Three Gaits Inc

A nonprofit organization

2 donors

Three Gaits was started in 1983 by Gail Brown and Lorrie Renker, one horse and eight riders. The guiding vision was a love for horses and an interest in providing equine-assisted activities for individuals with disabilities in Dane County. The name Three Gaits refers to three movements of a horse -- walk, trot and canter.

Community response to the program was enthusiastic and by 1986, Three Gaits gained sufficient support to obtain a mortgage for our 20-acre farm located on Highway 138 between Stoughton & Oregon, WI. This move gave the non-profit organization greater flexibility in designing a quality program that is tailored specifically to the individual needs of each rider.

Today, approximately 15 program horses, over 400 volunteers a year and a limited, yet very dedicated staff, provide more than 250 children, youth & adults each year the opportunity to extend therapy, special education and interpersonal skill development into the horsemanship experience. This includes group lessons, individual therapy and group therapy.

As a non-profit 501(c)3, tax-exempt corporation, Three Gaits relies on support from the community to accomplish its goals. Volunteers give time and special expertise at the stable, property or office. Organizations & local donors contribute in many ways, including donating stable & riding equipment, funds for scholarships, building and special projects, or contributing a sound, quiet and well-trained horse or pony.

The steady growth of Three Gaits therapeutic riding program and the continued demand for services make it evident that consumers and their families, as well as service providers and other professionals, feel that the program has a definite positive impact on the participants' lives.

Since 2002, Three Gaits has been a Premier Accredited Center with PATH Intl, Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (formerly NARHA). PATH Intl is responsible for establishing safety standards and quality control. PATH Intl also certifies our riding instructors, meaning they have passed written examinations and evaluations of their teaching and riding skills. In addition, instructors are First Aid and CPR certified and they participate in a minimum of twenty hours of continuing education annually.

Therapeutic horsemanship has been proven to provide a unique opportunity for self-improvement and independence in a positive learning environment, while offering a challenging alternative to traditional therapy. As the horses body moves, the riders body moves like it is walking. No piece of gym equipment can replicate this three-dimensional motion. Benefits of therapeutic riding include increased balance, strength, and flexibility. Increased ability to process information, improved language skills, and independence and self-confidence are all a direct result of therapeutic riding.

Physical benefits or therapeutic riding include but are not limited to: stretching of tight or spastic muscles, decreased spasticity, increased range of motion in the joints, reduction of abnormal movement patterns, improved respiration and circulation, improved appetite and digestion, and sensory integration.

Psychological benefits include but are not limited to: improved self-confidence, increased interest in the outside world, increased interest in one's own life, development of patience, emotional control, self-discipline, sense of normality, and expansion of the focus of control.

Social benefits include: friendship, increased experiences and enjoyment.

Therapeutic horseback riding uses;

-the warmth and movement of the horse to stretch and strengthen muscles

-the motivation that comes with a fun activity to encourage concentration and decision-making

-the relationship with the horse and volunteers to improve communication skills and boost self-esteem in children, youth and adults with disabilities and special needs.

Organization Data


Organization name

Three Gaits Inc

Tax id (EIN)





PO BOX 153
OREGON, WI 53575


(608) 877-9086