Dear Friend of Three Gaits:
If you’ve visited Three Gaits lately—whether
as a rider, family member, caregiver or volunteer—you know that
2014 has been an exciting year at our therapeutic riding center. Some
of the most visible changes have been in our horse herd. Our
treasured friend Duan, the gentle giant, had his retirement ceremony
this past summer (complete with carrot cake!). He will continue to
live at Three Gaits. Meanwhile, several new horses arrived, passed
their assessment tests, and began learning new jobs.
Throughout it all, our mission remains
the same. Three Gaits improves lives, helping each individual program
participant to reach his or her full potential. Our equine partners
are a vital part of this mission. We’d like to introduce you to
some of the horses Three Gaits welcomed to the team in 2014.
arriving at Three Gaits, Sugar did it all, participating in Western
riding, open shows, 4H, English riding and more. Today, Sugar takes
every aspect of her new job in stride. She can be counted on to help
riders through any game or riding exercise. (At right, Sugar helps
a proud rider win two ribbons at the Student Show.)
At our spring workshop, Sugar helped
instructors in training prepare for certification from PATH, the
Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.
Her steady trot makes her the perfect match for riders who aren’t
posting yet. Riders and volunteers love her flawless manners and
sweet personality. No matter what we ask her to do, Sugar always
lives up to her name.
Dannor: The Go-To
doubled the cuteness factor at Three Gaits when he joined Nora to
become the second Fjord horse in our herd. They’re easy to tell
apart, though—Dannor is the one who often looks like he’s having
a bad hair day. He came from the same family who donated our beloved
Emma, so we knew he was going to be a great addition.
Dannor is a reliable partner to both
children and adults. His size and swingy walk make him a perfect
choice for hippotherapy. He also teaches riders everything from
playing games on horseback to the basics of dressage. If there’s a
job to be done, Dannor is always willing to try.
is a very solid horse under saddle, with one of the smoothest trots
we’ve seen. She also has a great attitude. Because Belle is so
willing and easy to ride, she has taught formerly hesitant riders how
to walk, trot and canter independently. Thanks to Belle, a teenager
has learned to canter with confidence, while a middle schooler who
was quite uneasy in the saddle now trots eagerly on her own. If we’re
looking for that happy smile from a rider who has just conquered a
new challenge, Belle will deliver every time.
Belle has also started working in
hippotherapy, a treatment program that uses the movement of the horse
to achieve specific goals. (Belle is shown as part of a
hippotherapy team at right.) Just as we expected, she is handling
this new role with patience and grace.
These are just a few of the 15 horses
who help our riders achieve new goals every day. Working with equine
partners such as Sugar, Dannor and Belle encourages individuals to
take their first steps, speak their first words…or simply develop
new confidence that they can carry into all aspects of their lives.
Relationships improve too, as family members and caregivers find joy
in the greater independence or mobility of their loved ones. But
we couldn’t accomplish any of this without your help.
Your Support Makes
Our Work Possible
As you can imagine, it takes a lot of
feed, hay, supplements, facility maintenance, farrier visits and
veterinary care to keep our equine partners healthy and happy. (We’d
also like to add a special shout out to the many volunteers who help
us care for our horses 365 days a year, in all types of weather.) The
need for your support is most urgent in winter, when the cost of hay
and feed rises.
We also expect to see an increase in
requests for scholarships. It is our goal to make the benefits of
equine-assisted therapy accessible to anyone, regardless of their
financial circumstances. We have a scholarship fund through which we
can accept designated gifts. Just $300 provides a scholarship for one
rider who demonstrates need to participate in 12 weeks of
Most important, every
contribution counts, no matter how large or small. It takes
many, many hands and hearts to keep the magic going. At this time of
year, we hope you’ll help us embark on another great year by
donating to Three Gaits at whatever level you can…as generously as
Donations can be one-time gifts, or
payment plans can be arranged. If you prefer, we can use your gift
for a specific purpose you designate. You can even honor someone
special with your gift.
We’re grateful to each of you for
all you do for Three Gaits. With your help, we can look forward to
many more achievements from our hard-working riders and their amazing
equine partners. Please consider making a gift to Three Gaits
P.S. –– To view our wish list or
make a donation online, please visit the Three Gaits website at
You can also use the enclosed form
to make your gift. Thank you!