PLATINUM2024

G A I T Inc.

Horses Connecting Humans in Mind, Body, and Spirit

aka GAIT Therapeutic Riding Center (GAIT TRC)   |   Milford, PA   |  http://www.gaittrc.org/

Mission

The mission of GAIT TRC is 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.

Notes from the nonprofit

Since 1995, GAIT has provided instruction in therapeutic riding and horsemanship skills to people with disabilities for their therapeutic benefit. These equine assisted services provide an alternative approach to therapy to promote mental, physical, and emotional well-being. GAIT utilizes specially trained horses who have been carefully selected for their temperament, soundness, and equilateral movement. All equine sessions are conducted by PATH Intl. equine professionals, licensed therapists, credentialed mental health professionals and highly trained volunteers. GAIT also helps "grow" the Equine Assisted Services Industry by offering PATH Intl. ESMHL (Equine Specialist in Mental Health & Learning) workshops and skills tests. These trainings improve the level of knowledge industry-wide which helps the industry on a national level.

Ruling year info

1997

Executive Director

Mr. Peter Rizzo

Main address

PO Box 69

Milford, PA 18337 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

G.A.I.T. Inc

EIN

22-3444872

NTEE code info

Equestrian, Riding (N69)

Other Services (D60)

Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers (P82)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GAIT TRC is located in a rural area where there are limited opportunities for people with special needs to have access to activities that provide exercise, recreation, and fresh air. Year round outdoor activities are especially limited, including a lack of activities for adolescents who have "aged out," increased need of assistance for those with compromised physical and/or cognitive challenges, financial constraints and limited public transportation. These issues are compounded by increasing cases of children with sensory issues, learning disabilities and mental health concerns with finite resources available locally. Most families are required to travel some distance in order to gain access to medical doctors and therapies. GAIT’s equine assisted services are available to people of all ages, offered year round and are adaptable to meet the needs of individuals with varied physical, emotional and cognitive challenges. GAIT TRC is also the only center of its kind in Pike County, PA.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Therapeutic Riding

Therapeutic Riding classes are taught within a group setting by a PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRI) with the assistance of specially trained volunteers. Lessons are designed to accommodate the physical, mental, and/ or social needs of the rider. The physical act of riding improves balance, posture, trunk control, motor function, and coordination. Increased attention, communication skills, spatial awareness, and socialization are achieved through a series of planned exercises. Participants with a wide array of challenges and varying ages are taught basic horseback riding techniques to control the horse’s movement, such as steering or stopping the horse.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Adults
Children and youth
Veterans

PATH Intl. Equine Specialists and educators integrate horse- human interaction through planned learning experiences. Mounted and unmounted equine activities provide an experiential learning approach as a method of teaching positive, effective patterns of social interactions, and communications.

Sessions are conducted by an equine professional who develops mounted and/or unmounted activities involving the horse to address emotional and behavioral characteristics of the individual. They are designed to be safe, educational, and age-appropriate for small groups or individuals to function more happily and self-confidently in their everyday lives. Teens-at-risk as identified by the school system, youth advocacy programs, or other professional organizations benefit from this type of program.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Adults
Veterans
People with disabilities
Emergency responders

PATH Intl. Equine Specialists and licensed mental health professionals partner with carefully selected horses to address the client’s psychotherapy goals. This experiential approach allows professionals to teach a wide range of life skills and coping techniques to those struggling with mental health issues. These interactive processes provide participants with insight for observation and growth while promoting healthy communication, social skills, patience, and confidence.

As prey animals, horses are highly perceptive to subtle changes within their environment. This sensitivity dictates how they will respond to an individual’s changing emotional state. If a client arrives feeling anxious, the horse will respond accordingly. As the client learns to reduce their anxiety, the horse’s behavior will mirror that response. The horse acts as a large biofeedback entity, providing the client and mental health professional with information and skill building opportunities.

Population(s) Served
People with psychosocial disabilities
At-risk youth
Veterans
Emergency responders
Adults

Licensed therapists incorporate the multi-dimensional movement of the horse as a treatment tool in order to achieve functional outcomes. GAIT TRC coordinates with a PATH Intl. Registered Speech and Language Pathologist to provide Speech Therapy to participants.

The horses movement influences the riders responses rather than the rider being taught to control the horses movement. The therapist analyzes the riders responses to the horses movement and adjusts the treatment (the horses movement) with the goal of having the rider respond in a very specific way. This unique, three dimensional movement provides sensory input to the brain and nervous system to improve balance, flexibility, muscle strength, motor function planning, postural awareness, and sensory processing.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Children and youth

GAIT TRC offers equine assisted services to Veterans, First Responders, Law Enforcement personnel, healthcare workers, and their families. Activities can include learning horsemanship skills such as grooming and horse handling, riding lessons or counseling to address challenges such as PTSD, anxiety, stress, or reintegration into family/ society.

These services are free for Veterans, First Responders, etc. and discounts are available for family members to participate in GAIT's programs through scholarships.

Population(s) Served
Emergency responders
Military personnel
Veterans

Volunteers are vital to running a safe and successful program for participants, as well as to foster the bonds between horse and rider. GAIT provides many rewarding opportunities for those who are interested in working with horses, being physically active, learning new skills, and giving back to the community. Volunteer experience is also beneficial to expanding your social network, exploring career opportunities, and building references for work/ college resumes.

*minimum age 12 (background checks required for 18+ as per PA law)
Assisting during Therapeutic Riding classes and/or Activities Program
Barn chores, arena set up
Landscaping, gardening, and/or facility repairs
Additional training to become horse handlers/ groomers
Mailings/ flyer distribution
Assisting during educational workshops, fundraising, and other special events

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Adults

4-H Horse Club
Girl & Boy Scouts
United Way Day of Caring
Community Service- Probation
Pike County Public Library- story time and Horse Powered Reading™
Pike Autism Support Services of NEPA
Veterans events & meeting
Interagency Council
Internships for students studying Recreational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Psychology
Delaware Valley School District- emotional support groups
Wallenpaupack School District- vocational training group
High Point High School- equine assisted learning group
Mentoring for prospective instructors seeking PATH Intl. certification

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

Charitable Organization of the Year 2019

Pike County Chamber of Commerce

Affiliations & memberships

4-H Horsemanship Club 2017

PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center 2019

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Adolescents

Related Program

Volunteer Opportunities

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Related to all volunteer activities ( TR classes, barn work, fundraising events, etc.) *Decrease in 2020 due to COVID-19 closures, * 2021 restrictions eased; operating in limited capacity

Number of Facebook followers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Adolescents

Related Program

Volunteer Opportunities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

*Decrease in 2020 due to COVID-19 closures and restrictions *2021 restrictions eased; operating in limited capacity

Number of lessons taught

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, People with disabilities, Adults, Veterans, At-risk youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Lessons/ sessions relating to all EAS programs. *2020 private lessons only due to COVID-19 restrictions *2021 restrictions eased; operating in limited capacity

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Veterans, People with disabilities, Children and youth, At-risk youth, Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Total participants served, relating to all EAS programs. *2020 decrease due to COVID-19 *2021 restrictions eased; operating in limited capacity

Number of students who receive scholarship funds and/or tuition assistance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Veterans, People with disabilities, Children and youth

Related Program

Therapeutic Riding

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Relates to recipients via GAIT's privately funded scholarships and/or Biondo scholarship to participate in any of GAIT's programs *Decrease in 2020 due to COVID-19 closures and restrictions

Number of grants received

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

* Increase in grant opportunities in 2020 due to COVID-19

Number of people trained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Adolescents

Related Program

Volunteer Opportunities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

*Decrease in 2020 due to COVID-19 *2021 restrictions eased; operating in limited capacity

Total dollar amount of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Number of new donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Number of donors retained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Number of US dollars spent on direct compensation

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

To provide sustainable and impactful programming to fulfill GAIT's mission of providing equine assisted services for children and adults with special needs to live a more productive life. GAIT also offers vocational training and volunteer opportunities that promote independence, socialization and community involvement. These year- round programs provide an alternative to traditional therapies in institutionalized settings through fun, engaging activities that are also closer to home.
The outcomes for participants of GAITs programs are increased core strength, flexibility and confidence, improve reasoning, problem solving skills, self-awareness and self-control and to decrease anxiety and depression. The horses movement provides the rider with sensory input for proprioceptive responses and organization skills. Interactions with the horse also provides immediate feedback for somatosensory responses, highlighting behavioral patterns that can then be addressed.
GAIT continues to evaluate current programs to optimize potentials for individuals, create a sustainable financial model to support growth and innovation for future programming and optimize outreach efforts to help community members and organizations provide unique opportunities for their clientele.

Goals:

1. Expand awareness about GAITs core services and programs within the local
community and throughout the tri-state area of Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.

2. Establish the organizational infrastructure to meet the requirements of an expanded demand for equine therapeutic riding services and programs.

3. Establish viable ways and means for long-term organizational and financial sustainability.

4. Change and promote change of organizational entity name to GAIT Therapeutic Horsemanship Center.

GAIT utilizes specially trained horses who have been carefully selected for their temperament, soundness, and equilateral movement. All equine sessions are conducted by PATH Intl. Certified Instructors, licensed mental health professionals and licensed therapists who work together to develop individualized treatment strategies and lesson planning. Volunteers are provided with annual trainings and enrichment opportunities to expand their knowledge of horses and the EAS industry. GAIT also strives to ensure that its equines, facility, and other resources are positioned to support future programming by evaluating capacity/constraints for future growth, review of fee structure/ scholarship policies, identifying new funding sources (grants, foundations, fundraising), and collaboration of the Board of Directors and Advisory Council.

Strategies:

1. Develop a plan to utilize community social and business communication methods by publishing consistently all of GAITs activities, services and programs.
2. Create formal, ongoing partnerships with area social, business, governmental, medical/healthcare organizations that can enhance broad-based awareness about GAIT programs and services.
3. Seek essential funding for focused marketing and promotion of GAIT services and programs through fundraising and grant application funding.
4. Maintain a corporate structure capable of operating multiple lines of business and that can accommodate income stream growth. Initially, these income streams include fee-based GAITs core services, programs and activities, as well as experiential and educational learning activities. Administrative and professional support functions will be centralized such that each line of business can focus on service and program delivery.
5. Periodically update in accordance with best corporate practices, all aspects of board governance, and professional equine instruction/teaching management to include feedback from key stakeholders to include donors, grant-funding providers and participants utilizing the services and programs.
6. Engage external evaluators to design and implement comprehensive programs and service evaluation protocols. Based on ongoing evaluation of governance and management operations, update all curricula, program policies and procedures, job descriptions, and administrative functions.
7. The GAIT Board of Directors will continue to be actively engaged in setting strategy, providing management oversight, and playing a direct role in assuring that GAIT has the financial resources, including requisite fundraising, to be sustainable.
8. Continue to review feasibility studies for raising endowment funds through capital campaigns that support capital improvements as well as to establish an endowment or an operating reserve fund to support and sustain long-term maintenance and operations.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is hard to come up with good questions to ask people, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback

Financials

G A I T Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

G A I T Inc.

Board of directors
as of 01/25/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mrs. Martha S. Dubensky

GAIT TRC Founder & Board President

Peter Rizzo

Exec Director, non- voting Board Member, Veteran, equine non-profit professional, certified equine appraiser

Martha S. Dubensky

GAIT Founder, Board President, PATH Intl. Advanced Instructor/ ESMHL/ Faculty, Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Life Coach

Jing Moore

Treasurer, volunteer, CFO Healthcare Software

Maryellen Rafferty

Secretary, volunteer, educator- Literacy, SpEd- Elem, MS, HS Teacher, University level

Vera Remes

legal advisor, volunteer, PATH Intl. CTRI/ ESMHL/ Faculty, educator- ToH

Jennifer Van Louvender

volunteer, elementary school counselor

Susan Weber

volunteer, education, secondary- English, German, Literacy

Lenore Rogan

home educator, non-profit professional

Fran Martone

BA Child Study, MA Elementary Ed, Home & Community Supports training

Jacque Transmeier

PATH Intl. CTRI & ESMHL

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes