Here's what we do...
Something for Everyone!
The Blazing Prairie Stars therapy barn
was designed to provide children and families from our local communities with
the opportunity for healing rehabilitation learning and new skill development.
Our highly qualified therapeutic staff, assisted by selected horses, certified
animals, and the natural environment of rural Kane County, make Blazing Prairie
Stars a great place to accomplish these goals.
The Natural Environment
The Blazing Prairie Stars treatment facility in Maple Park, Illinois is
located on 16 acres which include a playground, sensory garden, picnic area,
treatment gym, therapy rooms, kitchen, an arena and a barn. We provide pediatric
speech-language, occupational, physical therapies and social work services to
children and their families. In this natural environment, families find that
their children are highly motivated and work hard in therapy to acquire functional
and meaningful skills that are transferable to their daily lives.
Close to home, but in the country.
Blazing Prairie Stars is located about 3 miles west of Elburn and 2 miles
east of Maple Park at the southwest corner of Beith and Meredith Roads.
What's in the name?
The Blazing Prairie Star is a rare perennial plant found in the prairies of Kane County.
This plant is unique because it is differently developing. It blossoms from the
top down instead of from the bottom up. Blazing Prairie Stars are unique, rare, special, differently developing, and beautiful as they blossom;
hence it is like many of the children that come out to our barn.
Some of the types of challenges which can be effectively addressed include:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- ADD and ADHD
- Learning Disabilities
- Developmental Delay
- Down Syndrome
- Sensory Integrative Dysfunction
- Speech & Language Disabilities
- Bipolar Disorder
- Anxiety Disorders
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorders
- And many more as determined appropriate via therapist evaluation
Speech and Language Therapy
Why Equine Assisted Therapy?
In Occupational therapy, Physical therapy and
Speech and Language therapy the movement of the horse may be incorporated into
a treatment session as a treatment strategy. The 3 dimensional movement of the
horse is transferred to the patient and provides a combination of sensory, motor
and neurological input which becomes a very powerful treatment strategy when
incorporated into the treatment process by a uniquely trained therapist. To
learn more, read questions and answers
Friendship Connection and Teen Connection are
engaging group experiences with other peers of the same age and horses. These ground
based activities were created by a licensed family and marriage therapist and a horse
professional to help youth and teens learn how to establish and maintain positive
relationships as well as how to collaborate and problem solve. The groups are designed
to build communication skills and to help youth or teens have a greater self awareness
and social understanding. The horses and herd dynamics assist in the exciting learning
process. All groups are lead by a licensed family and marriage therapist and a certified
Watch the video...
Individual and/or Family Mental Wellness Sessions
All sessions are lead by a licensed family and marriage therapist and a certified horse professional.
Other Programs at the Blazing Prairie Stars Barn
Super Sibs , for siblings of children with special needs
Grief Support, in conjunction with local programs
Motor Mouths, for children who have delays in speech development
or are difficult to understand. The speech therapist who leads the group has
developed kid-friendly activities that promote social and play skills, turn-taking,
sound awareness, and speech production.
Meara's Garden, a beautiful memorial garden with sensory and
butterfly plants. Meara's garden is wheelchair accessible, and a place for
healing, learning, and simply enjoying the wonders of nature.
Adaptive Riding Lessons, a specially trained riding instructor
teaches basic horsemanship and riding skills with special attention to each
person's unique needs. This is a recreational experience which also offers
therapeutic and educational benefits.
Hippotherapy versus Therapeutic Riding
- Horse influences the patient
- Conducted by OT/PT/ST with training in hippotherapy
- Goal is to achieve functional gains and enhance life skills
- Rider influences the horse
- Taught by certified riding instructor
- Classes typically more than 1
- Goal is to teach riding skills
"The therapeutic benefits
of riding were recognized as early as 400 BC, but the general
acceptance of riding as therapy is relatively recent. In 1952, Liz Hartel of
Denmark won the silver medal for Grand Prix Dressage at the Helsinki Olympics -
an achievement from the wheelchair by riding. This event is generally
recognized as the catalyst for the formation of therapeutic riding centers.
...By its very nature, riding influences the whole person. The unique
combination of horse, the horse's movement and the non-clinical environment
produces an extraordinary effect on all the systems of the body."
"The Healing Horse" by Kate Hester, Natural Horse,
Vol 3, Issue 6
There is nothing as good for the inside
of a man as the outside of a horse.
-- Will Rogers