The Mission of the Kemmerer Village Equine Program is to assist children and youth in attaining the necessary skills to become well adjusted productive members of society. Horses have been an integral part of the Kemmerer Village history. With the help of so many generous donors the Franchois Riding Arena now makes this mission and program a year round benefit to the Children offering one of a kind Assisted Equine Therapy.
On-campus horse stables, outdoor & indoor riding arenas provide an excellent opportunity to engage an otherwise resistant client in the therapy process. The program is operated by Amber Miller, Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has multiple certifications in Equine Assisted Therapy.
Equine Assisted Therapy is offered year round and is proving to be extremely successful in helping our young people. Each contact that a child has with a horse and staff member allows them the opportunity to build feelings of respect for self and others, and to build their sense of compassion and self worth. The relationship built between a child and a horse can be a powerful tool in developing functional skills and insight into a child’s behaviors. Additionally, this relationship can bring significant healing to a child. In order for the relationship to grow, the young person must develop communication, patience, boundaries and respect. The horses will give trust and respect to those who earn it. Equine Facilitated Therapy challenges youth to experience change and growth during a session. Children often feel motivated and empowered by their interactions with the horses and are often able to be at their best and happiest during these sessions.
There are four programs currently running at the indoor riding facility at Kemmerer Village. They are Work, Recreation, Counseling and the “Horses and Heroes” Program. The children are placed in which ever program best meets their individual needs. Children who participate in horse programs at Kemmerer Village learn to build trust and confidence. They also help them to use empathy and to maintain appropriate boundaries with others. Horses are very sensitive to body language and give accurate feedback to our children about how they are communicating. In the “Horses and Heroes” program, residents who have advanced in their clinical program are selected to continue their growth by serving as volunteers to riders who come from the community. This is a unique and wonderful opportunity for residents to work alongside qualified community volunteers to help others and learn more about becoming leaders.
The work we do would not be possible without the support of so many. We'd like to thank the Illinois Equine Industry Research and Promotion Board for enabling us to run Horses and Heroes this year. We are also very grateful to Lexlin Gypsy Ranch for giving us Snow Raven and the baby we are expecting this summer!
We are very grateful several work groups from local Presbyterian Churches have helped support this program through their work and donations including Raymond, Freeport, Gibson City, Monticello, Jacksonville and First Presbyterian Church of Decatur. We would like to express our appreciation to the Kemmerer Village Board of Directors for their support and recognize Dan and Christine Reed for their years of work with the horses and youth.
Meet Our Horses
Sponsor A Horse
Horses and Heroes
Kemmerer Village Community Riding Program