PATH International Certified Instructor
In 2001, I started to train some of the therapy horses for the program and was officially asked to join the team in 2002. I am the Equine Manager and PATH International Certified Instructor for our facility. I manage the farm and property and care for our horses. I also teach lessons, train the therapy horses and educate staff. My favorite thing about working here are the horses and our participants. Every day it amazes me to watch the bond that grows between human and equine. Each day I thank God for how fortunate I am to work with, guide and teach such wonderful people and be in the presence of such majestic creatures, our horses.
PATH International Certified Instructor
I started working at our farm after graduating college in 2005. Since then I have moved to Tennessee, back here, then Wyoming, and now back here. There’s something about our farm that keeps me coming back for more. Seeing the smiles on our kiddo’s faces as they walk through the door, watching them progress as they work so hard to meet their goals, and seeing the pride in their parent’s eyes as their child interacts with horses in a way they never thought they would… that’s what I love most about Dream Riders. I am proud to be part of a dedicated and passionate team that we have here at Dream Riders.
I started my career here just out of school over 10 years ago. I left for a little while and came back almost 6 years ago now. I live in the area with my husband and three kids who are now 5, 7 and 9. I see patients in many settings including: here at the farm, in the home, in a clinic, and I also help teach physical therapy facilitated dance classes at Dancepiration Dance studio in Crystal Lake. I absolutely love what I do! What I love most is having a part in bettering a child’s life. I love getting to celebrate milestones with families that their children achieve after all of the hard work that it takes to get there. Dream Riders brings together two of my most favorite things... children and horses. I am so grateful to work with a team of fabulous people and horses that all come together to help these children.
I love everything about Dream Riders, the employees, our furry friends, and the kids. The most memorable experiences are our fundraisers – everyone from Dream Riders getting together working so hard and remembering all the good we do, sharing experiences, passion and vision for this facility and what we bring to these little rays of sunshine. The kids are what push us to do the best we can and to build on what we have already established here. I also personally love baseball, I’m a huge Cubs fan (2016 World Champs) I love going to the ballpark on a nice summer day and enjoying Wrigley’s atmosphere. I also very much enjoy working out and bettering myself to live a healthier and happier lifestyle. I hope to inspire others to do the same.
PATH International Certified Instructor
There are many things about Dream Riders that are my favorite. The people are wonderful, so helpful and kind hearted. My students are so willing and I love watching them improve each week I see them. The horses are so accepting of our students and each have their own silly personalities which I love being around. A memorable experience at Dream Riders is watching two siblings I teach become more independent, improve in their riding skills, and knowing how hard they work to learn to be the best they can be in the small amount of time I’ve had with them. It’s amazing to watch and truly warms my heart. I feel fortunate to be a part of the Dream Riders Family.
I’m a riding instructor. I teach lessons for our mainstream, adaptive and assisted riding program and I’m an arena staff employee. My favorite thing is our goals and purpose as a facility to help others. Along with our Dream Riders team which includes the horses who work everyday to help us meet our goals. It’s pretty cool to have horses as coworkers. Working for Dream Riders is a memorable experience itself. From watching the progress in our kiddos and seeing them hit huge milestones in their lives to working with our team I continue to learn and grow with our program myself. Outside of riding at MCCD I’m a trick rider which has taught me a lot about mental boundaries. I love being outside with the exception of negative 10 degree weather but I wouldn’t trade working with horses for anything.
I have been working full time at Dream Rider’s for over a year, and was part time for 3. I am the Rehab Tech Coordinator at the facility. I make sure every kiddo that comes for therapy has a rehab tech that works with them while they are on the horse, and follow the program that has been created for that specific kiddo by the therapist. Then it is their job to take notes and report back to the therapists. Before I worked here I was an eighth grade teacher. However, working here allows me to combine my love of horses and kids!
I do a myriad of exciting things here from folding therapy blankets to walking with amazing children when they are on the horse. My most favorite thing is when working with the kiddos they look me right in the eye and smile. My heart melts and I know I am in the right place. Serendipity brought me here. I had never worked with special needs children or horses and when my neighbor told me Dream Riders were looking for help, I was a bit nervous. I had been a pre-K teacher for the past 14 years and this was new ground for me. I am thrilled to be here and have met so many fantastic parents and their great kids.
I've been around horses my entire life but just recently discovered working with them was my calling. I am an arena tech and have the pleasure of working side by side with some pretty fun and big coworkers. But the best part about working here though isn't the horses (although they are absolutely amazing), it's the smiling faces that I get to see every day from the children that need our help. Watching them grow and learn is the best work bonus I could ever ask for.
Lexi graduated with her doctorate in physical therapy from Idaho State University in 2013. She moved from Idaho where she was born and raised to the Midwest when her husband started podiatry school in Illinois. She has been working full time at MCCD Dream Riders for almost 2 years. She loves that she gets to play games with cute kids all day, have fuzzy co-workers and gets to call it a ‘job.’ She also appreciates that Dream Riders is a not-for-profit facility dedicated to providing needed medical services to the community using a unique setting and strategy. After spending time working as a PT in South Africa, helping those in need became an even larger passion for Lexi than it already was. When she is not horsing around at the farm, she loves doing hot yoga with her super cute husband, walking her two crazy puppies, and Face Timing with her immediately family of 19 people (including 9 nieces and nephews)!
Crisy graduated with Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Northern Illinois University in 2007. Crisy is Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Crisy’s Clinical experience includes working in community mental health, SASS, residential, private practice, workman’s comp, and high school transitional programming. Crisy has been successfully working with adults and children for 9 years.
Crisy specializes in working with a variety of areas including: children, Aspergers, trauma, borderline personality disorder, issues related to disability, mental illness, and workforce struggles. Crisy’s integrative approach to counseling utilizes various treatment approaches including : Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Play Therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing.
While Elizabeth has been an O.T. for 30 yrs, she has specialized in pediatrics for 15 yrs and joined Dream Riders only 6 months ago. Her favorite experience so far at Dream Riders was working together as a problem solving team to help a sweet little girl overcome her fear of the horse which enabled her to continue with achieving her therapeutic goals. By enveloping her with all the people she knows here and creating an extremely positive and relaxed experience, she was assisted in working through her anxiety. It proved powerful for her to learn she had the courage to overcome her fear and open herself up to enjoyment on and the therapeutic value of the horse. When not on the farm, Elizabeth prefers quiet activities like gardening, cooking, making care packages for her kids, volunteering for hospice, and napping.
I have been with Dream Riders since the start of 2016, but before this, I worked in various school districts with a variety of ages and populations. The school setting can offer a lot of great services and activities, but nothing as unique as equine assisted therapy.
Since joining Dream Riders, I am amazed at the progress the children, and families, make. The amount of care that is put into each child’s plan includes individual, undivided time and attention. The creative staff is always willing to use new, interesting ways to integrate therapy and horses. The community that supports us participate in great events such as “Fun on the Farm”. It truly is more than a job or career.
From the amazing staff, to the affectionate horses, this is a place that not only achieves goals, but helps people grow. I am very grateful to be a part of the team, and hope to share it with as many families as possible.
Graduated from Concordia University with honors in 1999. After graduating she moved to sunny Florida and had some amazing experiences as a therapist for outpatient pediatrics and many therapeutic based schools for 10 years, such as Eden of Florida. She moved back to her home state in WI 7 years ago.
She loves being a team member for MCCD, for it allows her to bring together her passions of animals and children. Her and her family have been medical fosters and assisted with many transports for animal rescues and their local humane society . She has 3 wonderful children, and her son, who has special needs, allows her to give our parents extra personal support from her own experiences. During her free time she loves to spend time with her children and help with as many animals in need as her and her family are able.
He has been working here for 10 years, and single handedly is in charge of maintaining our lovely 17 acres of trees, perennials and pastures. He also maintains the operation of our buildings and farm equipment and oversees lawn care. Without Rene, our facility would not be the same.
Tom has been working at Dream Riders for 3 years and helps take care of the 17 acres of property. He loves working in the field with the horses and driving the gater. He grew up in Tinley Park where he took horseback riding lessons for a year. When not at work, he likes to watch the Bears, listen to Elvis Presley, watch police stories, go sledding, and talk to his brother.
We are thankful to have Tom as part of our Dream Riders team!