Hands & Hooves was founded in June of 1998 in response to the community’s need for therapeutic horseback riding classes at an affordable cost. The program was first offered outdoors in Poplar Grove, IL at the home of one of our founding members. At that time, the program rented the use of two horses and served eight riders per week. As the needs of our program changed and our waiting list for services expanded, the program moved to a facility in Capron, IL in the spring of 1999. This facility offered us the exclusive use of an indoor arena and the opportunity to house two horses that were donated to the program in the summer of the same year. With the use of this new facility, we began serving 18 riders per week. In the fall of 2000, the program received another donated horse and began to contract Hippotherapy services through a local physical therapy agency.
In the fall of 2002, our program was given the opportunity to use a much larger, commercial facility in Marengo, IL. This facility enabled our program to acquire two more donated horses, bringing our total to five. Furthermore, this facility offered us the exclusive use of a large, insulated, indoor arena, spacious grass turn out paddocks for our horses, a heated tack room and an administrative office. With the use of this new facility, we were able to serve over 40 riders per week; we were given the generous use of several privately owned/boarded horses on the property as well.
In 2009, the program changed our headquarters to Maple Park, IL where we enjoyed the use of another beautiful, commercial riding facility. This facility included the use of a heated barn and wash rack, a large, insulated indoor arena, an outdoor arena, riding trails and spacious grass turnout pastures of our horses. Here we offered private therapeutic horseback riding lessons on seasoned show horses and expanded our ability to rescue hooved animals. In 2014 alone, we rescued and rehabilitated more than 167 hooved animals in two of the worst cruelty cases in Kane County’s history. The animals included horses, miniature horses, donkeys, goats, llamas & alpacas.
Currently, we operate in A donated facility in Wayne, IL. We have the use of 7.5 acres as well as seven beautiful, spacious stalls for our animals. We are completely volunteer run, ensuring 100% of your donations go to help people and animals in need.