WHITE OAKS THERAPEUTIC EQUESTRIAN CENTER

aka WHOA   |   Morrison, IL   |  www.rideatwhoa.org

Mission

White Oaks Therapeutic Equestrian Center provides equine assisted experiences to enhance the quality of life and cultivate personal growth through therapeutic, educational, recreational, and social development for persons with disabilities ages four through adult. Interactions between horses and students have the ability to improve physical capabilities and skills, as well as social interaction, emotional stability, spiritual well-being, along with mental focus and processes.

Ruling year info

1996

Program Director

Tawny Wiersema

Main address

PO Box 224

Morrison, IL 61270 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

36-4026372

NTEE code info

Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers (P82)

Equestrian, Riding (N69)

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

Offered to ages four-adult, therapeutic riding lessons are progressive for each student and focus on mastery of basic safety and horsemanship skills before advancement to additional horsemanship opportunities. The final goal for all students is a degree of independent, mounted riding proficiency. Children and adults with disabilities are all taught the basics of horse physiology, grooming, tacking, and barn safety in addition to mounted horsemanship and riding skills. All lessons follow lesson plan outlines that work to successively master smaller tasks and knowledge goals to complete a final horsemanship skill, i.e. learning to stand in the stirrups in preparation for posting at the jog. Goals are achieved through skill repetition as students follow obstacle courses, play games, complete team-building exercises, and other tasks during the course of each lesson. For safety, trained side-walkers and horse leaders are used to varying degrees for each student depending on the individual’s balance and control. The use of side-walkers and leaders does not factor into rider proficiency goals.

Population(s) Served

Equestrian Assisted Activities include all aspects of the therapeutic riding program without participants engaging in mounted lessons. All horse interactions require an individual consciousness of body and mind in order to create a working relationship with the horse. Equestrian therapy activities are progressive for each participant and are tailored to individual goals. Children and adults engaging i are all taught the basics of horse physiology, grooming, tacking, and barn safety. Participants may simply desire to spend time with a horse or they may desire to complete more complex goals such as independently leading a horse, ground training opportunities, or confidence or strength building activities.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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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.

Winston Churchill once said "There's something about the outside of a horse that's good for the inside of a man," and this is the spirit of horsemanship the WHOA strives to exemplify by providing equestrian therapy to children and adults with disabilities. The WHOA therapeutic riding program works to improve partcipants' physical capabilities and functional skills, as well as furnish them with the opportunity of recreational physical activity and social interaction. WHOA is a non-profit organization founded to serve disabled individuals to not only enhance their individual lives, but to strengthen families and communities.

At the individual level, therapeutic riding lessons are progressive for each student and focus on mastery of basic safety and horsemanship skills before advancement to additional horsemanship opportunities. All lesson plan outlines work to successively master smaller task and knowledge goals through skill repetition to complete a final horsemanship skill. The final goal for all students is a degree of independent, mounted riding proficiency.

At the organizational level, in order to best provide for as many participants as possible, WHOA must maintain a reliable herd of program horses and increase fundraising initiatives, community collaboration, and marketing tactics. The WHOA staff and Board of Directors is developing a three-year business and strategic plan to increase and diversify programming opportunities while increasing financial stability.

WHOA has a sound herd of program horses, a safe and reliable facility with room for growth at the Whiteside County Fairgrounds, and over 20 years of program existence and strong community support as a platform for providing quality equestrian therapy services. WHOA has identified and hired key personnel to meet the growing demands of a larger and more diversified equestrian therapy program. The Program Director is responsible for all aspects of program maintenance, development, and compliance with PATH standards. The Head Instructor is PATH certified and determines individual goals, develops lesson plans, equine-assisted activities, and additional programming for all participants. WHOA also has an instructor-in-training. The Program Director is also in charge of fundraising and marketing initiatives in addition to volunteer recruitment, scheduling, and training. The Program Director is responsible for procuring, continuously training, and maintaining the health and wellness of WHOA's program horses, in addition to facilities management and upkeep.

WHOA has provided continuous, reliable, and safe therapeutic riding and equine assisted activities programming for over 20 years. It is a founding WHOA policy that no eligible participant will be turned away or removed from the program due to inability to pay and no participant ever has been. WHOA has grown to include 25 participants, 1 certified PATH instructor, and over 40 volunteers. WHOA is known and supported throughout the Whiteside county community as a worthy and valuable non-profit organization.

WHOA has primarily focused on therapeutic riding programming for individuals with physical, mental, and/or emotional disabilities. This aspect of WHOA programming hopes to expand to include field trips, day camps, and competition in the Special Olympics. In addition, WHOA seeks to diversify its programming to include equine-assisted psychotherapy, equine-facilitated wellness programs, veteran's programming, and equine-assisted activities for at-risk youth.

Financials

WHITE OAKS THERAPEUTIC EQUESTRIAN CENTER
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Operations

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

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WHITE OAKS THERAPEUTIC EQUESTRIAN CENTER

Board of directors
as of 4/30/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Tami Tegeler

Carol Stichter

Erin Luckey

Niki Thede

Sandi Vanderleest

Jackie Tichler

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? Yes
  • 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? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes