Equine Dreams is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization in Newark, Illinois that provides Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) to children and adults with disabilities. Our program was started in 1996 by Dr. Rick and Mrs. Sharon Mason, who are parents of a child with special needs. They began the program with one horse and three riders. That pilot program has evolved into a Premier Riding Center accredited by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH, Intl). We now provide therapeutic services to over 100 participants each week. Because of the generosity of our donors and a staff of volunteers who are degreed and licensed therapists and instructors, we are able to deliver services at no charge to those in need. That makes our program very unique. There is no other riding center in the United States that freely gives its services to everyone. In 1998, the Internal Revenue Service granted Equine Dreams 501(c)(3) status as a charitable organization.
Our participants come to Equine Dreams from five counties to interact and to learn from one another in a natural environment. The proximity to nature and the outdoors is a distinctive advantage over a traditional rehab setting. Many people ask, “What is therapeutic riding?” Therapeutic riding uses many equine assisted activities. Riding, grooming and leading horses can make a positive impact physically, cognitively, emotionally and socially for those with special needs. The horse’s movement simulates the human gait or walk, and riding fosters three dimensional hip rotation and movement of the spine. This unique tool is beneficial not only to those with special needs, but also to anyone with mobility issues. We now have a herd of thirty horses, and we take care to match horse and rider on an individual basis.
Equine Dreams currently partners with Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, Illinois. Waubonsee’s Therapeutic Riding Instructor program requires that interns complete over 200 practicum hours. Equine Dreams allows interns to complete program requirements at no charge to them. The interns give our riders lessons at no charge. This wonderful symbiotic relationship is the cornerstone of our efforts to keep our program free to our clients. In 20 years we have never charged a rider for a lesson. This is a goal which we are committed to maintain.
The people of Equine Dreams are passionate about our mission: “Our faith enables us to nurture abilities in individuals with special needs”. The demand is great and growing.
Our five year plan is to:
build an indoor riding arena with annex therapy rooms that will allow us to keep our program meeting the community's growing needs;
maintain and make improvements to the property gifted to us;
fund an endowment allowing future generations to benefit from Equine Dreams therapeutic riding;
keep the program free of charge while keeping the organization debt-free.
This is our greatest desire: to serve those most in need.
inflame in our hearts with God's love and the love for our, community, Volunteers, Clients and all who help nurture the abilities of individuals with special needs.
Give us the hope and fortitude to do what is necessary for the benefit of Equine Dreams.
Spirit of Holiness
Awaken in us a burning desire to do Your will. Replace our anxiety with the quiet confidence of faith.
Spirit of Truth
bestow on us the knowledge of simple certainty that, with God, all things are possible
help us to be overcome with courage to make the kind of sacrificial gifts necessary to bring our dynamic vision for our future to fruition.
animate us with energy and enthusiasm to live as Christ's disciples.
We ask this through Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Donate to Equine Dreams Future
Endowments are a great way to honor the memory of a loved one or a living person. Your gift allows you to have a significant impact on Equine Dreams' future by helping to provide an ongoing income.
An endowment fund has been established by Equine Dreams and is administered by The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley (CFFRV). Your gift to this endowment will be invested and the income will provide general operating support to the areas where the need is the greatest. A planned gift to the fund will create a living legacy for you and your family. It will touch all components of Equine Dreams and its participants. Gifts of all amounts are welcome. To learn more about the CFFRV, visit http://www.communityfoundationfrv.org/.
You may donate directly to The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley/Equine Dreams Endowment Fund by clicking here, or by mailing your check to 111 West Downer Place, Suite 312, Aurora, IL 60506; attention Sharon Stredde.
1. Click on the 'Crowdrise' button below to make a secure online donation through our Crowdrise page. 2. Or, if you have a paypal account, click on the Paypal "Donate" button below and you can make an easy secure online donation there as well!
Thank you for your support!
You may also mail your check, made payable to Equine Dreams, to: