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Background & History

Dream Riders as we know it today evolved from a group of entrepreneurs in 1996 who were looking to help one of their colleagues who had twins that were born with special needs.  After researching all available therapies, they were most impressed by the benefits of using horses along with traditional therapies.  So, as a group they decided to try this approach and see if the research proved true.  After initial success this group formed the Midwest Center for Children’s Development a not for profit entity and from there Dream Riders a 501(c)3 charity was created to perpetuate our program.  Without these generous individuals support each year our program would not exist.


Our program began by leasing space at an equine facility in Palatine.  But as our program grew, we were not able to have enough arena time to service our client base, we were fortunate enough to find the property in Crystal Lake, IL that was purchased by the entrepreneurs.   This was the beginning of Dream Riders as you know it today.  At first, we only had a circus tent for us to walk under for our horse sessions.  In 2004 we built a 16,000 square foot heated arena, stalls, grain room, tack room, office, waiting room for families and a therapy center to continue our mission of serving children with special needs.


We need also to acknowledge our wonderful staff of therapists, equine professionals and of course our amazing horses.  We have on our staff full time therapists in the disciplines of Physical therapy, Occupational therapy and Speech Pathology as well as PATH certified instructors.  Our horses are very special as they work hard each day to provide calm, gentle sessions for our clients.


It is our sincere hope that the services we provide will enhance the lives of the families that come to our facility.

- What We Believe -

Our mission is to provide the highest quality therapy services to as many participants as possible in a fiscally responsible manner so as to allow for the long-term sustainability of our program.


The Horseshoe Wall

When a donation of any sort is made you can get your name put on a horseshoe to be hung up on The Horseshoe Wall for everyone to see who comes into Dream Riders. Your donation options are endless from doing a monetary donation, items off our wish list, sponsoring a horse, doing a monthly subscription, etc. For more information on how you can help and get on the wall contact us via email at our contact page or call us at 815-788-1020.