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My daughter Kira has been riding at Three Gaits for 6 years.  She started out doing hippotherapy and then switched to therapeutic riding lessons.  Kira has autism and an undiagnosed muscle disorder.

When we had the chance to get her involved at Three Gaits, we jumped at the opportunity.  I will never forget watching her get ready to ride for the 1st time.  I was nervous, she was not.  Not even a little.  I remember being amazed that she didn’t hesitate to get started at her first lesson.  For YEARS we had tried new experiences with Kira and many times, her anxiety got the best of her. But that day, I watched her walk up the ramp with no hesitation at all.


I watched her listen to how to get on the horse, watched her do it and the smile that she had was probably the biggest smile I had ever seen on her face.  I was still nervous; she was still not.  I watched her ride around the arena, and I could see her confidence growing with every lap.  I watched her drop bean bags in buckets, tell her horse to “walk on” and “woah.”  I watched her smile get bigger and bigger.  The only time she stopped smiling was when the lesson was over! Kira’s a pretty quiet kid but that day, she talked all the way home...then she called my mom and talked more and then her dad came home for work and she talked more! Smiling and giggling the whole time.  I knew at that moment that this wasn’t going to be a “one and done session”...we were in it for “awhile.”  Little did I know that it would be years of watching her grow and learn at Three Gaits.

I have watched Kira’s confidence grow with every session she’s been a part of at Three Gaits.  Kira’s world has been full of therapies since she was an infant….PT, OT, Speech, Rec Therapy, and water therapy and while all of these have been beneficial and necessary for her…..riding horses is where I have seen Kira’s confidence grow the most.

Being at Three Gaits has taught Kira to use her voice. It has taught Kira and she can speak up both in volume and to tell others what she needs or how she feels.

For Kira following multi-step directions was extremely challenging for many years.  One step? No problem.  Two steps?  Maybe.  Three steps?  Nope!  When she was on a horse, following multi- step directions became much easier.

I was shocked when I saw her successfully following 3-4 steps while riding a horse.  I shared this with her OT and we were able to use what she was learning at Three Gaits and carry that over into many other areas of her life.

Again, this gave Kira more independence and a feeling of being successful.

We are so thankful for every opportunity and lesson learned for Kira at Three Gaits.  We are thankful for the instructors who give each rider encouragement and praise while challenging them to be better riders.  We are incredibly thankful for everyone who makes Three Gaits the amazing place that it is.

Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to share just a little of what Three Gaits means to Kira and our family.


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We partner with families, community centers, social services, residential facilities, and senior centers to provide learning experiences to people of all ages who have physical, emotional, cognitive, or social disabilities with the help of our equine partners. Learn more about our programs.


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Three Gaits relies on the generous support of donors and partners to keep our farm open and our programs running.  Through monetary support, horse donations, sponsorships, and gifts, you can help our riders meet their goals. Learn more about how you can help!


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Discover fulfilling and fun roles at Three Gaits to support our riders, care for our horses, and maintain our facilities.  All while being a part of a supportive and passionate community! Learn more about how you can make a difference!

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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