Victory Reins Therapeutic Riding Center

Rating: 4.99 stars   106 reviews

Issues:

Location: 11900 W Offner Rd Peotone IL 60468 USA

Mission: To provide therapeutic recreational equine activities for children and adults with special needs to experience the bond that is created between horse and rider. Empowering them to be victorious in all areas of life and reach their fullest potential.
Results: Since inception in Oct 2007, we have grown from 5 students to 40 plus steady students in additon to hosting special needs groups for day trips to the farm. We educate them with hands on learning experience with all the animals on the farm in a safe and supervised environment. The benefits impact them physically, cognitively and psychologically. These aspects of the session awaken their awareness, increase coordination and attention span, along with giving them a CAN DO attitude to succeed in life. Providing volunteer opportunities for school groups, individuals and community service workers to enable them to give back to their communities.
Target demographics: Handicapped, disabled or special needs people Volunteers who want to assist people with disabilities in the South Chicagoland area and surrounding suburbs.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 40 plus special needs students with various disibilities like CP, MS, Autism, ADHD, Learning disibilities,Speech delays etc.and their families, plus groups from Elim , Cornerstone, St. Colletta's, The Lions Club, various preschools, Girl scouts, Brownie groups and youth groups.
Geographic areas served: Northern Il.
Programs: Riding sessions that takes therapy out of the clinical setting and puts it in a safe and fun environment. Horse/animal care education and hands on experience.
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EIN 20-8829238
815-478-4879
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I absolutely love this program. Victory reins is welcoming to everyone no matter who you are. Its goal is to help others and that is exactly what it does. It also has taught me responsibility and patience. Unfortunately I have not been there within the past few months, but I do wish to return and continue to help out.

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?

A lot

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

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I've been volunteering at VR for about 2.5 years now and I absolutely love it. By volunteering, I take care of the horses by grooming and feeding them along with the other volunteers. Cleaning the barn, mucking stalls, and taking care of the horses would be considered the "behind the scenes" work that's done there. Other things that I do as a volunteer is take-part in lessons. The lessons consist of disabled children riding horses and someone needs to walk with the child alongside the horse to interact with him/her. Another person needs to be a leader of the horse, to make sure the horse is behaving and going the right direction. It gives me a great sense of pride and accomplishment knowing that I'm helping those who need and want the help. One of my favorite students who goes there is Sam. By being in the lesson as a volunteer, I will back-ride on the horse, with the student. I like how Ms. Sandy always plans the games for the day. It switches things up.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

volunteering by grooming horses, helping around the barn, and with lessons.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not change a thing. The place is as near-perfect as you can get.

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Rating: 5 stars  

This will be my fourth year volunteering and I have learned so much! This is a great program for students with special needs. I have seen so much growth in the students through the lessons and riding the horses. The horses we have are perfect for the job to help the students learn and take care of them on their backs while they ride. The volunteers are great too. They help with the lessons either by side walking, leading the horse, or getting materials ready for the lessons. There are a lot of volunteers that work behind the scenes too by cleaning the barn, grooming horses, and much much more. I am so glad that I found this program because it is a blessing to be a part of.

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? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

This is my second year volunteering for Victory Reins. I have fallen completely in love with this organization from the start. I am currently a Special Education major in college, so I knew this would be the perfect place for me to be. I volunteer every Saturday to prepare the horses for lessons and help teach each lesson. I have learned so much from Sandy and even from the students we teach. On Sundays, I feed the horses their breakfast and take care of them for the afternoon. There is always something to keep me busy at the barn, which is great! The lessons are so good for the students. They learn how to steer the horse, play educational games, trot, and even go on trail rides around the property. This is a great atmosphere to be in and watching the children learn and improve is a great feeling. The other volunteers treat the barn and children with such great respect. This is a great place to volunteer and help the special needs children!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the children improve so much during the season. The children open your hearts with what they can accomplish in just a few months. I volunteer my time through helping with lessons, grooming the horses, feeding, and doing chores around the barn.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Invite more volunteers to participate with the horses and lessons.

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

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

making it closer to my house!

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I have made many new friends and learned a lot about teaching. I have also learned a lot about horses that I didn't know.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

This experience has been nothing but great. It has reinforced my love for teaching and seeing the children learn every lesson.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

Victory Reins works with children from all walks of life
with special needs. Children recieive therapy by having fun riding horses. As the chidren ride volunteers provide a safe and fun experience also giving them physicall and mental therapy challenges. The smile on the KIds faces can almost be matched by those of their parents watching them succeed. Victory reins is apppropriately named in that each childs developments (core strength to situp on their own,reach and stretch far enough to touch the horses mane,etc.} are victories over their disabilities.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

so many physical and emotinal improvements in cildren and adults

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase funding for expansion to help more children and adults

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am the Education Director of Camelot Therapeutic Day School in Kankakee and I worked with Sandy (the owner) to plan a fun and educational experience for our special need and social emotional disorder students. The day was a lot of fun. I feel that the students learned a lot from the very courtious staff at Victory Reins as well as the amazing riding experience. For most of the students this was the first time on, or even near, a horse. The staff worked with each student to get them familiar with the horse and they were able to ride and participate in fun activities while on the horses. Even though the day was hot the staff Sandy and her staff did an amazing job of accomodating us throughout the day. I feel it was a great and positive experience and I cannot wait until the next time we get to bring a group of students there. They all had a blast. Our group consisted of about 22 students ranging from asperger's to autism and other special needs as well as students with learning disabilities and social emotional disorder. Every student was able to take something great from this experience and Sandy was wonderful with planning the day around our students, our needs, and our schedule. It was great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The therapeutic domain. They did wonders for our special needs and social emotional disorder students with giving them great information about horses and the jobs involved in keeping them as well as the riding lesson. The students faces all lit up.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I have thought about this a lot and there wasn't a single thing I would change. The grounds were lovely and very well kept, the staff was amazingly courtious, and the whole experience was planned to suit our group.

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

How did you find this group?

They are a local therapeutic riding group that I found while researching a place that provided a riding experience for our special needs students.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

I think it changed me in that I need to try new things. I believe that all of the staff and students walked away with the idea that it is great to get out of your box and try new experiences and participate in activities that you wouldn't normally get a chance to do.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been with Victory Reins since ground level. I knew Sandy and her husband Jim from church and about 5 years ago moved my daughters horse to her barn. After that I found out Sandy's dream about a riding program for people with special needs, I jumped right on board! I started a candy bar fundraiser to help raise the money for Sandy to become a NARA Certified instructor. Everyone at the barn was happy to help and we raised the money needed. That was how much I believed in Sandy and the vision that God gave her. I have two children with special needs that were in the program and loved every minute of it!! I have been involved in many ways, volunteer, board member, donor, client, fundraiser person and best of all friend. I have since moved to Michigan but actually came back this year for the Candlelight Bowl Fundraiser! I think it says it all when you drive 41/2 hours to participate in a fundraiser!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing the joy on my childrens faces when they were riding. My son has had great improvemenr with core strength and my daughter started to communicate more and more.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

My only prayer is that Victory Reins would get enough corporate sponsors that they could waive the fee for every person in the program!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been to Victory Reins twice with groups of disabled Adults. They have loved every minute of the time we spend there. Sandy and her staff take to the time to help every individual have a great experience touching,feeding,walking ,grooming the horse. They love it and are made to feel very comfortable there. My clients can't wait to get back there.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Special ed clients were thrilled with the opportunity to deal with the horses.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wish I was in a position to help them financially.They are very generous to us.

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Rating: 5 stars  

This is my first full summer volunteering at Victory Reins, and it has been an incredible experience. I am currently a Special Education major in college, and the impact that the lessons have on the students is truly amazing. Miss Sandy's passion for the students and for the horses is contagious, and I learn something new each and every time I volunteer! The time that I have spent at Victory Reins is priceless, and I look forward to every opportunity to visit!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

viewing the progress of the students, and their pure happiness during the lessons. While working with the students during these lessons, it is impossible not to see both their improvements and their joy.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make the stable closer to my university so that I could volunteer more often during the school year!

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

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

I've had nothing but a great experience so far!

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

My volunteer experience has had an incredibly positive effect on me. I have learned skills concerning both teaching and working with horses.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

As I have stated earlier, my time at Victory Reins has been priceless. I have felt completely welcome at VR from the start, and have witnessed how much of an impact that therapeutic riding can have on both students and volunteers alike.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I thank God that He led me to volunteer at Victory Reins. I have been blessed beyond belief by Sandy, the horses, the wonderful students, the wonderful parents, and the GREAT volunteers. Sandy truly reflects her love for the Lord in providing wonderful therapy for all of us!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing the smiling faces of the students and parents.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

pray for it's expansion, but that it not lose its integrity.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am a physical therapist whose daughter is attending Victory Reigns. The instructors and volunteers are amazing. They make it fun; they are knowledgeable; they are friendly. The horses are wonderfully tempered working with children with disabilities and any able bodied folk. We love it and my daughter cannot wait to be old enough to volunteer. We highly recommend Victory Reigns!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My daughter has gained core and leg strength as well as an improvement in her attention span

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Allow them to expand and have heated arenas in the winter to allow lessons all year long!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am a healthcare professional that has just started volunteering at victory reins. Being around the students and the animals is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had in my entire life. It is amazing to see how the kids/adults with special needs interact with the horses. The therapy these individuals get from riding horses can not be done in a classroom or in conventional physical/occupational therapy. It helps with balance, motor skills, muscle strengthening, confidence and gives them a way to interact with others that they normally would not do. Victory reins has a warm, caring environment...everyone is there because they want to be.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I heard about VR through one of my patients that rides there. She highly recommended VR because it has helped her maintain her mobility, muscle strength, balance and has increased her flexibilty. The physical and mental benefits she receives from the riding program and the environment at VR is outstanding.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

It's hard to say.....probably get an inside bathroom and add more stalls to the barn.

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