Three Gaits was started in 1983 by Gail Brown and Lorrie Renker, two horses and eight riders. The guiding vision was a love for horses and an interest in providing equine-assisted activities for individuals with disabilities in Dane County. The name Three Gaits refers to three movements of a horse — walk, trot and canter.
Community response to the program was enthusiastic, and by 1986, Three Gaits gained sufficient support to obtain a mortgage for our 20-acre farm located on Highway 138 between Stoughton and Oregon. This move gave the non-profit organization greater flexibility in designing a quality program that is tailored specifically to individual needs of each rider.
Today, eight specially trained program horses, hundreds of volunteers, and 10 staff annually provide 300 children, youth and adults the opportunity to extend therapy, special education and interpersonal skill development into the horsemanship experience. This includes individual and group lessons.
As a non-profit 501(c)3, tax-exempt corporation, Three Gaits relies on support from the community to accomplish its goals. Volunteers give time and expertise at the stable, property or office. Businesses and organizations donate funds, stable and riding equipment, funds for scholarships, and buildings and special projects..
The steady growth of Three Gaits therapeutic riding program and the continued demand for services is evidence that students and their families, as well as service providers and other professionals, recognize the program’s positive impact on the participants’ lives.
Since 2002, Three Gaits has been a Premier Accredited Center with PATH International, Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International. PATH International is responsible for establishing safety standards and quality control, and certifies our riding instructors who have passed written examinations and evaluations of their teaching and riding skills. In addition instructors are first aid and CPR certified, and must earn a minimum of twenty hours of continuing education annually.
It is the policy of Three Gaits, Inc. to promote equal service and employment opportunities for all employees, clients, board members, volunteers and applicants to the agency. Equal service and employment opportunity means the treatment of those categories of people mentioned above without regard to their age, race, sex, creed or religion, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, color, disability, ancestry, or political affiliation.