Spring Newsletter

As the leaves begin to fill the trees, the weather becomes milder, and we all begin to dream of spending time outdoors, we wanted to share some of the exciting things that have been taking place at Three Gaits.  Read on to learn more about our programs, families, staff, volunteers, and farm.

Horses are amazing animals, seeming to sense the emotions of the people around them and adapt their demeanor to match the needs of each individual. Anyone who has spent time with horses knows that riding is about more than sitting in the saddle. The skills and life lessons you learn while spending time with horses have a positive impact on life outside of the barn.  The ability to build a strong team, effectively communicate, problem solve in dynamic situations, and the determination it takes to keep going are just a few examples.  

While therapeutic riding lessons are uniquely structured, our riders develop the same types of life skills helping them to grow, gain confidence, and experience joy. 

Rider 1
Rider 2

We Are All Riders!

Rider 3
Rider 4


Term 2 began on April 15th!  Demand for therapeutic riding and hippotherapy continues to be strong so much so that we are happy to announce that we are beginning to offer Saturday lessons once again!  This term, our amazing team of Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors and therapists will provide lessons and therapy sessions for 53 participants all of whom will pursue their own individual goals as they build strength, balance, and self-confidence.

“Jumping Barriers to Jumping in the Saddle” – a program funded through The Capital Times Kids Fund - concluded at the end of Term 1.  This important program sought to expand the ethnic and cultural diversity of students with a disability participating in therapeutic riding. We hope to offer this program again in 2024!

The cost of therapeutic riding for a 6-week term is nearly $700.  Continued support for Three Gaits scholarship fund will help ensure we are able to support all families in our community that can benefit from equine-assisted activities and therapies. 

To contribute to Three Gaits scholarship fund, reach out to Jolie Hope at jolie@three-gaits.org!


Three Gaits had the amazing opportunity to participate in the Wisconsin Idea Conference hosted by the Morgridge Center for Public Service.  We were inspired by the incredible initiatives that are taking place in our community and are grateful to all of the community members that took time out of their day to learn about Riding in the Moment ™– an adaptive horsemanship program for people with early to middle stage dementia – that will begin at Three Gaits this summer.

This important 3-year program has been made possible by a Community Impact Grant funded by the Wisconsin Partnership Program and is in partnership with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Pictured: Beth Fields, PhD, Benazir Meera, PhD, Mia Croyle, Hollee Camacho, Traci Edmondson, Ashley Haggard, and Jolie Hope.

To learn more about Riding in the Moment™, click here!

The Three Gaits team of therapeutic riding instructors traveled to BEAMING in Neenah, WI, to participate in this year’s Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH) regional conference.  It was great to spend time together outside the farm and to learn from so many other passionate instructors.  Thank you to our generous community of donors that helps make educational endeavors like this become a reality for this very deserving group of women as they continue to further our Therapeutic Riding Programs!


Have you Seen our New Website?

Check out our new website to keep up with all of the fun new initiatives taking place in our programs and around the farm!


Announcing the Gail Brown Fellowship

We are thrilled to announce the Gail Brown Fellowship established in honor of Three Gaits’ Co-Founder Gail Brown.  The purpose of this exciting new fellowship is to support future Three Gaits instructors as they pursue necessary certifications through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH) and gain program specific experience.  The Three Gaits’ team of compassionate, capable, and committed instructors are at the heart of everything that takes place in our programs.  This support will not only have a tremendous impact on our ability to shorten our current 6 month waiting list to join therapeutic riding and 24 month waiting list to join therapy but will also expand our programs enabling us to reach more riders!  

An initial gift of $4,500 from the family of a past Three Gaits rider and longtime admirers has been received, which will support (3) new instructors.    The first recipients have been selected, with a “many fold” benefit, as they have each chosen a different type of certification, which will allow Three Gaits to offer new programs in the future.   

Meet the first recipients of the Gail Brown Fellowship:

Amy Horton, Current Three Gaits Volunteer; former local teacher 

– Equine Assisted Learning (EAL).  EAL is an experiential learning approach that promotes the development of life skills such as academic achievement and classroom behavior.

Darcy Lalimo, Current Three Gaits Volunteer and Office Administrator; pursuing Master of Social Work, UW Madison

Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL).  Equine therapy uses horses in treating mental health conditions.  ESMHL’s ensure the safety and well-being of the horse participating in equine-facilitated mental health and learning sessions.

Kaitlyn Kotlowski, Current Three Gaits Volunteer; recent UW Madison graduate – Rehabilitation Psychology

 – Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRI).  As we expand our traditional therapeutic riding program, additional certified instructors will be pivotal.  

Our goal is to gather community support to continue to fund the Fellowship allowing for continued support and expansion.  If you are interested in learning more about how you can support our instructors, please email Jolie Hope at jolie@three-gaits.org.

Meet Our Newest Program Horse!


Meet our newest program horse!  Through a generous gift from an anonymous donor, Three Gaits was able to purchase this sweet 10-year-old American Warmblood.  We believe he will be a positive part of Three Gaits’ program for many years to come!

Stay tuned to learn more about our upcoming campaign, generously supported through a matching gift, to support the purchase of three additional horses to allow our programs to expand and reach more riders!

It is Volunteer Appreciation Week! Thank you to all our Volunteers!

The week of April 22nd is Volunteer Appreciation Week.  We could not achieve our mission without the selfless support of the hundreds of volunteers that lend a hand in our programs, in committees, around the farm and in myriad of other important ways.  Our rider families sent along their thanks…

I would like to thank each and every one there at 3 gaits. Thank you for being patient and caring with the kiddos and all that you guys do there thank you for giving us the opportunity to ride. Great experience great people please be blessed thank you again!!

Volunteers at 3 Gaits are so important to the riders. You give the riders the support they need as the ride and learn new techniques. You give the horse gentle encouragement when needed too! Volunteers are the heart of the 3 Gaits program. Kira enjoys getting to know them and loves it when they notice the little things…… improvements with riding, being more independent, etc. Thank you for all you do for all the riders and horses!


Thank you for your time volunteering. My daughter truly enjoys riding at Three Gates. We appreciate all you do at the farm to make every riders experience enjoyable.

I have been riding at 3 Gaits for over 10 years and each and

every volunteer has been wonderful! Whether its helping me mount and dismount, handling a rowdy horse, or just being nearby in case I need a little extra help, the volunteers at 3 Gaits go above and beyond for riders, horses, and instructors. Thanks to the volunteers I have gained a lot of knowledge on horsemanship both on and off the horse and am the experienced rider I am today!


Thank you so much for help and support. You have made my daughter feel comfortable riding the horse and not being scared about falling off. Thanks for helping her listen to instructions and helping her along the way.


Thank u for taking your time for the kids who need special help thank u once again. Thank you


Thank you very much for your dedication to this wonderful program and special needs riders. Therapeutic riding has been great for Lauren.  


A wholehearted thank you to all of the amazing volunteers at Three Gaits! My daughter has grown SO much in the short time she has been participating in the program and a truly big part of that is all of the support and attention the volunteers give each of the students. Because of what they do, my daughter is able to feel independent and confident in her abilities. Thank you so much for all that you do for Three Gaits and for our family!  


Harper loves going to 3 Gaits and we are grateful for the wonderful volunteers that make all this possible. You greet her with a big smile and make her evenings special. Thank you for that!


Thank you so much to all of the Three Gaits volunteers! Everyone is so patient and understanding with my daughter, Elia. She was very nervous her first couple visits but has gotten so much more comfortable and it's all thanks to the wonderful atmosphere that you all create!


Thank you so much for your time and commitment to this program. My daughter loves her time at 3 Gaits and has shown a lot of progress because of her experiences there which would not be possible without the volunteers.


Thanks so much for all your hard selfless work. I know without you all 3gaits would not be able to operate. Truly grateful for all you’ve done for my son and for many other children


Thank you so much for your dedication to helping all of the children who ride. Our son LOVES going to horse therapy and your patience and care is invaluable. Thank you!

Thank you dear angels for the joy you create from the minute my daughter puts on her cowboy boots to the second she steps into the barn onto her horse. You are the reason so many individuals with disabilities have a time out from all the challenges in their daily lives to smile and feel powerful, tall, accomplished, and perfect. Even when Signe has had a crabby day, she lights up coming to Three Gaits. Then she talks about all she did during her lesson on the car ride home. She never misses an opportunity to tell anyone who asks her about what she is up to that she has been riding horses at Three Gaits since she was a little girl. As volunteers you give your time and your hearts and directly impact the lives of countless individuals with different abilities. You grow confidence and self-esteem and success. Because of you, smiles spread like fire in the world we all live. Thankyou seems inadequate. We parents are forever in your debt. You and the horses are the magic makers.


We are so grateful to all the volunteers at Three Gaits who make horseback riding possible for individuals with disabilities! Our daughter loves riding the horses at Three Gaits and that would not be possible without all the amazing volunteers! Thank you for donating your time and for your dedication!

V has hated every activity we put her in until we went to 3 Gaits. For the first time, she looked forward to something and it meant everything to us. Seeing her so excited to do something outside of the house is amazing and we are so thankful to all the volunteers who make this opportunity happen. They show up with patience and kindness. We know our girl is safe out there because so many have their eyes and hands on her. Volunteers taking their time every week to come is making a difference for our daughter. In her last sessions before the break, she was holding on to something and carrying it for a short distance. Physical and occupational therapy have worked to get her to do that for years with no success. Being willing to carry something will make a huge difference in her independence overall! Thank you to all the volunteers who keep coming each week even when the progress comes in inches instead of baby steps. V loves the horses and is making progress in a very short time compared to her usual development. We appreciate you!

~ Amy

For a child with autism most of extracurricular activities are not an option and Three Gaits provides that unique opportunity for our Leah. It warms my heart to see her smile while she rides and that experience would not be possible without all the wonderful volunteers. Please know how much your time and dedication means to our family. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

~ Lisa

Thank you so much for your service to Three Gaits, and to the community of people and animals who are a part of it. Thank you for walking beside my son, both literally and figuratively. You are so important!


Meet Angela Wallace – New Three Gaits Board Director!

Angela is the Executive Director of Logan’s Hearts and Smiles, a local organization that provides accessibility and safety home modifications for children with disabilities.  She started volunteering at Three Gaits in 2018, happily joined the Board last December, and is currently spearheading the recently reinvigorated Program Committee.

“I am excited to be leading the Program Committee where we are looking to expand and grow our existing services to meet the needs of the community.”

Angela volunteers in lessons and has recently found a passion for Hippotherapy (individual therapy):


“I love watching the gains made during lessons and how in some instances you can actually see how the horse has a therapeutic impact calming a rider from the beginning to the end of a lesson.”

Around the Farm

In the coming weeks we will be sprucing up the farm with visions of trail riding, outdoor sensory trails, and hanging out under the pavilion!

Plans for creating an educational trail are in the works – check back to see what our creative team and volunteers come up with!

The grass is growing, and our aged equipment is not up for the task– will you help us purchase a new mower to keep our pastures in tip top shape?

Special thanks to all our donors for your generous support of Three Gaits’ mission. If you have been a part of our past 40 years, thank you for helping us to to get here.  And please join us as we build our bright future!