"...you develop a phenomenal relationship with horses, they’re great creatures. It’s just a very, very rewarding experience.”

-Mick, Client & Parent


About Us.

At Equestrian Connection, our vision is to continue to be the highest quality, most accessible provider of  equine therapy programs and services for special needs children and adults. Based on our client feedback, Best Days Happen Here, we remain committed to expanding access to  our state-of-the-art 26,000 square foot Lake Forest, Illinois facility for clients with various special needs.

Through best-in-class equine-assisted and other therapies, Equestrian Connection will continue to fill the service gaps that exist in the special needs communities today - throughout the multi-state region we serve.

Our clinically-licensed therapists and skilled instructors, highly trained horses and an exceptional group of volunteers, work tirelessly with community and special needs organizations, special education school districts, volunteer agencies and institutional leaders.

The result is a unique, safe and outcomes based environment for every client therapy need - regardless of a client's financial means.

To learn more about Equestrian Connection, how Best Days Happen Here and our programs, view Equestrian Connection programs here.

Proud members of the American Hippotherapy Association.

Proud members of the American Hippotherapy Association.

As Tank walks, he sways from side to side, just as I would. You know the half an hour a week that I get to ride Tank is the only time I’m walking.
— Christopher. Client

Our Story

Equestrian Connection was co-founded in 2001 by Diana Schnell, a mother of disabled twins, who experienced the therapeutic impact and benefit of hippotherapy for her twins. As they showed improved stability and strength, Diana witnessed other special needs children and adults improve their social, emotional, and physical functional skills as well.

Since its founding, Equestrian Connection has helped thousands of special needs children and adults from ages 2 years to 105 years, improve their quality of life.

Our 26,000-square foot therapy barn, individual therapy rooms and comfortable viewing room all contribute to a unique, safe, welcoming environment. In addition, an outdoor arena and multiple trails serve clients from more than 70 cities throughout Illinois, Wisconsin and several surrounding states—regardless of their financial standing and ability to pay.

Recently renovated with a grant from the Daniel F. and Ada B. Rice Foundation, the Rice House, located on the property next to the main facility, is used for art therapy, socialization and learning life skills. The Foglia Family Foundation renovated what is now the Foglia House, for a joint venture with Clearbrook.

Learn more by scheduling a visit to Equestrian Connection. Call and schedule your personal tour (847) 615 8696


October 2017

Liam said "horse" before he said mom.

Megan, Liam's Mom