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Chicago Lawyer Provides Hundreds of Pro Bono Hours to Equine Therapeutic Riding Center

Not everybody can heal through horses, but for some, hippotherapy (horse therapy) clicks, and it helps heal their physical and emotional wounds, according to Chicago lawyer Daniel Marsh Jr., 71, who annually provides over 200 pro bono hours each year to help a successful, animal therapy group.

BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding and Educational Center in Harvard, Illinois, has benefited in numerous ways from the legal acumen of this skilled and experienced attorney. The organization cares for 35 horses at two locations, a farm in Harvard, Illinois, and a facility in Poplar Grove, and works with an average of 90 clients each week.

For the past seven years, Marsh has provided BraveHearts with a variety of free legal services. He completed the legal paperwork for the organization when it purchased a property, merged with another nonprofit, and copyrighted BraveHearts’ legal forms. He continually works to build its financial donations.

If a legal need falls outside his area of concentration, Marsh will turn to another lawyer. When BraveHearts needed legal counsel in labor and employment law, for example, he asked Bennett Epstein, a partner at Foley & Lardner, for assistance.

BraveHearts’ clients suffer from a variety of injuries, including cerebral palsy and blindness to brain damage and post-traumatic stress disorder. Its hippotherapy treatment strategy uses equine movement to facilitate coordination and timing, range of motion, and communications disorders.

The organization serves many war veterans. Recently, several female veterans, who had suffered abuse, and were fearful and avoided eye contact, visited BraveHearts for a three-day retreat. One of the women was later found in the barn, hugging a pony. After the retreat, she wrote a beautiful letter about how the experience helped her overcome some of her fears.

Marsh, who is a board member, has become friends with one of BraveHearts’ greatest supporters, actress Betty White, also a board member. White sponsors one of the horses and speaks at their annual fundraiser in Hinsdale each August.

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