stablework was invited to host a new local Special Olympics Equestrian Team beginning this June 2023. Wouldn't it be great if one of our local individuals got selected to compete on the U.S. Special Olympic Team? The U.S. just launched in 2022 its first U.S. Special Olympics Equestrian Team although this competition has been going on for years in the global community. We want to be a part of it!
THE MEET YOUR SPECIAL OLYMPIC EQUESTRIAN TEAM EVENT WAS A SOLD-OUT EVENT ON SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 3-5 PM, RAIN OR SHINE, AT THE ITHACA EQUESTRIAN CENTER, 1458 TRUMANSBURG ROAD, ITHACA.
Our Team members took the GOLD and SILVER medals in their level of the dressage competition at the Special Olympics Falls Games on October 21. We are so proud.
READ ABOUT OUR KICK OFF EVENT IN MAY 2023
And it's happening fast! After 4 weeks of training, coming 1 or 2x a week, one of our Challenge Workforce participants entered an Employment Training Internship review, and one has already graduated from our Level 1 skills in animal care. Between 40 to 70% of our current trainees are now expected to start Employment Training Internships within the next six to twelve months.
At the close of 2022, 75% of our trainees have gone on or about to go on to paid employment. In addition, one participant has chosen to go back to school, one has matriculated in college, one has learned to drive, one has gone on to Job Corps, and one has chosen a more independent vocational path. We are so proud of all of them!
As of June 2022, Stablework started its private community classes in routine horse and goat care and related barn chores. We are proud that our participants have now gone on to find paid and volunteer work in different positions.
Our retired Horses, Guvnor and Lad, joined us in August 2021 and were great team members, part of the vocational training program.
In June 2023, they moved to a new home with greater space to accommodate them.
A new horse, Carcajada ("Jada"), from the Cornell Polo Team, is now with us, together with Buddy, from the the Cornell Equestrian Team. Jada was a very active polo player until she got injured. We are lucky to have this sweetheart who is best friends with Buddy. Buddy himself is an injured former barrel racer and participant in research trials at Cornell.
We are forming an equestrian drill team composed of experienced and new adult riders, from diverse backgrounds, that we hope will be performing at local benefits for various worthy causes.
If interested, contact email@example.com.
Resi, a very special goat, arrived on April 19th, 2022. She may have trouble walking due to some motor impairments, but she is no push-over! Resi is one resilient goat. We built an "accessible" goat playground so that Resi can be included in all the fun.
Video courtesy of our wonderful goat provider, Hilltop Haven Farmstead, located in Cameron Mills, NY. They are like-minded in their outstanding kindness for animals and the people that care about them.
Fun fact: President Abraham Lincoln had pet goats in the White House!
We are proud to announce that the New York State Department of Education ACCESS VR program has approved Stablework to be a site for a Community Based Work Experience. One was filled in summer 2022, with hopefully others to follow. Our ACCESS VR participant went on to community college and then to a 4 year college program. We are proud of him.
We are excited that SUNY Binghamton Speech and Occupational Therapy departments are in the process of opening it’s doors for graduate students and have chosen Stablework for a future partnership to provide on-site internships.
The SUNY Binghamton Speech and Occupational Therapy students and professionals would help our trainees enhance and further develop specific vocational skills in our natural setting.
Children's Book, RESI ON THE ROOF
We wrote the true story of how Stablework participants built an adaptive ramp for Resi so she could be included on the roof with the other goats. This book is being circulated for publication, hopefully inspiring children to be resilient like Resi.
"So happy we were able to collaborate on this to give Buddy his best life.
Buddy originally came to Cornell to participate in research but it became clear that he'd need a higher level of care than he could get in the research herd, so his research veterinarian sent him to the team as a possible riding horse. Buddy was a favorite of the team, but he couldn't hold up to the level of work we'd needed him to do, despite intensive veterinary and farrier work. In the spring CRC asked for a couple of horses to participate in their "Equine Encounter" and I thought of Buddy because of his great manners and friendly nature. He was a hit! He participated in three weekends of therapeutic encounters. We knew then that this was his calling. Stablework was mentioned to me by our barn manager and when I saw the program I knew it would be a perfect fit! Meeting Lisa and Bob and seeing their beautiful facility sealed the deal. It was a perfect match. We're all grateful Buddy has found a place where he can live his best life and do what he does best- be everyone's best buddy. Thank you both so much!!!"
Joanna Novakovic, Head Coach, Cornell University Equestrian Team
" As the premiere agency in Tompkins County for providing vocational supports to disabled workers, Challenge has been excited to see Stableworks Inc. enter the local scene and we have been eager to begin work with them. We know that vocational fields such as animal care, agriculture and veterinary assistance all have strong growth projections. We also work with a large number of people who are interested in those fields, though we have often struggled to find opportunities for exploring them. So for us, a partnership like the one we have with Stableworks Inc. fills a valuable gap. In a very short period of time, our collaboration with Stableworks Inc. has already provided engaging and transformative vocational programming opportunities to our participants and we cannot wait to see how this already vibrant program evolves.”
Briggs Seekins, Director of Employment and Vocational Services, Challenge Workforce Solutions.
"Thank you, Lisa. With you folks, he (my son) is getting more of a sense of what he CAN do. This is a lovely change from his experience with school."
Parent of trainee at Stablework.
"We cannot thank Lisa, Bob, and Paula enough for the opportunity to learn dressage and compete in the Olympics! You're all are life changers! " October 2023
"One of the trainees at Stablework came into our program a few months before we started working with Stableworks. This trainee identified socialization as one of his biggest barriers when it came to employment/continuing education. When he first started he did not eat in front of staff or peers and did not like advocating for himself. When he first started at Stableworks, he was hesitant about getting near the horses, but expressed interest. One of the first times I heard him advocate for himself was when he said that he wanted to go to Stableworks for both days of his programming. He also said he drove past the stables with his parents so he could show them the horses he was so fond of. Recently the trainee has been “leading” the groups. He delegates tasks to his peers and tells them “good job” “can you do this next?”, all things I had not seen before Stableworks. The trainee also talks to the horses and greets them. His progress in prevocational services has shown immensely since he started working at Stableworks. The trainee also responds very well to Lisa, the owner of Stableworks. The trainee has also advocated that he would like to visit Stableworks some weekend, so his parents could meet the horses. "
Brendan Shaw, Manager of Prevocational Services at Challenge:
"This has been a wonderful experience. The folks at Stablework are open, kind, and patient as they work with my 19 year old. He needs direct supervision for some activities, and they trust him to take the lead on other tasks as he has gotten more comfortable. The animals are a joy to work with - I hear many stories about the personalities of the goats and horses, always with a big smile on his face. This is the type of program we need more of in this community! What a great way to learn and grow. Thanks Lisa and Bob!"
Parent of Access VR employee at Stablework
"Stablework has provided individuals enrolled in our prevocational program an opportunity to grow and improve work skills in an environment that enhances and enriches their development. Lisa and her husband Bob work side by side with our individuals to assist them in learning and improving their work skills helping them to attain competitive employment in their communities. Stablework is a real functioning farm where our individuals develop and improve skills working on a variety of tasks including building projects, landscaping, gardening and animal care. We are very fortunate to be able to participate in a program that fosters their creativity and encourages them to successfully attain goals. Lisa and Bob created this company in hopes of providing an opportunity for individuals who want to work in their community, a place to start. They are skilled at working with individuals with a variety of challenges and have created a comprehensive curriculum that can be modified based on the specific needs of each person. "
Michelle L Brickey Senior Team Leader of Pre-Employment Services at J. M Murray, support services organization in Cortland, NY,
The Community Foundation of Tompkins county awarded a 2022 and a 2023 Resilient Communities Spring Grant to Stablework. The Community Foundation was established in 2000, has a mission to bring people and resources together to build a more equitable Tompkins County by inspiring diverse philanthropy, catalyzing collaborations and championing inclusion and justice. We are honored to receive these grants.
In 2022, the Ithaca Rotary Club awarded a grant to Stablework to support our woodworking program. Our participants not only learned valuable trade skills, but we are hoping to display to the public the home furnishings they built.
Thank you to Ithaca Equestrian Center for donating so much time and effort to launching the Special Olympic Equestrian Team at Stablework. With the expertise of their individual horse trainers, we know we will have the winning team at Saratoga.
Thank you to UNITED WAY OF TOMPKINS COUNTY and the T. MERRELL SHIPHERD FUND for their 2023 grant to Stablework. We are honored to receive this support and recognition of Stablework's efforts to improve the quality of life of individuals in the community.
Thank you for the J.M. McDonald Foundation Inc. for generously supporting us. The Foundation was created in 1952 by Mr. J. M. McDonald. Over the past 53 years, Trustees of the Foundation have sought to uphold J. M.'s desire to improve education and social programs in and around the upstate New York area.
The Rothenberg Charitable Fund
Mr. and Mrs. Scott and Sheri Klein
The Cornell University Equestrian Team
The Cornell University Polo Team
Ithaca Bakery and Collegetown Bagels
Anne and Bill Chernish's Toad Hill Farm
Lake Life Realty
Copycats Second Avenue Corporation
We are honored to receive these grants and donations.
SPECTRUM NEWS 1 Central New York/S Tier interviewed us and broadcast a segment in May 2022.
If you are interested in our written curriculum materials, we are happy to spread the word. A nominal fee may apply.
Stablework is looking to place qualified trainees for occasional stable hand work. Hire a stable hand from Stablework!
Lad enjoyed spending time with one of our participants and his parents. He loves company!
To schedule a visit, contact us at