Equine Dreams

Rating: 4.82 stars   17 reviews

Issues: Health

Location: PO Box 372 Sandwich IL 60548 USA

Mission:  Our Mission:Our Faith enables us to nurture abilities in individuals with special needs.     Equine Dreams is a not-for-profit organization which provides therapeutic horseback riding to individuals with physical, cognitive, and social disabilities.  Our program began in 1998 and is a NARHA Premier Accredited Center.  We are dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and adults with special needs. All services are free to our clients.      Therapeutic riding uses equine assisted activities for the purpose of contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well being of individuals with disabilities.  Therapeutic riding is a unique tool in that with the assistance of a horse, an individual who is learning to balance can experience the three dimensional movement of ambulation. Through this movement the rider learns the functional tasks for weight shifting, balance, and equilibrium responses which are all necessary components of ambulation.       Other riders have social or cognitive disabilities and they benefit in numerous ways.  They learn basic skills through planned interaction and experiences with the horse. They learn not only riding skills, but also the structure, needs, personality and environment of a horse. They develop a sensitivity to the needs and learn all the activities involved in the grooming, feeding, caring for and riding these animals. Through these activities, the student develops an awareness of his own care and needs and a sensitivity to the needs and care of all things, living and inanimate, which he or she can apply to everyday learning.  They also work on listening skills, eye contact, right vs. left, along with many other cognitive skills.          Social isolation and limited access to services remain major problems to individuals with disabilities. Equine Dreams provides services to individuals as well as neighboring group homes and schools from three surrounding counties in Northern Illinois.   Equine Dreams operates entirely on funds generated by private donation, foundation grants, fundraising events and in-kind donations. This assistance allows access to services without placing a financial burden on its participants.          The demand is great and the benefits are remarkable. This drives all of us at Equine Dreams to continually seek new avenues to provide and expand services to the children and adults who need it most. Equine Dreams provides services to between 70-100 riders a week.          Equine Dreams is staffed by a large group of volunteers that includes six registered and one advanced NARHA Therapeutic Riding Instructors, who also have professional degrees in Physical Therapy with a specialty in Hippotherapy, Occupational Therapy, and Audiology.Volunteer run and donation driven.www.equinedreams.org
Programs: We provide equine assisted activities to individuals with disabilites.  We have run since 1998 and have always and will always continue to be free of charge to our participants. 

2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 4 stars  

Real confidence builder. Love this place. God Bless.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Likely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Quite well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

My son Nicolas participated in the program last year and it was fantastic. Not only did it help him build confidence, but also his doctors and therapists noticed great gains in his trunk control that is typically weakened by cerebral palsy. He has improved greatly over the past year and is now using a walker with moderate assistance. Before he relied on a gait trainer or wheelchair. The riding is also very beneficial to his hip development, which is also impacted by the spasticity caused by the CP. The riding helps keep his hips in proper alignment, according to the doctor we see at the Mayo clinic. The best part is that all he knows is that he loves riding the horse and being with the Equine Dreams volunteers!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

My son has cerebral palsy and is just getting ready to age into the program. We are so excited to begin. We've observed Equine Dreams and participated in the family fun day fundraisers. The people of the organization are what truly make it special. Volunteers like Barb and Windy are just wonderful. It is amazing how hard they work to keep the services for the kids who need them.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I was first introduced to Equine Dreams almost 10 years ago. In the beginning, I was able to serve as a volunteer, but due to career demands, my relationship changed to friend of the organization, legal counselor, and friend. Visiting several times per year has kept me up to date with the growth of the program and the ever increasing level of excellence. It is a privilege of know Sharon Mason, the executive director and founder and her steadfast husband and their family.
Our son, Ethan, has worked at the program during the last two summer. He always came home tired, dirty and very grateful to be in the company of the staff, the other volunteers and the participants.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Equine Dreams is a well thought out & planned organization dedicated to the challenged. It provides an avenue for a sense of both physical & emotional satisfaction, to those who have a more difficult time coping in their day to day lives. Sharon, Windy, Barb, Marilyn ... and all those who volunteer day after day at Equine Dreams to care for the horses & make the program work, should be commended for their dedication. They all have hearts as big as the horses for which they care! Great people! Great program!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Equine Dreams is run by marvelous volunteers who are selfless in their care and concern for others. They work tirelessly, providing not only their time for free, but often funds from their own pockets. Charities like this are what make being a human being worthwhile and wonderful!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

When you give ,without expectation of gain in any form ,Faith blossoms. This is evident at Equine Dreams , it is miraculous to witness the volunteers and clients served at this program day in and day out. It brings Faith ,Hope and Charity together in the most biblical form. I'm humbled and grateful to be a part of such a faith based group .

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Equine Dreams gave me an opportunity to share a special memory with my disabled daughter that is confined to a wheelchair. Sharon was so accommodating to our family. The volunteers are so helpful and caring. I will never forget our special mother daughter day at Equine Dreams. Equine Dreams offers this special program at no cost to the families, they completely rely on donations to fund this unique program.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

The amount of gratitude my entire family has for Equine Dreams is endless. Sharon and her team has dedicated and sacrificed a lot for their establishment and all their efforts haven't gone unnoticed. My daughter has been going to Equine Dreams since she was 3 years old. These volunteers, therapists and fellow parents have shared their knowledge with me and also set a great example of how my family can continue to teach my daughter so she can thrive in this world. They have an extraordinary gift for making us parents feel welcome and to also lend an ear for some much needed support. Every year Equine Dreams gets better and better. I only wish there was more I could do for them because they are the ones who taught me how to be a better parent for my child. That is a gift that keeps on giving! Equine Dreams is wonderful!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Equines dreams is a very special not-for-profit organization. The volunteers are incredibly patient, kind and educated in theraputic riding. This is a place where miracles happen! To see a person begin therapy from a wheel chair to end up walking on their own in a short time is truly amazing. There are so many more miracles to speak of and so many more to come to be in the future. This is one of the very few not-for -profits that is 100% volunteer run as well as 100% proceeds are used for Equine Dreams to continue to give free therapy to many many people. I am so proud of each and every person at Equine Dreams. They give dreams to the people they help.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I started volunteering for equine dreams 10 years ago. I had always loved horses but never had the opportunity to be around them. I also love to help others . Equine dreams is the perfect opportunity to do both. The wonderful people that give their time, resources and talents are all amazing. The benefit that the riders get is phenomenal. I personally have seen a 6 year old that struggles to walk even 4' increase his ability to walk 40' after therapeutic riding last season. Equine dreams is therapeutic for volunteers and all who participate . Barb W

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?