The purpose of Many Hearts, One Farm is to educate and inspire our team, clients and the communities that we serve. The Many Hearts, One Farm logo reminds us that no one heart is better or more important than the other because we need each one in order to make different but beautiful colors. Just like every paint color on a palette, everyone who walks through the doors of Main Stay plays an equally important part in our mission.

October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

The goal of National Down Syndrome Awareness Month is to promote a more inclusive and understanding society and to celebrate the achievements and contributions of individuals with Down Syndrome. It's an opportunity to dispel myths and misconceptions and encourage acceptance and support for individuals with Down Syndrome and their families throughout the year.

With that being said, we would like to share a special message from a parent who's son has Down Syndrome and happens to also be an adaptive rider at Main Stay:

This is Flynn Marshall. He has Down syndrome. He is my son, and the son of Beth Nohling Marshall, and the brother of William Jay, Reed Marshall, and Maddy Marshall! He is 28 and is a pretty great guy. I am not sure what he has on the TV downstairs right now, but I just heard the most adorable bit of laughter come wafting up the stairs. We have started calling the basement Flynn's man cave.

A rider on a horse

He is back to attending Pioneer Center in McHenry Illinois 5 days a week. He has a great group of friends there and misses them when he is not there. I have started planning doctor visits and even trips to Six Flags around his Pioneer time to make sure he gets there. He really likes it when he gets to spend extra time with them, such as on days when there are games for Special Olympics. He has participated in Bowling, and Volleyball so far this School Year. His VB team qualified for the State Games which will be in October. 

He still rides at Main Stay Therapeutic Farm on Mondays and rides independently often. This is quite a feat considering that he rides King, a 1900 lb 17 3/4 Hand high Percheron gelding. That's an inch short of 6 feet tall at the withers or front shoulders of a horse. 

Flynn is still a WWE Wrestling aficionado. Plans can be made that may conflict with the broadcasts, but he will always know when the missed show will be viewed. I think there are some plans to get to some live shows this year. 

Flynn keeps a fastidious schedule when he gets home each day. The picture here has him gathering his lunch for the next day after arriving home. He also prepares the bus fare for the next day, and I think he plans his outfit too. His sock game is always on point. You may remember the cheeseburger incident when I forgot that it was Cheeseburger Monday and he communicated his disappointment to me by showing me his socks. (They had cheeseburgers on them.)

If you have read this far, let's talk a little about Down syndrome. People with Down syndrome are as unique and diverse as any of us. They are not all the same. It is called a syndrome because there are a variety of characteristics that can be expressed in a multitude of ways. Just like any person has a variety of characteristics. The National Association of Down Syndrome has a great campaign that reminds people that there are many more things in common than things that are different between people with and without Down syndrome. However; people with DS are certainly superior, in some ways, to those who are not chromosomally enhanced. I challenge you to google "If people with Down syndrome ruled the world."

And if you made it this far... I would ask that you share my post. Not just on Facebook, but via e-mail. I started these messages over 20 years ago by sending an e-mail to "All Staff" at my school. But I had many people tell me it was one of the few all-staff e-mails that they looked forward to. Flynn has touched many lives and has given me the opportunity to increase the awareness of many people about a population of kind, good-hearted, important people that have much to teach all of us.

History of the Appaloosa

In honor of Indigenous People’s Day, we wanted to highlight a breed of horse that is closely tied to the Nez Perce Tribe: the Appaloosa.

The Nez Perce were one of the earliest groups to use selective breeding with their horses and they used this agricultural technique with horses originally brought over by the Spanish. This effort eventually resulted in the Appaloosa breed we know today: a horse with spots, striped hooves, and mottled skin. Palouse, after the Palouse River, is what English speakers would call the horses coming from the Nez Perce Tribe. Over time, this name changed to Appaloosa. 

A Main Stay adaptive riding horse grazing

Chip, Main Stay’s own Appaloosa, is an excellent example of the breed.

Learn more about the history of the Appaloosa from the Appaloosa Museum: Appaloosa Museum: Early History of the Appaloosa


Upcoming Holidays | Celebrations | Awareness Days

October 4th

  • Feast of St. Francis: (Christian) A celebration of Saint Francis, who among many things is the patron saint of animals. People will also have their pets blessed on this day. 

October 7th

  • Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah: (Jewish) A celebration at the end of Sukkot and marks the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings. 

October 9th

  • Indigenous People’s Day: (U.S.) A day to honor indigenous American peoples and to celebrate their culture and history. 

October 15th

  • First Day of Sharad Navratri: (Hindu) A nine day festival honoring the goddess Durga.

October 20th

  • Durga Puja: (Hindu) A continued celebration of the goddess Durga, specifically celebrating her victory over the demon king Mahishasura.

October 24th

  • Dussehra: (Hindu) Celebrated at the end of Navratri and marks the triumph of Rama over Ravana, the demon king who stole his wife, Sita. 

October 31st

  • Samhain: (Pagan) A day honoring ancestors and loved ones who have passed as well as a celebration of the last harvest of the year and the start of a new year. 
  • Halloween: (U.S.) A holiday of spooky fun and trick-or-treating for candy

Be sure to check out the live Calendar through the link below! You can view the entire year by clicking the blue arrows at top left of the calendar.

View the Entire 2023 Calendar >>>

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