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2014 Year-End Letter

Printable Year-End Letter PDF Form (275 KB)
Printable Donation Form PDF File (298 KB)

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. 

Sugar: The Easygoing Girl 

Sugar with her rider holding two ribbonsBefore 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 Horse

Dannor being led by a volunteerDannor 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.

Belle: The Confidence Builder

Belle with her rider and volunteersBelle 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 lessons. 

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 you can.

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 today. 

Best wishes, 

Dena Duncan

Dena Duncan
Executive Director

P.S. –– To view our wish list or make a donation online, please visit the Three Gaits website at www.3gaits.org. You can also use the enclosed form to make your gift. Thank you!


Three Gaits, Inc.     Therapeutic Horsemanship Center
(608) 877-9086     3gaits@3gaits.org
Mailing Address:  P.O. Box 153     Oregon, WI  53575
Physical Address (No Mail):  3741 Hwy 138 W     Stoughton, WI  53589


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