Lease a Horse to Three Gaits
It would be impossible for Three
Gaits to provide any equine activities without the generosity of the
many people who have shared their horses. As valued members of the
team, Three Gaits' horses' happiness and well being is our priority.
We have guidelines that we follow in evaluating prospective horses
for our riding program that lead us to select horses that are
ideally suited to their job at Three Gaits.
program horses have had the following factors in common:
1) Horses are
between 8-18 years old.
We will accept horses older and
younger than this, depending upon the horse's training and
condition. Because we put a lot of time and energy into training our
horses, and become very attached to them, we want our program horses
to be able to stay at Three Gaits for many years to come.
2) Horses are
sound (in all four limbs) and healthy.
Unsound horses aren't safe - an
uncomfortable horse may display unpredictable behavior. Soundness is
extremely important in order to provide rhythmical, cadenced and
free-moving gaits. Any unevenness in a horse's gait can be magnified
for a rider with a disability - and can actually cause a negative
effect. A horse with an unbalanced stride could cause our riders
discomfort or to lose their balance.
Horses must not have any limitations
in vision and shouldn't have respiratory problems or other on-going
health issues that require the additional expenses of upkeep and/or
limit their ability to provide a safe activity for our riders.
Horses with limited use - meaning
that they can be ridden by children, or only at the walk, with
limited trotting, or for grooming only - aren't able to best serve
the diversity of our riders. While some riders do not trot or
canter, many do. Three Gaits strives to provide that experience and
level of challenge for our riders.
3) Horses who
enjoy being around people.
Three Gaits' horses are not asked to
work for more than a total of four classes per day, and never more
than three classes in a row. (Most of our classes are 30 minutes
long.) Over the course of a day, horses are exposed to a variety of
people. They may be handled by volunteers, riders as well as staff
at Three Gaits. During classes a horse may have a leader and up to
two sidewalkers, in addition to a rider.
4) Horses have
been well-trained and consistently worked with through-out their
While there are no requirements for
the discipline in which the horse is trained - we have horses that
have been shown extensively in western pleasure, dressage or over
fences, and others that have been used as pony club or 4-H mounts,
as polo horses or field hunters - but the common factor is that they
have been consistently worked with and have a "take it all in
5) Although almost
any breed of horse can be used, horses that are between 14-16 hands
and built sturdy enough to carry an adult are ideal.
If you have or know of a horse that
you think may be suitable for Three Gaits, please contact us either
by phone or e-mail to discuss.
Horses that live at Three Gaits are either leased to Three Gaits -
meaning that the horse's owner lends their horse to the program but
maintains ownership of the horse - or horses are donated directly to
the program. Since Three Gaits is a non-profit, the donation of a
horse can be tax-deductible.
Once we speak with you, if we
determine that your horse seems appropriate for our program, we
schedule a time to come and visit you and your horse. From there
we will arrange for the horse to be transported to Three Gaits to
have our veterinarian meet and evaluate the horse, and begin a trial
period (30 days for leased horses and 90 days for donated horses). During the trial period, we expose the horse to
the many toys, games and activities that they will encounter at
Three Gaits. We work with them to see how they stand quietly for
different styles of mounting and dismounting, by ramps and mounting
blocks and to see how they tolerate the mistakes of a beginning
rider or a loss of balance. We also evaluate whether they seem to
adapt to the lifestyle of working with many different people each
Again, thank you for considering your horse as a potential
mount for Three Gaits riders. We appreciate your consideration and
are touched that you thought of Three Gaits as a potential home for