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2016 Year-End Letter

Printable Year-End Letter PDF Form
Printable Donation Form PDF File

Winter 2016

Horses are magnificent partners, as gentle as they are powerful, possessing a degree of sensitivity that equals their immense strength, beauty, and grace. It’s an incredible privilege to witness the joy and healing that come from riding and working with them every day. In the 33 years since Three Gaits was founded, we have grown and changed quite a bit, but the underlying magic of therapeutic horsemanship that drives our work remains the same.

The other powerful magic we rely on is the ongoing commitment and support of our amazing family of volunteers and supporters. Without your help, it would be impossible to sustain the important work we do—work that is making a real difference in people’s lives! Periodically, we conduct surveys of our riding program participants, and their feedback lifts our hearts. In our most recent survey, EVERYONE who completed it said they had noticed improvements, the most common being:

  • 81% noticed improvement in balance.

  • 77 % noticed improvement in strength.

  • 66% noticed improvement in self-esteem.

  • 78% of riders said that participation in activities at Three Gaits had a positive impact on their social skills.

But getting those remarkable results takes resources. Caring for our horses properly, maintaining our facilities, and running our programs all involve huge expenses that never stop. In fact, as we look ahead toward helping more people, improving the quality of our services and facilities, and building a vibrant future for our organization, the need for resources continues to grow. So once again, we are asking you to renew—and if possible, increase—your commitment to Three Gaits. We challenge you to consider taking the next step in your support. If you have never made a financial contribution, please consider making a donation of any amount. If you usually contribute $50, think about making it $100 this year if you are able. If you typically give $500 and are fortunate enough to be in the position to do more, please consider becoming a major donor at the $1,000 level.

Unlike many organizations, we won’t try to entice you to give more with “premiums” and special privileges that come with various levels of giving. We ask because we know you truly care about Three Gaits, our mission, and what we can accomplish together through your generosity.

As you may already know, the fees our participants pay cover only about one-third of the cost of the services they receive. We rely on other sources, including your donation, for the other two-thirds. Here are a few examples of what your gift can do:

  • $30 would cover the cost of deworming a horse for a year.

  • $100 would pay for one third of the cost of a 12-week session of therapeutic riding for one participant.

  • $300 would pay for nearly half of the cost of a 10-week therapy session consisting of one-on-one work with a licensed physical or occupational therapist.

  • $1,000 would cover the entire cost of one of each of those types of sessions, with $50 left over to contribute to ongoing operating expenses.

It also takes resources to excel at what we do. As one of only five therapeutic riding centers in Wisconsin to be accredited by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International, we’ve invested countless hours and substantial funds in becoming experts in our field. In addition to setting high standards for ourselves, we are also committed to sharing our knowledge through workshops and other educational activities.

The data we collect via surveys is important, but the impact of our work can’t be fully captured in numbers. The verbal feedback we receive from our families is even more meaningful. Here’s one of my favorite comments from the survey:

“We adore the staff and volunteers at Three Gaits. They provide an incredible opportunity for our daughter to be challenged and learn to keep her mind open to trying new things…. Our daughter rises and falls to the level of challenge provided. Three Gaits challenges her with high expectations, and she rises to meet those. We appreciate that you see her potential.”

As a member of the Three Gaits family, you have been part of something extraordinary. Together, we can build on that success, help more people, and make an even greater difference in the lives of those we serve.

Thank you!

Dena Duncan
Executive Director

 
 

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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