Professor of Equine Studies
Director of Therapeutic Riding
Phone: ext. 2174

Academic Accomplishments

  • EdM, Harvard Graduate School of Education 1971
  • DHL, Honorary, Centenary University, 2008


Octavia Brown has been in the field of Therapeutic Riding for more than 40 years. She received her Master of Education degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 2008 from Centenary. She was a founder of the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (now PATH International) in 1969, serving four terms on the board of directors. She is a PATH Master Instructor and has chaired numerous committees for PATH, including Standards & Education and Certification.

She is past president of the Federation Riding for the Disabled International, having served six years on the board of trustees. She has lectured in many countries at conferences and seminars.

Dr. Brown founded the Somerset Hills Handicapped Riders, Oldwick, NJ (now Mane Stream)  in 1972, and was co-founder in 1980 of HRH of NJ (Health and Recreation through Horses of New Jersey) – the country’s first state-level therapeutic riding agency.

Dr. Brown has been associated with Centenary since 1993, when she was the Gates-Ferry Distinguished Lecturer and taught part time through 1996. She returned to Centenary to teach full time in 1997. In 2003, she founded Therapeutic Riding at Centenary, a PATH premier accredited center. As well as offering therapeutic riding to clients from the Hackettstown area, TRAC serves as the teaching practicum site for Centenary’s PATH-approved instructor certification course.

Dr. Brown was honored in 1982 as NJ Horse Person of the Year by the NJ Horse Council.  In 1990, she received the PATH Directors’ Award and the President’s Award.  In 1998, she was awarded PATH’s highest honor, the James Brady Award for Lifetime Achievement in Therapeutic Riding.  In 2008, with Karen T. Bocksel, she was honored with the PATH President’s Award for their work on producing a training video for instructors seeking PATH certification, as well as a volunteer training video currently in use nation-wide.

Published Works

Brown, Octavia J. and Tebay, Jean M. (1997)  Directory of Education and Training, 4th Edition, The Federation of Riding for the Disabled International, Therapeutic Riding Services, Riderwood, MD, USA.

Brown, Octavia J.  “Educating Future Therapeutic Riding Specialists,” Scientific and Educational Journal of Therapeutic Riding 1998, Olive J. Webb Editor, Federation of Riding for the Disabled International, Christchurch, NZ.

Directions in Human-Animal Interaction Research:  Child Development, Health and Therapeutic Interventions, 2010.    Co-editors: Peggy McCardle (NICHD), Sandra McCune (The Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, a Division of Mars Inc), Fuambai Ahmadu (NICHD), James Griffin (NICHD), and Karyl Hurley(Mars Inc).Freund, Lisa S., Brown, Octavia, Buff, Preston:  Chapter 11. Hippotherapy for children with developmental disabilities: an overview of research findings and the types of research being currently conducted.

Octavia J. Brown:  “ Some thoughts on the status of EAA/T research  in the USA and globally.”  2009 Proceedings of FRDI Congress, 2009, Muenster, Germany.  Deutsche Kuratorium fur Therapeutisches Reiten.