About Us

In 1984, two women, life-long equestrian, Sara Foszcz, and Physical Therapist, Sandy Barcus, started Main Stay in order to meet the growing need for therapeutic horseback riding in the area. Our therapeutic riding program was one of the first of its kind in Chicagoland. Main Stay became a 501(c)3 organization in 1987, dedicated to children and adults with physical, developmental, emotional and social challenges. Main Stay expanded service in 2012 to include our unique Animal Assisted Learning programs for individuals, families and groups.
about our facility

State-of-the-Art Facility

Our state-of-the-art equestrian facility, built in 2016, is located on 40 acres of serene open land across from the McHenry County Conservation District’s Glacial Park and is in the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge corridor. In 2013, Main Stay was the first nonprofit agency to place its land in a conservation easement with the Land Conservancy of McHenry County to ensure that the land would be protected in perpetuity.

The 37,000 sq. foot facility offers flexible meeting space that can accommodate intimate groups or space for up to 100 and includes a/v capabilities, a kitchen area, and a temperature controlled indoor arena.

Facility Rental
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Meet Our Team

As a premier accredited PATH Intl center, all therapeutic riding sessions are taught by a certified PATH Intl instructor. Many of our instructors are also licensed teachers, or occupational / physical / speech therapists. A large base of more than 100 weekly volunteers allows Main Stay to offer quality services with a small core of full and part-time employees.

Of course, our work wouldn’t be possible without our therapeutic riding horses and other therapy animals. They are truly the heart and soul of Main Stay.

Our Team
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Impact Report

We are pleased to share Main Stay’s 2020 Impact Report with you. Main Stay’s culture of strength, adaptability and perseverance was never more evident than it was during 2020. Thanks to you, Main Stay was able to provide services to individuals who had limited opportunities (if any at all) to engage in the outside world.

Impact Report

Partner Agencies

Main Stay is proud to partner with a wide variety of schools and agencies, including:

CYN Counseling Center

Independence Health & Therapy

Johnsburg School District 12

Kenosha Health Department

Lake County Health Department

McHenry 22nd Judicial Circuit of Special Projects

McHenry School Districts 15 + 156

NAMI McHenry County

Northern Illinois Recovery Center

Pioneer Center for Human Services

Refuge for Women

Richmond Burton School District 157

Turning Point

Youth and Family Center of McHenry County

Woodstock School District 200

How You Can Help

Main Stay is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and receives no state or federal funding. Through the generosity of individuals, private foundations, corporations and service organizations, Main Stay is able to touch hundreds of lives each year.
Accomplishments & Accreditation
Main Stay Charity NavigatorMain Stay Guidestar SealPATH International Accredited Center logoGuardian EQUUS Foundation Award