IL • Friends for Therapeutic Equine Activities (FTEA)

FTEA provides individualized horseback activities for people of all ages with a wide range of disabilities. Staff members create a safe and enjoyable environment, focusing on participants’ abilities rather than disabilities. It has continued to grow a support base in the western suburbs of Chicago, and now has 5 instructors, 80-90 volunteers, and 10 horses. Check out the Ride-a-Thon that brings the community together annually.


Friends for Therapeutic Equine Activities provides a program of therapeutic horseback riding to individuals with physical, emotional, cognitive and/or social challenges. The program seeks to meet the special needs of each participant in a recreational setting.


FTEA serves children and adults with special needs in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, and Will counties. The program is open to individuals with a wide range of disabilities without regard to race, gender, national origin, or religious belief. 


FTEA offers therapeutic horseback riding lessons to people with disabilities.


FTEA is a PATH Premiere Accredited Center; all instructors have received their PATH International Certification.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers are always needed! No experience with horses or people with disabilities is necessary. Training is provided. Groups are welcome too!

Program Volunteer: Activities include grooming and tacking horses, sidewalking with a participant, leading a horse for lessons, helping with off-site events, and stable management.

Administration Volunteer: You can also help with fundraising, newsletter, and public relations.

Ron and Patti Mehling Scholarship Program: Your contribution to the fund would help individuals who need financial assistance to participate in FTEA programs. 

Donations: The need for additional horses and equipment is a continual challenge. All individual and corporate donations, large and small, are greatly appreciated!


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