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
-therapeutic carriage driving
-operation mustang
-retreats
-continuing education opportunities
-foundation horsemanship

Population(s) Served
Veterans

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.

speech

Physical Therapists use the movement of the horse to increase range of motion, strength, balance, postural control, and endurance, which promote functional outcomes in areas related to gross motor ability such as sitting, standing, and walking.

Occupational Therapists are able to combine the effects of equine movement with other standard intervention strategies to work on fine motor control, sensory integration, attention skills, and functional daily living skills in a progressively challenging manner.

Speech-Language Pathologists use equine movement to facilitate the physiologic systems that support speech and language. When combined with other standard speech-language intervention strategies, hippotherapy can help improve communication disorders.



The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and American Physical Therapy Association support the use of hippotherapy within the context of physical and occupational therapy sessions as a treatment tool.

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

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

Context Notes

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

Number of sessions 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

Context Notes

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

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.

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
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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BRAVEHEARTS THERAPEUTIC RIDING AND EDUCATIONAL CENTER

Board of directors
as of 5/31/2021
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 Gunnar

BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding & Educational Center

Helen Dorner

BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding & Educational Center

Laurie Johnson

Scheck& Siress Prosthetic, Inc.

Kathy Allegretti

Corporate Events

Denise Drane

Northwestern University

Patty Boyd

Daniel Marsh

Rev. C. Christian Pierce

Meredith Birchfield

Jerry Kehe

Michael Richardson

Barb Schulte

Chadd Hartwig

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/28/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data