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GAIT Therapeutic Riding Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal-Related, Animals, Education, Equestrian, Health, Patient & Family Support, Special Education, Sports

Mission: To improve the quality of life of children and adults with special needs through equine activities and therapies, resulting in a more independent life in society.

Results: Since 1995, GAIT TRC’s mission has been to improve the quality of life for children and adults with special needs and to help them gain more independence in society. The majority of people served at that time had physical, cognitive, and/or behavioral impairments that negatively impacted their freedom of movement, ability to connect with others, and self-esteem. Over the years, GAIT TRC has continuously evolved to meet the demands of the community by providing services year round, hiring additional instructors, partnering with local groups and associations, and expanding the programs offered. As a PATH Intl' Premier Accredited Center, GAIT now serves over 200 people annually including Veterans/ First Responders with PTSD, families in need of support, individuals struggling with mental health, cancer survivors, at-risk youth, seniors, and children/ adults with physical, cognitive, and/or emotional disabilities.

Target demographics: children and adults with special needs, at-risk youth, Veterans and First Responders, cancer survivors, and those struggling with mental health challenges

Direct beneficiaries per year: 168 individuals, taught 1,479 lessons, provided scholarship assistance to 43 participants. 52 volunteers contributed 3,641 hours.

Geographic areas served: Pike County, serving the tri-state area

Programs: Therapeutic Riding, Hippotherapy, Equine Assisted Learning, Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy, Vocational Training, Horses 4 Heroes, LEEP (Let Equines Empower People) for cancer survivors, community outreach, and volunteer opportunities

Community Stories

8 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Maryellen R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

GAIT Therapeutic Riding Center in Milford serves individuals with special needs with care and respect. I am in awe of their dedication. It is not just their mission; it is their passion.

Gladys Smith S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter, now 24, started riding at GAIT when she was around 5 years old. She is now 24. She was diagnosed at birth with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and all that goes with it. Flash forward to 3 years ago, when my much adored grandson was diagnosed with Autism and began his GAIT journey. GAIT and it's staff have become family to us and have given our daughter and grandson more than I can ever begin to describe. For my daughter, GAIT has given her a bond with animals that will be with her for life and has developed in her a desire to one day get a job working with animals. During her time riding with GAIT, we saw an increase in her muscle tone, her confidence, her social skills, and her ability to bond with other people and animals. Our grandson, has seen gains in speech, confidence, sensory processing, and social relationships. I can't speak highly enough of GAIT!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a certified volunteer for GAIT for approximately one year now and have found the humanity and comradery amongst staff, volunteers, and clients to be astounding. Everybody involved makes this therapeutic riding center what it is, beautiful. There is something for everybody to be able to achieve here at GAIT... as I am a volunteer with My own injuries to overcome, I am certain in knowing everybody is welcomed at GAIT.

Anita W.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has been going to GAIT for 3 years she loves to go riding. The people who work and volunteer at GAIT are so patient and special. It is truly great to have a fun place for your special needs child to experience such a special activity riding and learning about horses.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Within a few months of moving to PA, I passed GAIT and decided to offer my services as a volunteer. That was several years ago and since then I have served in different capacities . What I have always found is this - the people, the place and the horses combine to make GAIT a magical place that benefits clients and everyone involved.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my favourite non-profit. GAIT is totally made up of volunteers plus an executive director , her assistant and an office administrator. Some local students help.with the horses. GAIT helps handicapped young people and adults interact with horses to make them emotionally and physically stronger. Programs are designed to
give participants confidence, develop social skills and encourage self-aware-ness. Miriam B. Siegel. Former Board Member and Officer, Present Associate

DM1986

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I began as a volunteer when I was just 14 years old and am now a PATH certified Instructor and Volunteer Coordinator at GAIT TRC. From the start, the horses and volunteers at GAIT have been like family to me- sharing laughter and tears through triumphs and hardships. As a teenager, all I wanted was a place to feel like I belonged, and GAIT provided that for me. I had no idea at the time how far that experience would bring me, or how much it would shape my life and career choices as an adult. Having come full circle and returning to GAIT as Volunteer Coordinator, it makes me happy to see that sense of family and belonging are still available to riders and volunteers alike. My hope for the new generations of volunteers is that they too find what I have found here, so many years ago. They say that home is where the heart is, and for me my heart has always belonged to GAIT.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I think my story is a bit different. To show you how generous and caring the energy is at GAIT, I was welcomed there as an "instructor in training" when I needed hours for my certification with NARHA, now known as PATH. I was working for an in-house program at the time. From Martha, the director, to all the volunteers, I was made to feel at ease and part of the program and allowed to test my training during their amazing sessions, indoor and out. I will never forget their high standards of knowledge and efficiency and the overall genuine feeling of confidence I had in their program.