Riding in the Moment

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Riding in the Moment™ is an evidence-informed program designed to increase the quality of life of adults living with dementia and their family members/friends. Over the course of an eight-week session, participants are provided a dynamic environment where they can ride, groom, and interact with horses, as well as engage with staff, volunteers, family members or friends, and other participants in the experiential ranch setting. 

This program has been proven safe and appropriate for adults with mild (early) and moderate (middle) stages of dementia.

Riding in the Moment™ at Three Gaits

Tim Wood. RIM Dorothy
Harry (1)

Are you or your family member/friend eligible?

Participants must:

  • Have a documented diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia in the early or middle stage
  • Tolerate a farm environment (no horse or hay allergies, etc.)
  • Be a community-dwelling resident (not living in care facility)
  • Have reliable transportation from a family member or friend (funding to support transportation available upon request)


  • Program is safe and appropriate for dementia population
  • Involves care partner
  • Lessens effects of sensory deprivation, social withdrawal, and functional decline
  • Tailors activities to the participants values and abilities  
  • Promotes physical activity and connection to past memories
  • Occurs in a natural, community-based setting

How can you or your family member/friend get started?

  1. Let us know you are interested by contacting ashley@three-gaits.org or calling (608) 877-9086.
  2. Complete the required intake and medical forms.
  3. Schedule an assessment to get acquainted with Three Gaits.

Sign up for an 8-week term. This summer’s program will be offered in 9 visits on the following dates,
from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM:

  • One “trial” visit on May 31st, 2024. 
  • Full 8-week term from June 28th - August 23rd, 2024 (No session July 5th)


 “When she [participant] first got on the horse, she had such poor trunk control; it is almost like she did not have the strength or stamina to hold herself upright. The last session though, she appeared more straight and strong while riding”

~ TM, Care partner

“After a couple weeks of the program, she [participant] was just speaking clearly; she was singing, and all the words together were making sense... many people have past experiences and memories with nature […]. it’s important for people with dementia to be provided outdoor programs as a way to reconnect with meaningful moments”

~ TM, Care partner

"I think the program impacts people on multiple levels… it involves an animal as another layer; and then there is the movement and socialization piece of the program. I think having this kind of recipe- those things together, I think are what makes the program so successful. I think if you took the elements apart individually you would not have that rich experience"

MK, Instructor

Support and Partnerships

Participation in Riding in the Moment™ is generously funded by the Wisconsin Partnership Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health at no cost to participants. This program is being provided in conjunction with the Geriatric Health Services Research Lab to increase understanding of the influence of Riding in the Moment™ on the health and quality of life of adults living with early to middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

The Riding in the Moment™ program was created by Hearts & Horses, LLC. Hearts & Horses, LLC is not affiliated with nor participates with Three Gaits and its use of the program.

Our Mission

Three Gaits exists to provide equine-assisted activities and therapy to enhance the lives of people with physical, emotional, or intellectual challenges.

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