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Our History

In 1997 a group of local citizens joined together to offer a series of small equestrian events for the disabled youth and adult patients at Tewksbury Hospital. The success of these events and an appreciation for the historic and rural setting of the Tewksbury Hospital encouraged these citizens to establish a permanent therapeutic equestrian facility to serve not only patients but also the surrounding communities.

Strongwater Farm incorporated as a nonprofit Massachusetts corporation in 1998 and received permission to utilize a portion of the hospital campus for a therapeutic riding center. Renovation of the historic 1889 dairy barn was completed in July 2001 and Strongwater began offering therapeutic equestrian programs soon thereafter.

In 2004, Strongwater earned the designation as a PATH Intl. (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) Premier Accredited therapeutic riding center. PATH, Intl. is an internationally recognized oversight board for equine-assisted therapeutic programs. PATH, Intl. certification is designed to ensure that a select number of member centers achieve the highest level of safety and organizational proficiency and provide quality assurance for clients and their families.

Strongwater’s long term future was secured in 2008 when the Massachusetts Legislature passed, and Governor Mitt Romney signed, legislation granting Strongwater a 99 year ground lease for the property and building where it operates its therapeutic equestrian center.

Governor Mitt Romney signing legislation authorizing a 99-year lease between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Strongwater Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center. Governor Romney was joined by First Lady Ann Romney, Representative Jim Miceli, Senator Susan Tucker, Representative Barry Finegold, and representatives of Strongwater Farm. (State House Photo/ Abby Brack)

Over the years Strongwater’s staff have developed a wide range of equine-assisted activities and programs to serve children and adults with special needs, individuals with behavioral health issues, veterans and individuals with substance use disorders as well as providing recreational riding opportunities for the surrounding communities.

Strongwater Farm is spread over more than 400 acres of agricultural and conservation land located approximately 20 miles north of Boston in the town of Tewksbury, MA.