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'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.
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.
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)!
Though I have only been working at Dream Riders since spring 2017, I have quickly fallen in love with the farm, the people, and the horses! I have an extensive background with both youth and horses, and working here as a rehab tech and as a riding instructor gives me the opportunity to combine my lifelong passions everyday. I love seeing the growth and progress in our kids here, and nothing beats seeing a child's face light up with joy!
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.
I joined the Dream Riders team as a part-time arena staff member. I've been around horses most of my life but only recently discovered the wide variety of therapeutic potential they offer. My favorite thing is that each day is a unique and rewarding experience and I am continuously learning. With the help and support of our two and four legged team we do some pretty cool things with some pretty cool kiddos.
I graduated with my masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Saint Louis University in May of 2017. I always knew that I wanted to work in a unique place. I never imagined that I would find a place like MCCD Dream Riders. I feel lucky that I get to work with this amazing group of people, families, and animals. I leave work everyday with a smile on my face. It is my passion to help individuals communicate. I truly feel called to work in this field. Before studying communicative disorders I got my Bachelor's in Fine arts and French from Augustana College. When I am not working I enjoy traveling around the world and experiencing other cultures, painting, and spending time with my family.
I have just begun working at MCCD Dream Riders spring of this year. I started my therapy career in the summer of 2015 by working with children and horses. Ever since this initial experience I have developed a lifelong passion for interacting and assisting students with special needs through then on I knew this was my lifelong passion. Seeing how the kiddos progress after only a couple weeks is something I will never get over. Kids have the highest amount of strength mentally and are always looking for the best in things which makes this process so much easier and more rewarding. I am part of the arena staff and work alongside some amazing people doing some amazing things. Working here is all I could ask for, and my kiddos make it ten times better.
I started volunteering at Dream Riders over summers in 2018 while home from college. Soon, a hobby turned into a passion and I decided to pursue a career as an instructor. I’ve been a certified instructor for about 8 months now, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. It brings me so much joy to see kids reach their goals with the assistance of a horse. The magic that I remember as a child is still very much alive and working today. My favorite part of working at Dream Riders is the community-from my coworkers, to kids and families. We really are a family here and I greatly enjoy getting to know each of my riders well. In my free time, you can find me riding my horse or spending time with my nose in a good book.
I live in the area and would drive past dream riders almost every day. I would regularly tell myself that I should stop in and see what their facility was all about, but never did. Through a chain of rather extraordinary events, I got offered a horse and contacted dream riders to see if they offered boarding since they were so close to where I live. The horse I was offered unfortunately fell through, but I decided to meet with Dana, the arena director, anyway. I’ve always loved horses and looked for ways to be around them, so I decided to volunteer, and soon after, Dana offered me a job, which I happily accepted! There are so many things I love about Dream Riders, from being around the horses, to the amazing staff that makes you feel like family. I’ve always really enjoyed speech therapy, partly because of the way I’ve seen it help people in my life. Because of that, I’d have to say my favorite thing about Dream Riders is watching our therapy kids grow in their confidence and realization of what they are capable of. Without our horses, the confidence the kids gain just wouldn’t be the same, and I love knowing that I get to play a part in that while doing something that I love!
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!