PLATINUM2024

BRAVEHEARTS THERAPEUTIC RIDING AND EDUCATIONAL CENTER

bringing hope, joy, and unlimited possibilities through the healing power of the horse.

aka BraveHearts at the Bergmann Centre   |   Harvard, IL   |  www.braveheartsriding.org

Mission

Vision: BraveHearts envisions being the premier model for connecting horses with people as a catalyst for wellness. Everyone will have the opportunity to discover healing horsemanship through the BraveHearts model. Mission: BraveHearts brings hope, joy, and unlimited possibilities through the healing power of the horse.

Ruling year info

2004

President/COO

Mrs. Meggan Hill-McQueeney

Main address

7319 Maxon Rd

Harvard, IL 60033 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

32-0034746

NTEE code info

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Therapeutic Riding

Therapeutic riding is a recreational activity that adapts horseback riding techniques to meet the needs of individuals with various diagnoses. Therapeutic riding is taught by a PATH Intl. certified therapeutic riding instructor and is offered at both of BraveHearts' facilities.

Therapeutic riding has provided social, educational, and recreational opportunities to individuals with disabilities for more than a century. By utilizing the special bond between humans and horses, Equine Assisted Activities benefit students of all ability levels both inside and out.

Participants can begin our therapeutic riding program at four years of age.
Participants will learn skills for independent horseback riding as well as enjoy fun activities while on horseback.
Adaptations are made as necessary so that students can reach their fullest potential

Classes are taught in a private or group format by PATH Intl. certified instructors in conjunction with trained volunteers. (Private lessons are available for an additional fee.)

Participants may participate in other exciting events including: Special Olympics, horse shows, inclusive summer camps, and continuing education series.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Adults

BraveHearts provides extensive programming for veterans and their families. BraveHearts provides programming free of charge to every military veteran and has the largest program in the nation using equine-assisted activities to serve veterans. Some programming for veterans includes:
-therapeutic riding
-operation mustang
-retreats
-continuing education opportunities
-foundation horsemanship
-Trail to Zero
-Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy

Population(s) Served

Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement as part of an integrated intervention plan. Horses provide multidimensional movement, making them an excellent tool for increasing trunk strength, control, and balance.

Equine movement can also be used to facilitate coordination and timing, grading of responses, respiratory control, sensory integration skills, and attention skills. Patients respond enthusiastically to this enjoyable experience in a natural setting.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

Foundation horsemanship is based on the principle teachings of Tom Dorrance, who used a resistance free approach to training. Through foundation horsemanship, we use the least amount of pressure applied to the horse on the ground and on his back with an instant release in order to accomplish a willing communication between horse and human. This can have life-changing results.

With foundation horsemanship we teach about the natural instinct of the horse and how they find their place in the herd to fel safe. By following these principles we develop the ability to be strong and quiet leaders which carries over into our everyday lives.

The great thing about working with horses in this way is that horses will not lie. Their every reaction is a direct result of our action, which helps us to look at ourselves and the impact of our actions on things around us. With practice, we develop a harmonious relationship between the human and the horse.

Anyone can benefit from this, from people who have no interest in riding to people who want to pursue a skill of riding, everyone can develop a skill of a soft feel with the horse. Since this is done on the ground and in a round pen it can also easily lead to being on the back of the horse and continuing to build from this.

Population(s) Served
Veterans

At BraveHearts we are pleased to offer Equine Assisted Psychotherapy by credentialed mental health therapists. The goal is to help participants clients, through attentive interactions with horses, to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD as well as achieve self-esteem, confidence, trust, and empathy; to gain a sense of responsibility; and to develop better communication, teamwork, leadership, and social skills.


This technique has been applied to both children and adults, individually and in groups, and to a variety of conditions, including behavioral problems, relationship

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Veterans
People with disabilities
People with diseases and illnesses
Substance abusers
Caregivers

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of veterans served, at no cost, per year

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Veterans

Related Program

Veterans Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of hours provided per year to participants

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of hours donated by volunteers per year

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our metric was reduced in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

BraveHearts aims to reach and serve individuals in need using equine assisted activities and therapies. At BraveHearts we believe that no veteran should ever pay for services and aim to reach and serve veterans throughout the country. Further, BraveHearts aims to educate professionals within the industry how to better serve and provide innovative programming for people in need using equine assisted services and therapies.

BraveHearts strategies for reaching veterans and individuals in need includes community outreach, media coverage and innovative programming to draw in individuals across the country to our facilities.

BraveHearts has a team of expert board members and staff. BraveHearts President/COO received the James Brady Professional Achievement award in 2015, the highest accolade within the industry. Meggan is also a Master Level PATH Intl. Instructor, the highest instructor status offered by PATH Intl. Additionally, BraveHearts is dedicated to horsemanship and providing quality care to the therapy horses who provides thousands of sessions throughout the year to individuals in need.

BraveHearts has grown tremendously throughout the years reaching more individuals and veterans in our community and throughout the country.

Since 2012, BraveHearts has hosted the Special Olympics Equestrian Games for Illinois athletes.

BraveHearts has become the leader within the industry for continuing education programs offering a variety of courses and workshops throughout the year to professionals, volunteers, veterans and participants.

BraveHearts has provided training, workshops and certification at no charge for veterans to become PATH Intl. certified instructors.

BraveHearts has developed Operation Mustang, a program used to pair wild mustangs and veterans to help bring awareness for both veterans and mustangs. This bonding process can be very therapeutic and give veterans a new and purposeful challenge they often seek when coming home. In Operation Mustang the veteran is able to have the hands on involvement with the mustang training process. The end goal for the training is for the mustang is to become involved in all aspects of our programming offered at BraveHearts, being able to be used in therapeutic riding as well as hippotherapy (speech, occupational and physical therapy utilizing the therapy horse as a treatment strategy). These horses go from wild to gentled and therapy horses all completed by veterans.

BraveHearts developed Trail to Zero a 20-mile ride to raise awareness and prevention through equine-assisted services for military veteran suicide.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback

Financials

BRAVEHEARTS THERAPEUTIC RIDING AND EDUCATIONAL CENTER
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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BRAVEHEARTS THERAPEUTIC RIDING AND EDUCATIONAL CENTER

Board of directors
as of 05/09/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ken Boyd


Board co-chair

Kathy Allegretti

Andrew Pataky

Mesirow Financial

Cynthia Gonya

Loyola University of Chicago

Margaret T Gunnar

BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding & Educational Center

Laurie Johnson

Scheck& Siress Prosthetic, Inc.

Kathy Allegretti

Corporate Events

Denise Drane

Northwestern University

Chadd Hartwig

Robert Brooks

Ken Boyd

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/21/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/01/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.