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Dream Catcher Stables Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Equestrian, Human Services, Sports, Sports Associations & Training Facilities, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Our Mission is: to provide a place in perpetuity where individuals with disabilities can be successful, equal, and capable; growing to their maximum life''s potential through interaction with horses in a positive environment.We accomplish our mission by providing educational, recreational, and sport programming, including vocational/prevocational opportunities, to youth at risk and youth and adults with disabilities. Individuals are accepted without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background. Our funding comes form individuals, corporations, and foundations.

Results: In the past 19 years 285 riders with disabilities achieved 173 first, 180 second, 165 third, 149 fourth, 130 fifth, 106 sixth, 17 seventh, 13 eighth, and 112 participation awards. Adjudicated youth (196) completed 2968 hours of court ordered community service with approximately 95% of them returning to a positive life pathway. High school students (164) worked 740 hours in facility and equipment maintenance to recoup credit for poor school attendance. The organization ran using 990 volunteers giving 51,408 volunteer hours providing 4,742 lessons in an outdoor setting.

Target demographics: people with disabilities ages 5 and older

Direct beneficiaries per year: 61 riders received 485 lessons, won 63 awards including 5 firsts.

Geographic areas served: the greater Houston area

Programs: Currently teaching youth and adults with disabilities and youth-at-risk to ride and care for horses. Our riders compete in the Top Hands Horse Show annually and as often as possible in an open show too. The adjudicated youth community service program continues to demonstrate a 95% success rate.

Community Stories

76 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Karen McCabe S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been riding with this organization for going on 6 years. Sanna is very encouraging, and my skills have improved greatly over the years. I have several physical challenges such as a below the knee amputation, an artificial hip, and have arthrogryposis. I will always support this awesome program.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I joined Dream Catchers when I was around 10 years old. From the minute I got there they treated with respect and care. I’m 13 and still enjoy going to ride even if I’m only there for a few minute. If your thinking of joining for volunteering or riding then I recommend it

Billie Jean H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have grandchildren that I am raising with ASD. I called many horsemanship programs and this is the only program that even bothered to call back. After visiting and participating with the program, I found the experience offered to children and adults with disabilities is exceptional.

Patricia A.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My grandson is on the Spectrum and been riding with Dream Catchers since 2015. He benefits from the riding lowering his anxiety levels, but most importantly he has learned to be part of a team understanding the meaning of commitment, reliability and pride not only for his own achievements but for those of others.
I thank Sana and everyone else for the great work they do!

Board Member

Rating: 5

So since 2016 I’ve been going to and taking my two daughters to Dream Catchers. The stables are more than just a place for you to go ride a horse. It is a place where you are part of something so much bigger. Why your there is not what matters you being there being part of this family. The horses want you to let them take on everything thing that is holding you back they want you to have their freedom. I have all ways said the outside of a horse is so good for the inside of a human. Then you get to Miss Sanna she has a heart of gold the size of Texas. Everything she does she does it with her heart. She does her best to help everyone. In ending I don’t reckon I’d rather find myself anywhere other than Dream Catchers.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Life without labels pretty much sums up Dream Catcher Stables. When I’m out at the stables with my daughters we are part of a family. I myself find it very therapeutic being at the stables the horses the other volunteers the athletes. There truly is something about Dream Catchers that you won’t find any where else the since of belonging to a family that looks beyond the disability a family that loves you.

Paola Abreu A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son who is on the spectrum, has been riding with Dream catcher stables for 4 years now, it has helped Diego gained confidence and his anxiety level decreased.
He is very happy when we go. The president Sanna is an amazing human being that really cares for her riders and volunteers.
We love being part of this community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer at Dream Catcher Stables. I feed our nine beautiful horses two days a week. On weekends I help with the riding and horsemanship programs we offer to disabled and handicapped young folks and adults. I am retired and now have time to do more things that I enjoy but my time is not limitless. I am grateful for my situation in life and feel that I want to include some amount of community service in my activities. This is not a perfect world and there are many people, animals, and organizations that need help. The Government can’t meet everyone’s needs though it might try. I know I am only one person but I want to do my part. Volunteering takes time, energy, and sometimes money and it can mean a lot of hard work. I am happy that I became acquainted with Dream Catcher Stables several years ago and have made volunteering there a meaningful part of my life. Over the years I have met many wonderful people through the program including generous volunteers and serious athletes who want to do their best regardless of their limitations. It is truly amazing to see how the interaction of the athletes and our horses has such positive results. In many of our athletes, I have witnessed improved confidence, self-esteem, and physical strength. Their family members often tell us how the experiences at our barn have positively affected their lives at home, and school, or work. We are a small organization but we are providing services to an ever growing number of athletes. We have aspirations of growing our facilities to better serve our athletes and meet the future demands. It is rewarding to be a part of an organization that manages its limited assets well and offers so much with very little.

Denise93

Client Served

Rating: 5

Parker Cheplick is 15 years old, and is on the Autism Spectrum. He has been riding horses at Dream Catcher Stables since he was in 3rd grade. He is now in 9th grade. Dream Catcher Stables and Sanna Roling were a lifesaver. Parker was having a very difficult time in school at the beginning of his 3rd grade year and was having a lot of meltdowns and anxiety because of it. He was not wanting to go to school and crying every morning for the 1st time in his life. My husband and I were at our wits end and were losing sleep due to spending a lot of time at the school trying to figure out ways to help him because he was having meltdowns on a daily basis every afternoon. We honestly thought one of us was going to lose our jobs because of the constant phone calls and having to go the school and take Parker home after each meltdown. At that time, he was also not speaking in complete sentences and still didn’t comprehend everything that was said to him. That is when Sanna told us about her horseback riding program. Parker immediately loved riding horses and gained new confidence. Parker had something to look forward to each week and he began talking more. Sanna and her volunteers treated him as a person, not as someone with a disability.
Parker has gained so many positive qualities from Dream Catcher Stables that it is hard to remember them all. Some include the following: talking more, being more patient, improvement in his overall behavior, able to listen to instruction better, being part of a team, having more confidence, better eye hand coordination, better balance, (e.g. he learned how to ride a bike and ski as a result of balancing on the horses), meeting new friends, feeling special, and participating in a rodeo. He rarely has meltdowns due to overstimulation anymore since joining Dream Catcher Stables.
I have to admit that when Parker started at Dream Catcher Stables, Sanna kept talking about how Parker would be in the The Top Hands Rodeo and I didn’t believe that Parker would actually be able to tolerate or participate in the rodeo, but she had faith in him and he won several trophies that year. He talks about the rodeo throughout the year and cherishes his trophies. Currently, he has participated in 5 rodeos and he is looking forward to the next one.
Dream Catcher Stables has been a blessing not only for Parker, but for our whole family so we are eternally grateful that we found this wonderful organization. We are able to attend 3 rodeos and other events together and have met many wonderful and caring people.
Sanna Roling has an even bigger vision for her athletes, horses, and volunteers so I am hoping that this small synopsis of what she has done for us will help achieve her achieve that goal.

Denise Cheplick

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son Parker is on the Autism Spectrum. We came to Dream Catcher Stables Inc about 3 years ago after Sanna Roling heard about Parker's school situation. He was having a very difficult time in school with anxiety and meltdowns and was actually scared to go to school. My husband and myself found ourselves at the school on a daily and/or weekly basis. I t became difficult to do our jobs due to the anxiety and anticipation of phone calls. Parker's self help skills had also regressed at this point. Our family was struggling at this point. Mrs. Roling immediately invited Parker to come to Dream Catcher Stables Inc. Upon Parker's arrival to Dream Catcher Stables Inc, he immediately felt at home and was treated with respect and kindness. This is truly a place where our family doesn't have to apologize for his behavior and acceptance. His confidence and self esteem are continuing to grow. He has become more verbal as well as his balance has improved. He is now able to ride a bicycle without training wheels and is able to focus and not crash into things thanks to the skills Mrs. Roling and her volunteers have taught him. He looks forward to coming every week. Mrs. Roling also believed in him and gave him an opportunity to participate and in the Top Hands Rodeo two years in a row. He is very proud of his trophies and the memories that he has from each rodeo. We have also witnessed the care and individual attention that is given to every rider. Mrs. Roling doesn't turn any rider away even if they don't have any means to pay. She has tried very hard to raise money to buy some permanent land. However, it is very difficult in today's economy. My hope and wish for her is that she is able to buy the land so that she can make a difference in many more lives for years to come.

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1 Lupita C.1

Advisor

Rating: 5

Una institucion increible con personal maravilloso a mi hija Daniela con Autismo severo no verval el tener esta terapia de caballo le a ayudado Bastante en su comportamiento, y todos son grandiosas personas muy amables y gentiles .una experiencia maravillosa.

wsanchez35

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot tell you enough good things about this organization. My daughter loves to ride horses, and she looks forward to it on the weekends. She is learning to be patient and wait for her turn. the volunteers are phenomenal as well.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This program has brought such joy to my family. My daughter was not very confident in riding and unsure of participating in the Top Hands Horse Show. We went and she had a blast. Not only did she enjoy participating, but was very excited in telling me new things she learned. Her school has also told me that have noticed a big change in her maturity this year in be able to express herself in a more calm manner. This program has also been a great support system for me as well, as a parent when needing a little direction when struggling. I also enjoy seeing all of the excitement and achievements that I get to see everyone accomplish. There is nothing like watching someone realize there own personal growth.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This program has been a God Sent for my grandson. He has developed self confidence, and more inportant empathy. We love and appreciate all the people who have patiently helped him. Barbara Glass

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter had a difficult time attending dream catcher stables at the beginning. Everyone was so patient and happy to work with her. Soon enough she looked forward to Saturday rides. I never would have thought that one day she would be in the rodeo. Dream catcher stables made that possible and much more. They are a great team to be part of on this long journey.

bcshaver

Client Served

Rating: 5

In my last review, I spoke about how nice it was to find this organization, and how it has been such a breath of fresh air to find a place that allows people with special needs to learn and have fun in an exceptional / nonthreatening environment. Quite some time has passed since that review. So, I am writing to provide an update on how things have gone since then.

I have been going with my both of my children to Dream Catcher Stables for the better part of 6 + years now. I will attempt to express things in this review that are not easily put into words. Our family has chosen to go beyond just having an athlete / rider in the program. We have decided to become volunteers as well (myself, son and daughter). While it was always evident before, with this new perspective it is even more clear, the dedication, patience, perseverance, and positivity that this organization operates with. This organization is 100% volunteer driven. People giving up every weekend 5-6 hrs on both Sat & Sun, so that they can make a positive difference in their community. And for many of the long-time volunteers, it is a daily activity to maintain the facilities and to feed and groom the horses. They don't do it because they are forced to, because they are getting paid, or to make some quota. They genuinely enjoy spending their time working with these riders, so they do everything necessary to make sure they can saddle up on the weekends. They help to show these riders the value of demanding work, a sense of community, friendship, acceptance, and a belief that they can do anything they put their mind to and work hard to accomplish.

From the founder (Sanna Roling), down to the newest volunteer, everyone buys into the mission of the organization and the feeling of being with your extended family for a few hours on the weekend. It helps make sure these athletes are getting out of the house (off the devices), seeing the beauty of the outdoors, working with the animals, getting some physical activity, and in many cases; it also gives a bit of a break to the parents of these riders. These parents who are on duty 24/7/365, get a chance to also get out of the house for a few hours. It doesn’t sound like much, but as a parent of a special needs child, I can tell you that you get tired of the exasperated looks, the not so discreet pointing and whispers, and the general disgust and intolerance that some people spew, when you decide to do something as simple as go out to eat. While we have never allowed this to stop us from doing the things that any other family would do, it gets tiresome to have to deal with, no matter who you are. This is a place where none of that matters. Parents and riders alike, never have to feel self-conscious about a tick, their appearance, or any other side effect of whatever ailment that rider may have. They can come and learn that it is okay to just be themselves. And in most cases, helps people to be their best self.

In addition to volunteering and helping to show my son the tools of being an effective leader, Dream Catcher has been an integral part in my son participating in NJHS (National Jr Honor Society) and the Top Hands Horse Show. Both of which are programs that we knew our son was capable of participating in. But Dream Catcher gave him the confidence to not just participate, but to thrive. He has also maintained academic excellence, despite being in a school and school district that has no love for special needs students. In this, he has taken some of the lessons learned at Dream Catcher and used them to excel, despite the tough times. It is in these times, that I am most proud of my child, and so thankful for the experiences that he has gained through this program. We have always taught our child that we expect him to graduate HS, get a degree, and to hold down a job. In that time, we have also taught him that the world will not care that you have Autism. They will expect you to compete with and to surpass other neurotypical candidates. So, while it is difficult to go through at the time, it is nice to know that he is learning to deal with these life lessons at an early age.

To close, I cannot recommend this organization highly enough. I hope that if you have or have a child with special needs, that you will reach out to inquire about this program. They are a top shelf organization, that are second to none. They have always been there for us, and we will do our best to be there for them.

Previous Stories
3

Client Served

Rating: 5

It has been so refreshing to find Dream Catcher Stables, where my son is able to experience everything that he had longed to get from traditional sports (teamwork, friendship, etc.), in a setting that is both positive and encouraging. There are riders from every type of background and with varying types of disabilities. Everyone receives the same treatment regardless of who they are or what their ailment is. No one is degraded for what they can’t do. They are constantly praised for what they can do, and instructed on how to improve the things that they can’t (yet) achieve. They have succeeded in creating a feeling of community and friendship that is often elusive to people with disabilities. It is also very rewarding to see my children develop valuable connections / relationships with both the volunteers and the horses. They are truly disappointed when we get rained out, because they can’t see “Smokey” or “Lil Bit” this week. Every volunteer at Dream Catcher is wonderful to work with, and they take a genuine interest in all the riders and their families. They provide expert instruction, and they help each participant to achieve their highest level of attainment through a combination of encouragement and gently pushing them to do more than they believe is possible. When they are able to attain the next levels of achievement, the rewards are priceless. My son had trouble being in large crowds and being the center of attention, and so the fact that he was able to participate in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in front of an arena full of people was a huge accomplishment. The fact that he won his trail division to boot, gave him confidence that with hard work, anything is possible. These life lessons are truly a priceless tool that you have to experience in order to fully grasp the concept. Dream Catcher Stables has allowed my son to experience these things, and I am extremely grateful. This program not only helps people with disabilities, but also the parents of children with disabilities. For a long time I felt like I had to hover over my son for fear of him getting hurt, or that he would suffer mistreatment at the hands of others because of his disability. I have never had that concern with Dream Catcher. I would recommend Dream Catcher Stables to any person who is or family that has someone with a disability.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been going to this organization for about 6 or 7 years now and I'm an athlete and a volunteer this has helped me so much because I had to attend Roman and other disabilities and this is open the door for so many opportunities and to me a lot of great people the atmosphere out there is really calm and relaxing and it's so amazing to get out there what's the horses and just and be a part of them and knowing that if you're going through a rough time you can always come here and find peace and great friends and great advice

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I really do like this program I started coming around six years ago and I have never left since then I have Tourette syndrome and other disorders and also I am somewhat physically disabled because of my feet I had a major surgery around August 17 2012 and I had reconstructive surgery on one of my feet and I was out of school for 9 - 10 months and I started going back to the Stables when I was fully recovered I still could not do a lot of things so I started riding again and it was very difficult because of my feet and riding horses provided physical therapy for me I needed that so much so badly it was a Bittersweet healing process because my foot was hurt but I was doing the most enjoyable thing in the world to me and that is riding horses and this program and this program has given me so much joy and if I had a really hard week I can go out there and relax and let my troubles float away and the horses are so awesome the people that are out there are awesome as well I can't tell you how much I'm going here had a really rough week and went to my favorite horse and just held on to their neck and just cried and the horses have responded to that they have nudge so gently as an adjuster of it's going to be okay or either I'm here for you and when I get on it's just like all of it goes away I cannot tell you how much joy this program brings me every time when I go out there I'm always thinking about the horses about the people up there this is my second family and I thank God that he let me find this program

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dream catcher stables. Is a great organization. They helps kids, adults and all kinds. Disabilities, autism what ever it is. If you are willing Sanna will help, To give a chance at a better life with the comfort and enjoyment of horses.

RLZ 89

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dream Catcher Stables is a wonderful run charity. I have been fortunate enough to be a volunteer to help feed and care for the horses for 3 years now.
It is a real treasure to see my work benefit those who truly appreciate it.

Robin

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Dream Catcher for exactly 2 years today. I was drawn to them because of the horses. Not being able to have my own, it has been a wonderful opportunity for me to take part in caring for the 9 horses that belong to Dream Catchers. The best part of the experience has been meeting and assisting the athletes. I can see how the program makes such a positive impact in so many lives. I went for the horses , having no experience with the therapeutic part of the program , I have been so amazed by the people who participate.

A very well run charity!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dream catcher has by far exceeded any expectations with the very limited funding and also very limited area to do lessons. They work with what they have and go above and beyond for the athletes. Dream catcher has shown me that something as little as dream catcher can create the biggest smiles. It has shown me the love for horses has grown and I have gained forever family and friends.

Pgonzalez

Client Served

Rating: 5

Let me tell you about my awesome experience with Dream Catcher Stables, over the past few months my son has changed from having frequent tantrums to becoming calm in any environment. The staff here show great professionalism and show that they truly care for all of the children as well as their horses. My son is on the Autism Spectrum Disorder and has had some challenges in the past. Ever since we started coming to Dream Catchers he has improved in many ways such as in mind body and soul. He has learned not only how to ride a horse but also how to care for them. He has a strong bond with all the horses including the director Sanna Roling. The dream catcher stables as well as Ms. Sanna Roling's have been a blessing to our family, we all teach each other as though we are one big happy family. My family is happy to have found Dream Catcher Stables as they have made miracles happen with my son. I strongly recommend this place to other individuals as I have seen improvement in my son's behavior.

Gabriela B.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter volunteered with this program and she had an amazing experience. Would recommend it any time!!! The care and love these people have for their mission shows!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering here. The horses are patient and kind. So are the volunteers! You ride around a large pond where you can see deer, fish or ducks! It is much better than riding around an arena.

Dannette L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son enjoyed their horses so much. The people who work there are awesome!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’m a volunteer at Dream Catcher Stables and this place is amazing.This programs doesn’t get recognized as much for what they do and the impact this program has cause to change everyone in a positive way.As a volunteer I get see the children her come and have a good time and I’m thankful for that and the people here

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I started volunteering here a year ago and have seen how adults and children with disabilities enjoy being able to express themselves during lessons. The creator of this organization really knows about horses, their history and breed. Such a great organization.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was looking for a volunteer opportunity closer to my home last August. I found Dream Catchers and I am so glad I did. The owner teaches volunteers how to care, feed and groom the horses. She also gives a history lesson on each horse. It is also nice meeting the amazing families who come to bring their children to ride. This is an amazing place to volunteer for animal lovers and even those like me who have never been around horses.

Debi T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I starts as a volunteer setting up the program 10 years ago, I enjoyed every second of the wonderful horses and children I worked with. At that time I did not know I PTSD and now know not only was I a volunteer but the therapy was life changing. It is a miracle to see a child who does talk, get on a horses and she she became a chatter box. I have seen children and adults make major life changes at this program,

Previous Stories
2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have seen this organization grow from a grass field to a professional organization that helps children of all ages and backgrounds. No one is ever turned away for lack of funds. I have watched children's lives become more fulfilling and watched them come alive in this therapy! I have seen a kid headed the down the wrong path turn around when he won a belt buckle! I believe this was the 1st time in his life anyone cared and it was all due to Dream Catchers! Hours and hours have been put in by volunteers.
This is a very happy place, very kind and very educational program!

Board Member

Rating: 5

My Granddaughter started Dream Catchers when she was 6 years old & the program gave her so much confidence & helped with her posture. She has Downs & is now a teenager & thinks she can do just about anything!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

My grand daughter who has Downs Syndrome started riding in this program when she was five years old & she's now 15, before she started riding she was not sitting up straight and had no confidence in herself. The confidence that she's gotten from being able to ride & compete in Top Hands and other competitions have been amazing and she's so outgoing now & loves the shows. To her she has no disabilities! Thank God it is a program that I can afford to keep my granddaughter in!

Ellie F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dream Catcher Stables is an amazing charity that is welcoming to all people with a disability ages 5 and older. I cannot recommend them enough. If you or someone you know has a disability and wants to feel inclusion and absence of freedom, join Dream Catcher and experience what they can offer you!!!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I thoroughly enjoyed this program. They have helped my son out a lot. The people there are very friendly and knowledgeable. I highly recommend this place!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a mother to a son with a rare genetic condition that is life limiting. I stumbled across Dream Catchers Stables while trying to look for extracurricular therapies and activities that were special needs focused. The president of the organization, Sanna Rolling is AMAZING. She welcomed our family with open arms and is truly accommodating. When cost was a concern, she never let that be a limitation. I see her work with each and every one of her riders with true passion for the service she provides. As a speech therapist and previous special needs educator, Ms. Sanna models speech during session and also helps my son understand that riding is contingent on good behavior. The volunteers with whom she works are equally professional and excited to be a part of this unique opportunity she has created for others. I am EXTREMELY grateful to Dream Catchers for the JOY I see in my son when he gets to ride every week. Thank You

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They were so Amazing, I really felt like they made every kid feel like a super star. Like they were invincible

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dreamcatchers Stables has a very family oriented environment that focuses on each individual child's needs. I have watched several athletes/clients improve under Sanna's guidance. Great flexibility with weekend lesson hours too. I have made several recommendations to parents who have special needs children and young adults.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had been looking for a few years for Equestrian Therapy for my daughter. I chanced upon the Dreamcatchers website and since they were within a good distance from my house I called. I spoke with Sanna and she was so personable and knowledgeable. What really helped me decide to sign my daughter up was the affordability and how involved all of the volunteers and parents are with this amazing therapy center. My child was so thrilled that she was abke to participate in the HLSR this year. Sanna really works with kids and understand what each child needs and helps them to not only acheive therapeutic goals, but to reach beyond.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter has been a volunteer and athlete with Dream Catchers Stable for about six months. During this time she has discovered a wealth of friendship and encouragement in this amazing environment. Her connection with the horses, as an athlete, has brought her peace, laughter and the fulfilment of a dream; she has always wanted to ride, but has not been successful in finding people to support her. As a volunteer, she has grown under the guidance of Sanna Roling and has learnt much from Mrs Roling's passion for what she does. I would highly recommend this stable, and the people who work there.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dream Catcher Stables is a hidden gem. Before finding Dream Catcher Stables, I had tried to volunteer with different organizations, but was turned down due to epilepsy. Sanna Roling imminently took me in and treated me like a normal human being, rather than someone that has a medical condition. To anyone that has, or knows someone with a disability I would highly recommend contacting Dream Catcher Stables and becoming part of a wonderful organization.
I am not sure I can praise the work done by Sanna Roling and all the other volunteer members of Dream Catcher Stables highly enough. Both volunteering and riding at Dream Catcher Stables, for me, is an amazing opportunity. I never thought that I would be able to volunteer to help other people with a disability feel normality. That is what Dream Catcher Stables has provided for me, along with wonderful people, I finally found a place where I feel like any other person, rather than having a label associate who I am.
Having the opportunity to participate with such a wonderful organization has allowed me to find friends and gives me something to look forward to each and every weekend. I would highly recommend anyone looking for volunteer, or riding, opportunities for those with a disability to contact Dream Catcher Stables and experience the true passion of the organization first hand.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became a volunteer at Dream Catcher Stables over 10 years ago, helping to care for the horses and became the chief tractor operator. My wife and granddaughter had volunteered and they convinced me to join them for the day. I have been actively involved in all aspects of the organization ever since. I find nothing more rewarding than to see the smiles on the athletes faces when they have participated in one of the competitions we attend.

My first encounter with one of our athletes with downs was to see this small person running across the parking lot just as fast as her little legs would carry her. She threw herself at me and gave me the best welcoming hug and big smile I could have possibly hoped for. We have been good buddies ever since.

Since our involvement with Dream Catchers, we have been joined by another granddaughter, her dad and our youngest granddaughter, who is not only a volunteer, but an athlete as well. Being a volunteer/athlete has boosted her self-esteem and confidence and helped her to become more focused.

It always warms my heart and is so rewarding to see how much the athletes enjoy their time at the stables.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Over 10 years ago, I read an article in the local newspaper describing Dream Catcher Stables and the services it provides to handicapped individuals. I called Sanna Roling, president and founder of Dream Catcher Stables and offered to volunteer. My granddaughter who was 12 at the time, and a horse lover, and I headed for the stables the next weekend. It took only that Saturday morning working with the athletes and horses for us to be hooked. It is truly amazing to watch the athletes and the horses interact with one another.

Our organization is made up of caring, dedicated volunteers who truly love what we do.
I have met athletes of all ages with varying degrees of disabilities. All have touched my heart. Their determination and desire to learn are inspiring and heartwarming. Many of the athletes and volunteers and their families have become lifetime friends. I had one mother of two autistic children tell me that Dream Catchers was one of the few places she could take her children and not feel like she was being judged.

One of our athletes, who was confined to a wheel chair, usually was not very talkative. Once he was sitting on a horse, he became a chatterbox. I overheard him talking with my granddaughter while she was holding his horse while waiting for his turn to compete. He turned to me and asked, "Do you know why I like to ride horses"? He went on to say that when he rode a horse he felt like a normal kid. That was one of the many "Wow" moments I have had while volunteering with this organization. I cannot describe the feeling I get when I see a rider's pride and sense of accomplishment when they have ridden in the one of the competitions our organization attends.

All of the donations our organization receives go for maintaining healthy horses and the continuation of our program. We are an all volunteer organization.

Board Member

Rating: 4

mSeven years ago my youngest daughter needed volunteer hours for Honor society and this organization was recommended by a co-worker. With my daughters years of horsemanship experience this was a perfect niche. We have both been active volunteers in this program and found the experience to be very rewarding,. As a parent of a severly disabled older daughter I can appreciate the struggles of our athletes parents. The athletes not only learn to ride but bond with the horses by grooming and even bathing them. Through this process they development communication skills, bond with their fellow athletes and their parents are rewarded with smiles rather disruptive behavior. Many of the athletes are autisitic and changes in their routine pose a major challenge. We have seen tremendous changes in some of these athletes and the elation of parents who have struggled with their childs limitations.
Our services are provided to athletes of every economic background.

I would recommend this program to athelets and volunteers of all ages.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been volunteers at Dream Catchers for the last three years. The total dedication of the program and volunteers is helping students with disabilities to grow in abilities and self confidence. There is no glory or pride among members of the team. As typical of an all volunteer program there is a constant challenge to provide the best program for the students with the limited funds available .

Mandy20

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dreamcatchers stables has helped my 11 year old daughter , when she first started 2 years ago our life after school was very hard there was lots of crying and yelling ,I think due to the frustrations that come along with having a learning disability. This year she has been able to ride often because the weather has held out for us as a result she has gained more confidence and is joining clubs at school now.-Mandy , I

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter started this program because of someone recommending Dreamcatchers when I was sharing about her learning disorder. I couldn't ask for more, Sanna takes the time for this because she truly believes in it and I'm so greatful.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer at Dream Catcher Stables. I feed our nine beautiful horses two days a week. On weekends I help with the riding and horsemanship programs we offer to disabled and handicapped young folks and adults. I am retired and now have time to do more things that I enjoy but my time is not limitless. I am grateful for my situation in life and feel that I want to include some amount of community service in my activities. This is not a perfect world and there are many people, animals, and organizations that need help. The Government can’t meet everyone’s needs though it might try. I know I am only one person but I want to do my part. Volunteering takes time, energy, and sometimes money and it can mean a lot of hard work. I am happy that I became acquainted with Dream Catcher Stables several years ago and have made volunteering there a meaningful part of my life. Over the years I have met many wonderful people through the program including generous volunteers and serious athletes who want to do their best regardless of their limitations. It is truly amazing to see how the interaction of the athletes and our horses has such positive results. In many of our athletes, I have witnessed improved confidence, self-esteem, and physical strength. Their family members often tell us how the experiences at our barn have positively affected their lives at home, and school, or work. We are a small organization but we are providing services to an ever growing number of athletes. We have aspirations of growing our facilities to better serve our athletes and meet the future demands. It is rewarding to be a part of an organization that manages its limited assets well and offers so much with very little.

1 Nelda T.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Three years ago we were searching for an experience for our developmentally disadvantaged sister. She loves animal and expressed interest in riding a horse. She lives in a group home in Louisiana and after finding Dream Catchers my sister and I have alternated driving 150 miles each way every other weekend for her to ride and participate in Dream Catchers programs. She has gained confidence, better balance, and pride of accomplishment. She has been accepted as a peer in a world where she is sometimes dismissed because of her disabilities. She has been able to participate in the Houston Rodeo program with Dream Catchers for three years and is very proud of the trophies and ribbons she has won. Dream Catchers has been an answer to our prayers for giving her a better life.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The fact that we even found Dream Catcher Stables is God's intervention. My daughter and I were sitting in a surgical center waiting for another one of her surgeries when we met someone from this program. My daughter was 4 at the time and knows no stranger. She will talk to anyone and this person happened to be waiting beside us. They started talking to us and this person invited us to come try out the program when she turned 5.

My daughter has some pretty severe developmental delays and balance issues. I wasn't sure how it would go but figured we would try it out. I was kind of nervous to put her on the horse that first day but was pleasantly surprised. My child who sometimes will stumble and fall just randomly on the ground has almost perfect balance on the horse.

Dream Catcher Stables is quite a drive from our house but we make the trip most weekends that weather permits. There are other programs closer but none that offer such individual service at such an affordable price. My daughter loves coming here and loves working with Sanna. I cannot say enough good things about them.

Her balance has definitely improved since starting. To me, though, one of the best things is my daughter is able to have something that she can do. She isn't really able to play sports like most kids can but this is something she can be involved in and in a few years they will even teach her to compete.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Catching Life’s Real Dreams

Picture the aura when an angry youth currently taking a negative life path realizes he is doing so because he was outside playing when his mother died. For six long years he blamed himself for her death. At Dream Catcher Stables he finally opened his thoughts in the presence of his father. They both began to heal.
Answer the phone and hear a mother say, “Can we come back? Because of you my son can walk. (Eight years had passed since I first met the family.) Later they wrote a review which I quote in part here with minor spelling and punctuation changes
“… We are so blessed growing with this program. Dream Catchers is absolutely a genuine non-profit program that help the disabled grow, build faith, patience, and inspire not to give up - everyone has a purpose in life. The program is fun and exciting. My son enjoyed and also my family watching the progress. …”
Receive a note that says in part “because of this program I am no longer in [mental] hospitals.”

Coaching a person with traumatic brain injury to learn to ride and watching year after year as the awards are usually last place, until one year when his world IS IN ORDER, he wins not one but two first place awards. A fluke? No. He did it again the next year.

For nearly 30 years I have been teaching youth and now also adults with disabilities to ride and care for horses. Establishing three different organizations during that time, today I devote my volunteer efforts (and money) to Dream Catcher Stables, Inc www.dreamcatcherstables.org. With the mission: “ To provide a place in perpetuity...” last year Dream Catcher Stables took the first steps to a major capital campaign which will do just that – provide a permanent home for the program.

Retired I now get to follow my passion and impart that passion to others. With nine loving horses and a group of dedicated volunteers, at 72 this all-volunteer public charity gives me a reason to get up every day. My duties include feeding, cleaning stalls, teaching lessons, and untold hours of administrative and fundraising efforts.

Though I will never know just how many lives I have truly touched I can tell you that families now interact with their member with a disability in more public ways because they have seen the capabilities that abound. Youth with disabilities mature into goal oriented adults capable of helping themselves and their community.

Recent reviews give a glimpse of the warm, fuzzy feelings of accomplishment that I have every day because of Dream Catcher Stables, Inc.

“I have seen this organization grow from a grass field to a professional organization that helps children of all ages and backgrounds. No one is ever turned away for lack of funds. I have watched children's lives become more fulfilling and watched them come alive in this therapy! I have seen a kid headed down the wrong path turn around when he won a belt buckle! I believe this was the 1st time in his life anyone cared and it was all due to Dream Catchers! Hours and hours have been put in by volunteers. This is a very happy place, very kind and very educational program! “
“My son was in his first rodeo thanks to Sanna and Dream Catcher Stables. He had the time of his life and loves looking at his trophies and reminiscing about his next rodeo.”
“…My Dream for her is to live as independently as possible and Dream Catchers will have played a very important part in that.” Through horses, this young person with Down syndrome now is an integral part of her school’s cheerleading squad.
“My son has Autism and was having a lot of problems in school. When Sanna Roling, the President, of Dream Catcher's Stables Inc., heard about our sons problems, she informed my husband and I about her program. We are very grateful for her, her vision of Dream Catcher Stables, and the volunteers that come out each week to assist the riders. She services individuals both children and adults with physical and mental disabilities and truly cares about each rider and their families. She doesn't turn anyone away and is very professional. We are so glad that we heard about this program. She puts 100% of the donations into her program and isn't looking for a profit like so many other therapy programs. Our son looks forward to riding the horses and seeing Mrs. Roling. He is learning a lot from being in her program.” More importantly, he went from being a major challenge for his schoolteachers to being a model student.
I keeping with the legacy of my parents, I have definitely found a place where I can be useful and leave this world a better place for having been here.

Review from #MyGivingStory

Previous Stories
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Board Member

Rating: 5

As the President, Founder, and Lead Instructor, I continue to be amazed at the results attained. In the beginning, I believe that self esteem and physical issues would improve. What I've discovered is that families, not just persons with disabilities, are enriched. Volunteers learn to accept and treat persons with disabilities as people with possibilities. Most recently I had the opportunity to provide place where a paraplegic with horsemanship knowledge could come and be independent -- on the ground and on the horse. You just had to be there for this one. My athlete/volunteer groomed my horses and then rode proving once again that people who daily move around on wheels are just like people who walk on two legs. To think that the whole picture was viewed by a youth completing adjudicated community service.

As a Special Educator by profession, this program shows all of the time that inclusion rather than exclusion is appropriate.

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1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dream Catchers been apart my son life during the time he was struggling to walk at age 7 now walking at age 18. We are so bless growing with this program. Dream Catchers is absolutely a genuine non-profit program that help the disabled grow build faith, patients, and inspire not to give up everyone has a purpose in life. The program is fun and exciting. My son enjoyed and also my family watching the progress. The journey was a purpose and I want to say Thank you Mrs. Sana Roling.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was in his first rodeo thanks to Sanna and Dream Catcher Stables. He had the time of his life and loves looking at his trophies and reminiscing about his next rodeo. Sanna and her volunteers are wonderful and do not expect anything in return.

2 Ixkamitik A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Mrs. Roling and Dream Catcher Stables appeared in our lives aprox. 7 years ago. Thanks to the dedication of the president (Mrs. Roling) , volunteers, athletes and their families our lives have been changed for the better. The practice of horse-therapy has been of great benefit for our son (with autism), since then he has participated in the Houston Rodeo, Special Olympics, and the most important activity of all is real connection with people, the wonderful improvement in social skills. our most honest gratefulness to you Mrs. Roling.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I met the President of this organization as a freshman in high school in 2005 with the intentions of helping her and her helping me with an FFA equine project, and since then it has grown into so much more. Throughout high school I was a loner, depressed, I had family troubles and not many people I could consider friends; I felt like I was continuing to spiral downward. Since that first visit out there, I knew there was something about that property that had caught my attention and wouldn't let me drown. Almost ten years later, and I am still amazed at the changes, not just in the athletes that come to visit, but the volunteers, the families, the property, and even in myself. I look back at my years in high school and am extremely grateful for the day that I met Sanna and was introduced into the program. I know if it weren't for her and her dreams, the athletes that we'd catch singing as they rode around pond, the hugs we'd get right before they left, and the smiles we would see from the moment someone exited their car to the moment they left - that I would not be here to give thanks. I am proof that this program is not just for the athletes and the therapy, but for the volunteers and families that come to visit and end up becoming family as well.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dream Catcher Stables is a wonderful place where those with physical and mental disabilities can ride and interact with horses. The stable is very flexible and can adapt to an individual rider's needs, whether the rider is fairly independent or needs additional support such as sidewalkers. There is a long wheelchair ramp so those with mobility issues can mount the horses easily. The horses are good-natured and when not working are allowed to graze and roam on the property, which has a pond and many trees. The volunteers are happy to pitch in whereever they are needed and seem to truly enjoy grooming the horses and assisting the riders. The founder and president is a positive, enthusiastic lady who welcomes everyone and really cares about people. Children in particular are motivitated to work on motor skills or emotional issues, motivated by the warm acceptance of the horses. This riding program brings peace and joy to riders and volunteers alike.

4 Christine75

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been volunteering with Dream Catcher Stables Inc for 6 months now. I can't recall what we did with that time before. The athletes, horses and volunteers have become part of our week that we so look forward to. Our Sunday mornings are full of peacefulness, love and joy.

A little hard work given by our hands and a lot of reward in return. I cannot speak highly enough of this fulfilling endeavor and the vital role this charity plays in developing the riders abilities, confidence, strength and skill.

We've not only become part of the team of Dream Catchers but we've also got to know the riders and their families. We feel part of a vital community. I have learned so much through doing this and really encourage anyone to take part with us. You will love it too.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Sanna Roling has done a terrific job getting this vital program launched many years ago. It needs to continue!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot believe the benefit my son and daughter have received since starting with Dream Catcher Stables 5 years ago. My son has a brain injury and is very limited in the types of activies he is able to participate in. All the volunteers and staff are always so helpful in making sure he has a safe and enjoyable experience with horses. He has competed in several competitions and talks about the experience to almost every he sees. My daughter has benefited as well as a volunteer and also now as a competitor. She just recently competed in a tough comptetition and did extremely well. Her only horse riding experience has been with Dream Catcher's.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dreamcatchers provides opportunities for persons of all ages, abilities, without regard to the athletes ability to pay for the service.
I am so glad that my wife and I found Dreamcatchers because volunteering there has been a sort of therapy for us too. After a rough week at the office, helping with the athletes and horses is very theraputic.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is such a wonderful organization! Sanna, the founder, is so passionate and gives people a chance to enjoy the outdoors and interact with horses. These children are all smiles from ear to ear.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Dreamcatchers is so very beneficial to handicap children and at risk students. It gives them a chance to succeed, learn independence, and become more self-reliant. It provides the children the ability to increase physical stamina and develop a work ethic however limited.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an aunt to a special needs nephew, I knew when I first volunteered at Dream Catcher Stables what I would find upon my arrival. I would and did find dedicated, loving, hard working students who find their personal outlet for success and freedom to do something they love and is so important to them. At Dream Catcher, they can be themselves. Their love for the horses and the respect for their instructors is more than obvious. All one has to do is look into the eyes and faces of each one and see how important it is to them to be there. Dream Catcher helps instill courage and faith in each person as they endeavor to do all they can to be successful in their efforts at horsemanship. Being there gives them their own place to be and the dedication to those efforts brings them more success each time they cross through the gates. Dream Catcher instructors give each student their personal chance to excel and they do! I am very proud to volunteer at such a hard-working, dedicated equestrian learning center! If you know someone who could use a personal outlet for a learning experience, Dream Catcher Stables is the place to go! JMS

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son started when he was 5. We thought that he was not intrested in the horses at first, but after about 7 visits he began to show how he really felt. After the ride/class he hugged the horse around the belly and said, "Good Boy! Good Boy!" and he still does it today. He loves this place!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am special needs person and have been a client of Dreamcatcher for over 3 years. This group has helped me very much in understanding that if I try to succeed at something, I can probably accomplish my goal one way or another. They let me work at my own pace but give me support and encouragement so that I can progress a little bit more every time I go to my sessions.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dreamchatchers has been perfect for my grandchildren. My special needs grandson has gained self confidence and has truly enjoyed hs time with the program. My grandaugdter has developed a love of helping others , as well as developing horsemanship skills.
EXCELLENT PROGRAM

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have assisted from time to time with Newsletters for the Dream Catcher organization. I work with one of the Board Members. I have attented the Dream Catcher "Top Hands" competition that runs concurrent with the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. It is so very rewarding to see what these young men and women accomplish. It is heart warming to see the pure joy on the faces of the riders as they compete in their trail riding competition and to watch how very seriously they are dedicated to perfection in their showmanship competition. And the way that their smiles light up when they win a trophy! ! ! It is such a blessing that Ms. Roling was able to organize this group of volunteers. The benefits to the physical and mental well being for the riders is so evident. This program offers them the opportunity to leave their feelings of being "different" behind. While they are mounted, they are kings and queens of the arena and it shows in their enthusiasm!

The Dream Catcher organization provides an ancilary benefit to the community by giving at risk kids the opportunity to volunteer to fulfill community service requirements. There have been many, many of these volunteers who have continued to volunteer long after their required service hours have been met.

Dream Catcher Stables simply provides a win-win situation from all aspects.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

It has been my deepest pleasure working with Dream Catcher stables over the last several years. It is a shining example of what a few hard working people can do when they set their mind to it. My children have been showing and riding horses with Dream Catcher for several years. The amount of enjoyment my children have received from participating with the horses is unexplainable. Every Saturday, my children are up early and ready to go ride their horses. It is the highlight of their week.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dream Catcher does so much for the riders but also for its volunteers. i started going there at the age of 12 and dont think id be the same without the people ive met there. seeing the happy faces of all the other volunteers and athletes, it makes my whole week better. I met my best friend here and after 6 years ive met so many nice people.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This program brings such joy to so many kids. They create a special bond with the volunteers and the horses. Riding and caring for the horses gives them great confidence and a sense of achievement. What a rewarding outlet for so many different types of people.
It is refreshing to see programs like this in action.

2 Dan G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have absolutely never experienced what you can share at Dream Catcher stables. There is nothing like the joy I see in the face of someone who has spent their life struggling with disabilities. Every weekend these kids leave their daily routine and struggles to be free. Free of wheelchairs, braces and issues of restraint. They truly love it there and it shows everyday. This all volunteer organization is a winner and will always have my support. I have personally seen what hippo- therapy can do through my daughter Callie. it did way more than any other therapy she has ever received. I believe and you will too if you come to Dream Catcher Stables.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an all-volunteer run hippo-therapy organization that really achieves it's goals. They pay no money for staff or organizational activities, yet they are able to provide amazing experiences for children and adults with a wide variety of disabilities. No one is ever made to feel "less than" and that includes clients or their parents. The horses make no judgments, either, of course. They just give and receive the love that is such a big part of this entire operation.

When I am feeling anything negative and just need to "hug a horse," this is where I come.

I always leave feeling like I can conquer the world.