Program Information
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Former School Horses

1975 - 2006

December 2006:  Buddy passed away peacefully on December 26, 2006. Buddy's contributions to Three Gaits will not be forgotten. Program Director Dena Duncan shares her memories of Buddy:

"'He'll never work' was the first thing I heard when Buddy arrived at Three Gaits. We knew very little about his background before he came to Three Gaits. We didn't know how old he was or what training he had. We knew only that he had been donated to a local school's riding program and because of the type of riding they did (jumping) he wasn't a good candidate for them. The school contacted us and asked if we would be interested.

Angela, Sandra and I went out to look at Buddy. Upon meeting him we were instantly struck by his large, soft, brown eyes. He blinked his eyes at us and we instantly knew that he was special and that he needed a home. We bent some of the guidelines we use in selecting horses for Three Gaits and decided that we couldn't possibly say no. Sometimes worried, sometimes even a bit anxious, Buddy's eyes were very much a window to his soul - and to his enormous heart.

Buddy arrived at Three Gaits in July of 1998. One of our volunteers, Lynn Hanus, took him under her care and spent many hours with Buddy working with him to encourage him to enjoy his job at Three Gaits.

It rapidly became apparent that Buddy's specialty was in classes where he could be lead by a volunteer. Buddy never seemed to mind being surrounded by people - he tolerated side-walkers surrounding him as he patiently awaited riders climbing on his back, or the thousands of adjustments that his riders needed over the years.

We couldn't have asked for a more predictable horse. He was a steady, kind, beautiful friend to so many of our riders - I can't begin to count the number of times I watched him stand quietly for a new rider. Buddy could always be counted on to patiently win over even the most timid of new riders (or apprehensive parents!) with his confident, steady manners & gentle stillness.

Over the years we limited Buddy's riders to our smaller, lighter riders but over the summer and fall we noticed many changes to Buddy's character and activities. He no longer hurried out of his stall in the morning - instead his arthritis made it difficult for him to move in the morning. In classes he was no longer as willing to patiently stand - if even our lightest riders were unbalanced we noticed that he became worried and pained. We realized that we could no longer ask any more of Buddy than he had already given to our program. The difficult decision to retire him from Three Gaits was made.

Unfortunately Buddy also became tired. He rapidly lost weight and nothing we tried appealed to his appetite. It became apparent that he no longer was able to enjoy any aspect of his retirement. Buddy passed away peacefully on Tuesday, December 26. This was a difficult process and decision for everyone at Three Gaits, but it was very important to us that Buddy didn't suffer or have to worry about living in pain or discomfort.

Buddy's contributions to Three Gaits will not be forgotten. I know that I treasure my memories of brushing him - he had a beautiful summer coat and loved to be brushed so that he shone in the sunlight."

  • Date of Birth: Unknown - 1975?
  • Breed: Quarter Horse / Tennessee Walker
  • Height: 15.3 Hands High
  • Color: Bay
  • Markings: Blaze, 2 Socks
  • Former Owner: Nancy Paulson (Donation)
  • Arrived at Three Gaits: July 1998
  • School Horse Specialty: Buddy always stands patiently for beginning riders and volunteers.
  • Previous Life: Most of Buddy's history is unknown to us. He was named Buddy because he was a "pasture buddy" to another horse.
  • Did you know?: We're not really sure of Buddy's real name, age, or breed! He's our mystery horse


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Three Gaits, Inc.     Therapeutic Horsemanship Center
(608) 877-9086     3gaits@3gaits.org
Stable Address:  3741 Hwy 138 W     Stoughton, WI  53589
Mailing Address:  P.O. Box 153     Oregon, WI  53575

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