Poplar Grove





Please leave a voicemail outside of business hours and our team will get back to you. As much as we appreciate and welcome visitors to our farms, we ask that you please schedule your meet and greet tour ahead of time.

Not Sure who to Contact?

Veteran services


Fax: 815.943.8426

Non-Veteran Children & Adults


Fax: 815.765.0003

To Volunteer


Fax: 815.765.0003

To Donate or General Inquiries

Donate your horse

Media Contact

Contact Meggan Hill-McQueeney, President/COO

Email us today:



When did BraveHearts start?

  • BraveHearts was incorporated into the state of Illinois in 2002, by founder Marge Gunnar and the program began in 2003. It is a 501c3 non-for-profit.
  • The program has two facilities (Harvard and Poplar Grove) operating year round, six days a week.

Services Offered?

  • BraveHearts is a PATH Premier Accredited Center, AHA member center, Special Olympics Illinois Equestrian Games hosting facility and largest veteran program in the nation offering equine-assisted activities.
  • Therapeutic riding, outpatient clinic specializing in hippotherapy, equine assisted psychotherapy, outpatient therapy clinic, therapeutic driving, operation mustang, veterans program, retreats, foundation horsemanship, volunteering, continuing educational experiences, conferences, workshops and certifications, trail rides, Special Olympics and horse shows.

Therapeutic Riding vs. Hippotherapy?

  • The main difference is that therapeutic riding is a recreational activity instructed by a certified PATH Intl. instructor with the goal to learn or improve riding skills.
  • Hippotherapy is a treatment strategy that is used by a physical, occupational or speech therapist to address specific physical, occupational and speech goals by using the movement of the therapy horse to assist in meeting the goals. A prescription for physical, occupational or speech therapy must be provided.

Do you take donated horses?

Can I visit?

Can I make a donation?

  • Donate online or mail check made out to BraveHearts. Attn: BraveHearts 7319 Maxon Rd, Harvard, IL 60033
  • Donation envelopes available
  •  Monthly online automatic donations available for set up on our website or email generalinfo@braveheartsriding.org for assistance
  • Sponsoring horse opportunities email generalinfo@braveheartsriding.org
  • Fundraisers and events
  • Your email and/or mailing address will enable us to inform you on various campaigns.

Do you offer Physical, Occupational and Speech therapy in a clinic setting?

  • Yes, at BraveHearts we have a fully functional outpatient clinic at our Poplar Grove facility.
  • A prescription for occupational, physical or speech therapy must be provided. We are also able to process your insurance to determine if you have coverage that we accept.

How many people do you serve weekly?

  • Average 75 therapeutic riding lessons
  • Average 40 hippotherapy sessions
  • Average 100 veteran lessons – VETERANS PARTICIPATE WITHOUT CHARGE.

How many therapists do you have?

  • Nine therapists (PT, OT, and SLP) work at BraveHearts Outpatient Clinic
  • Therapists are AHA Level and/or AHA II certified.

How many instructors do you have?

  • Nine PATH Intl. certified therapeutic riding instructors work at BraveHearts
  • Instructors range from registered, advanced, and master level.

How many horses do you have?

  • 45+ horses between both facilities.

How can I volunteer?

  • Volunteers must be at least 14 years of age to volunteer
  • Sign up for a volunteer training by calling 815-765-2113 or volunteers@braveheartsriding.org
  • Check the website for training dates.

How much does it cost?

  • Therapeutic Riding costs $35 for 30 minute group, $45 for 30 minute private, $55 for 60 minute group, $65 for 60 minute private
  • Our outpatient services using hippotherapy as a treatment strategy and equine assisted psychotherapy is billable through insurance, therefore rate is based on insurance.
  •  Financial assistance for those in need is available. Please contact our Equine Assisted Services Manager at services@braveheartsriding.org
  • EVERY participant at BraveHearts is subsidized in some capacity.
  • Veterans participate without charge.