Pony Power: Achieving Well-Being through Horse-Assisted Activities

September 12, 2018 12:15 pm - 1:45 pm


Columbia School of Social Work 1255 Amsterdam Avenue Room C03 New York, NY 10027

Sponsored by the Office of Professional Excellence


1.5 CEUs available for NYS, NJ, and CT licensed social workers. The fee is $30. If you are from a different state, please contact swope@columbia.edu.


Presenters’ PPT: Columbia University-Equine Therapy Achieving Well-Being Through a Centuries-Old Tool (PDF: 40 pages)


About the Event

For centuries, horses have been our companions in work, war, leisure, and therapy. Pony Power Therapies, a non-profit organization, facilitates therapeutic interactions with horses for children and adults. This workshop explores the ways in which equine therapy can enhance physical, social, and emotional wellbeing for at-risk and special needs populations. Participants will learn from a team of experts the ways in which equine therapy can improve quality of life for people with schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s Disease, mood disorders, anxiety, and PTSD.

About the Presenters

Dana Spett. MSW
is the Executive Director of Pony Power Therapies, which she founded in 2000 with four riders and one horse. An accomplished equestrian from a young age, she became certified for equine therapy by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International when one of her three daughters was diagnosed with sensory integration issues. In 2003, Pony Power purchased Three Sisters Farm in Mahwah, NJ and established an inclusive horse-assisted activity center.

Diego Coira, MD, FAPA is president and founder of The Coira Institute in Franklin Lakes, NJ. During his career at Hackensack University Medical Center, he served as Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry, Medical Director of Integrative Medicine, and Director of the Debra Simon Center for Integrative Medicine. Dr. Coira has been a pioneer in developing integrated healthcare services in both inpatient and outpatient settings. He is board certified in psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, and addiction medicine. He is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and is board certified in Psychiatry, psychosomatic Medicine and Addiction Medicine.

Margaret (Midge) Grady, MSN, APN-C, is a board certified Nurse Practitioner and a founding partner of The Coira Institute in Franklin Lakes, NJ. During her career at Hackensack University Medical Center, she served as the Administrative Director of the Department of Psychiatry and Integrative Medicine and the Co-Director of the Debra Simon Center for Integrative Medicine. Ms. Grady has been a pioneer in developing integrated healthcare services in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Rafael Coira, MD, JD is a lawyer licensed in New Jersey and a second year resident in psychiatry at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. He hopes to combine his medical and legal careers to help develop a healthcare system that provides access to quality care for all.

Abigil West is an advanced clinical practice student at CSSW. She interned at Pony Power Therapies in her first year and will be at the Coira Institute in her final year, where she will see clients and assist in conducting research at Pony Power Therapies.

Continuing Education Contact Hours Information

1.5 contact hours are available for NYS, NJ and CT Licensed Social Workers for a fee of $30. For other states please email swope@columbia.edu. In order to receive your continuing education certificate, you must attend the entire workshop. Certificates will be emailed within 30 days of the workshop. CSSW is an approved NYSED provider for continuing education contact hours and a CSWE accredited institution.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe impactful interactions of horses with humans.
  2. Identify alternative integrative interventions for treatment that including animal-assisted therapy, nutrition, nature, and mindfulness practices.

Special Accommodations and Grievance Policy

For information on special accommodations or our grievance policy, click here.

Cancellation Policy

Fees will be refunded less a $5.00 processing fee, if written notification is received by the Office of Professional Excellence up to two weeks prior to the workshop date.


About five minutes before the event, go to this link:


All registrants will receive a reminder of this link around 30 minutes before the program starts.


  1. Do not open the link in more than one window or you will hear an echo.
  2. Make sure your speaker volume is turned up.
  3. Type your questions for the speakers into the chat.
  4. Ethernet is more reliable than wifi.

Questions on Livestream?

Please contact swcommunications@columbia.edu. We look forward to seeing you on livestream on Wednesday, September 12.


If you have any questions about the event, please contact swope@columbia.edu.


Request information.