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.