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Victory Reins Therapeutic Riding Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Health Support

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 peopleVolunteers 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.

Community Stories

55 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 1

I volunteered at Victory Reins in the past. I agree that therapeutic riding can be a positive experience both mentally and physically, I was a little disappointed. The facilities are clean and the horses are fed however I feel that Sandy lacks in the skills department when it comes to the animals..... one of the horses was not feeling well, Sandy gave him a shot for his stomach problem and he ended up dying ( about 3 years ago). Is this woman also a veterinarian? She roughly yanks the reins if one of the horses is disbobeying in a rough mean fashion.... it really broke my heart to see a horse treated this way. She can be bossy and demanding. Some of the kids cry and really don't enjoy the experience.... Not all it's cracked up to be.... and one of the young female volunteers who has been there many years is a witch

Cindy89

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Victory Reins does so much for everyone involved; the volunteers as well as those receiving services. It is very rewarding. Sandy and Jim have hearts for God and it shows through what they do through VR.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My 13 year old and I volunteer together and let me tell you, we get as much out of Victory Reins as the kids that we help. The kids are so sweet and positive and Sandy and Jim have a heart of gold. I look forward to spending my Thursdays at VR!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our family loves Victory Reins!!
They are extremely welcoming and always making improvements on their facilities!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at Victory Reins for over 1 year now and I absolutely love my new second home. Sandy is an amazing teacher and friend to the many students and parents that come to the facility. She has made such a warm and loving environment for not only the parents and students that attend, but also the many volunteers who look forward to coming each and every time. I have learned so much about myself as well as the students who come out to ride with us. It has been an amazing experience so far and Sandy has shown me a career path I had never considered before. The volunteers I work with are amazing and I have made many new friends! She is a great role model, teacher and friend to everyone who comes to Victory Reins!

happyhelper

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the organization since its birth. Victory Reins is a place like no other, it is a shining example of the good in this world. If ever you have a doubt that angels exist, visit Victory Reins, and you will find your answer. You will be changed forever. Victory Reins instills in all who go there, a sense of compassion, eagerness to help, and an understanding that, yes, you can make a difference, we all can, all you have to do is show up!!!! I highly recommend Victory Reins to all of us. Go there and you will see what I mean, it will forever change your life in the best way possible.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Victory Reins is a place of acceptance, hope, love, understanding and trust. Not only do the students learn but any and all who enter learn as well. You make lifelong friendships and lessons at Victory Reins. Sandy and her horses are amazing. They create a bond with each and every person who enters and they enrich your life in a way that cannot be described. Victory Reins is truely a blessing.

1 Sam_43

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered at Victory Reins for almost eight years. When I came in, I knew almost nothing about horse riding or husbandry. The owners of Victory Reins took me in as one of their own almost immediately. This place is a haven for learning, care, and a very positive attitude, as well as a happy home for many many animals. I have learned so much about myself and others in working with our students, and I couldn't be more grateful that Victory Reins does what it does. I'm beyond honored to have VR as my second home, and as my happy place.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer here for approximately 2 months now. The environment and the people are all such a joy to be around. Add in the animals and all their personalities and it sometimes feels impossible to leave.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am so happy that I found Victory Reins. I have been a volunteer here for only a few months and I have learned so much. Theres never a day I have gone without a smile on my face! It's a great place for people of all ages to learn, relax and have fun.

Abigail A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Love coming here in my free time, it's a great place to learn something new and spend time, every time I'm here I feel welcomed and needed, it truly is a blessing

Judy30

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization that helps people of all ages and disabillities to feel like they can overcome their weaknesses. You always feel acceptance and love here. This is my "home away from home". They always make you feel like family.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Before is started volunteering at Victory Reins, I was having problems with depression. Since working there my life has so much more meaning! I absolutely love working with the horses, the kids and the other volunteers! The owner, Miss Sandy, is an outstanding lady who would do ANYTHING to help ANYONE! It is a very positive environment for ALL who go there! While the world is telling you that you are no good and that you can't do something, Miss Sandy is telling and showing you that, "Oh yes you CAN!". It is a place where a person with any kind of disability can go and feel good about themselves again, even the volunteers!

Dave62

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I were volunteering last summer when a very young and scared autistic little girl, maybe three or four years old, started coming. We were there the first night she came. She was afraid, no terrified, of all that was going on. The horses scared her, the people, everything. One of the volunteers, Miss Jackie, walked and sang to her during the entire time that first night, and the next few visits as well.
After three visits or so the little one came in with her cowboy boots, a big smile and ready to ride. This was an amazing transformation and connection she made to the horses, the volunteers and to Sandy.
Some of these "clients" have only this to look forward to. They lighten up, get excited by just being there. Jim & Sandy, all the volunteers work very hard and are extremely dedicated to this cause. This is an amazing non-profit organization. Good people with a good cause!

Emma14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was so great volunteering here. Everything was so well put together and I had an amazing time! Could not love it more!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I brought a group of Marian Catholic students who are members of the school's Equestrian Club for a tour and to help volunteer. We were immediately made to feel welcome and got plenty of time to look around and figure out how best to be of help. The students had a great time and I intend to make Victory Reins a permanent part of the Equestrian Club program.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love this place!! It helped me learn how to care for people and horses at the same time!! It also allowed me to see the beauty in evryone:) by going to victory reins i was able to focus on helping a lot of people and

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first found out about Victory Reins from one of the volunteers and when she was telling me about Victory Reins i was thinking to myself, "I really wanna help and be involved with this place." So i asked her if there was anyway i could help and she told me how. Later that week i showed up at Victory Reins and met Sandy and asked to help and i was so grateful that she let me help! While i was there i got to work with the kids and the horses, it was the most amazing thing that i have ever seen in my life! Just Seeing the kids smiling is life changing! I now try to go to victory reins every chance i get! This place is amazing and i has changed my life!!

Susan B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I help out in different ways with fund raisers and my time. I am amazed how this program has grown so quickly and the effect on so many people. It is a positive group and focused on helping the community.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Victory Reins became a part of our lives from the beginning. My daughter's horse is boarded there and we naturally started to get involved with the programs as volunteers. The program is organized, well-run, detailed and fun for all who participate. The faces of those who participate, volunteer or teach says it all. Everyone loves having a part in this program.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family helps with the horses. We love all the animals, helpers, students, and Miss Sandy and Mr. Jim. Working with the horses gives my family a chance to learn about the animals. Coming down to the barn is fun and rewarding. The horses are well taken care of and the lessons are done to the needs of the students. Victory Reins is a great place to come and has such a warm inviting atmosphere. We will always be part of the Victory Reins family..

Angelique2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a WONDERFUL therapeutic riding stable! Well organized, well run. Sandy, the owner, is fantastic with all of the children's various needs, including my own. The horses are happy and healthy and there's a real sense of camaraderie among the volunteers. Lessons are very reasonable compared to other programs in the area. I am so happy to have this resource near me!

Sandy M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Victory Reins for about a year. We met Mrs. Sandy in the parking lot of Farm and Fleet when she stopped and asked if my family loved horses and if my son would help vote on Facebook for a grant for the barn. That meeting was the best thing that happened to my family. Working at the barn has been a blessing to us by giving my family an opportunity to work together on a healthy activity and to teach our kids about helping others. I work mostly with the horses during the day by taking care of feedings and barn chores. When you first walk into the barn you are met by a sense of calm and inviting atmosphere. The horses will look out of there stalls to meet you and the volunteers greet you with a hello. Mrs. Sandy will meet with each student and get to know what there riding abilities are and match them to a horse that will not only help them learn and challenge them but will give them a safe and secure lesson. I love to take part in the lessons because it is such a blessing to hear the kids laugh and how much they learn from one lesson to the next. I love volunteering at the barn and once you walk through those barn doors you become a life long member of the Victory Reins family.

Stacey P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at Victory Reins for almost 5 years now. I love going there every Saturday and most Thursdays to help out with the lessons. I have gotten to know many of the children well and love working with them. The best part of working at Victory Reins is seeing the children grow and improve throughout the years with the help of these therapeutic lessons, and it is very rewarding to see their smiles as they enjoy their lessons with Miss Sandy. Victory Reins is a huge part of my life and I plan to keep it that way.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering at Victory Reins Therapeutic Riding Center. I have been going there with my two friends for almost 3 years now, and we absolutely love working there. We help out by doing chores around the barn, feeding the various animals, cleaning the horses, and helping out during the lessons. Working with the horses and other animals is great, but I also love working with the kids. It is amazing to see a child come back with improved skills after continuing with their lessons. The kids are so sweet and I love being able to work with them. Seeing them enjoy the lessons is an awesome thing to see, too. They really love being up on the horse and showing off their skills to everyone. All of the children that come for therapeutic riding have improved their skills in multiple different ways. They enjoy playing the games that Mrs. Sandy plans out and she is great with the kids. They really love her. This is a great organization!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have always wanted to work with horses, and volunteering for Victory Reins has been an absolutely wonderful experience. The horses here are some of the most sweet and amazing horses you could ever find. They are well cared for and very loved by the people who use them for their therapy lessons. I couldn't ask for a better place to volunteer my time and energy.