Business Directory

Therapeutic

G.A.I.T. Therapeutic Riding Center
GAIT TRC began with a Board of Directors in 1995. In January 1996, GAIT TRC was incorporated by its founder and Executive Director, Ms. Martha S. Dubensky. GAIT TRC was formally organized as a Federal 501(c)(3) tax exempt, nonprofit, charitable organization in June 1997.

In 2015, GAIT TRC celebrated 20 years of providing services for our tristate area!
GAIT’s mission 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.”
GAIT TRC accomplishes its mission using its specially trained horses, professional PATH International Certified Instructors and dedicated, highly trained volunteers to provide equine activities and therapies for people with various disabilities.
GAIT TRC would also not be as effective without the assistance of our state licensed physical therapists (PT), occupational therapists (OT) and speech-language pathologists (SLP) and credentialed mental health professionals. They are hired by GAIT TRC to perform Hippotherapy and other therapy services.

Who Benefits From GAIT’s Services?
GAIT TRC was established so that people of any age with almost any disability could be addressed and aided by our equine activities and therapies. Our services and programs teach the participants to interact with others in positive ways, to communicate more effectively, and to improve their social skills.
Participants ages 2 – seniors with special needs including but not limited to the following have been helped by using GAIT’s services:


Attention Deficit Disorder Spectrum (ADD)
Autism Spectrum
Cerebral Palsy
Developmental Delays (DD)
Down Syndrome
Head Trauma
Lupus
Mental Retardation
Multiple Sclerosis
Prader Willi Syndrome
Spina Bifida
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Additionally, youth identified by their schools with “at risk” behaviors benefit from ourEquine Facilitated Learning and Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy Programs.
Our Vocational Training Program helps young adults with special needs transition to other job sites and work opportunities.
And our Volunteer Opportunity Program helps many people gain valuable work experience which can lead to an interest in careers in Equine Science and gainful employment within the Equine Industry. Moreover, working with people with special needs results in priceless “hands on” experience as required by most colleges for students who are interning in PT, OT or SLP or who are working toward their mental health career choice.
Additionally, many of our volunteers put their skills to work for us “just for fun” to help make our community a better place. These volunteers range in ages from young adults 12 years old through retirees over 80 years old! We thank them all!
GAIT’s Instructor Mentoring Program teaches, guides, and gives students who wish to become Therapeutic Riding Instructors the practical, educational, and hands-on experience to become PATH-Certified Instructors.
Martha Dubensky – PATH International Certified Advanced Instructor, Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning, Certified Life Coach, Addiction Counselor, and a PATH Mentor and Lead Evaluator

Martha Dubensky has loved and owned horses for most of her life. In 1983, she was introduced to horses providing therapy for people with disabilities at “Monique Stable” in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Thirsty for more knowledge on this therapy, she volunteered at a program in Warwick, New York for several years and in 1994 became a certified PATH International therapeutic riding instructor. In 1995, she founded the GAIT Therapeutic Riding Center.


Lena Dubensky – PATH International Certified Registered Instructor

Lena Dubensky received her PATH certification when she was 18-years old and a senior in high school. She has taught at GAIT, Winslow, From the Ground Up, and The Right Step throughout her college and working career. She is currently in Denver, CO, and volunteers at The Right Step.

 


Nancy Van Wyk – PATH International Certified Registered Instructor, Mentor, Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning and is the Program Specialist for Veterans

Nancy Van Wyk started as a GAIT volunteer and became a PATH Certified Riding Instructor in 2013. She has a background in Law Enforcement and is educated in Equine Behavior and Sciences. Nancy lives on a farm and has three horses of her own.

Vera Remes – PATH International Certified Registered Instructor, Mentor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning

Vera became a PATH Certified Riding Instructor in 2007, a PATH Mentor in 2010 and an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning in 2013. She taught special education classes for 11 years and is a learning disabilities teacher/consultant.  After retiring from a career in law and moving to Pennsylvania in 2012, she began volunteering as an instructor. She also serves on the GAIT Board of Directors.


Diana Moldovan – PATH International Certified Registered Instructor

Diana Moldovan began riding on and off at a young age and had worked in many lesson barns to supplement her riding education. Diana was a volunteer at GAIT during her teens years and worked at a harness racing facility after leaving East Stroudsburg University. After her time at the race track, she worked in an assisted living environment with individuals with both mental and behavioral challenges. While there, she acquired hands on experience with assisting the residents with their daily living before taking on an assistant manager position as well.

This combined experience and knowledge of working with horses and individuals with special needs has been useful to Diana as GAIT’s Instructor Assistant, Volunteer Coordinator, and as a PATH Certified Instructor. As a Certified Instructor, Diana hopes to promote a better understanding of working with individuals with special needs, as well as an appreciation for the horses and the amazing work that they do.

Deborah Albrecht-PATH International Certified Registered Instructor

bio to be updated

 
Office Personnel
Martha Dubensky – Executive Director, Founder

Martha Dubensky is the Education Chairman of the Gifford Pinchot Audubon Society, a member of several Boards of nonprofit organizations and has been a Sunday school teacher for 2 decades. Martha graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree from Cornell University. Her husband and three children are very supportive of both her and GAIT.

Mrs. Dubensky is a past PATH Region 2 Representative from 2009 to 2011. She is currently a mentor for instructors-in-training and is a PATH Associate Evaluator conducting workshops and certifications for the therapeutic riding industry.

Cora Chandler – Director of Development

Cora Chandler holds a degree in History and Education and enjoys working for non-profit organizations to help improve the lives of their clients. As Director of Development, Cora acts as liaison between GAIT and the community by assisting with the development and organization of fundraising events, co-teaches volunteer training sessions, attends board meetings, and assists sponsors, riders, and volunteers to stay involved with GAIT TRC. When she is not at GAIT, she is at her full time job working in the career center of another non-profit organization, helping people become employed. In her spare time she participates in living history events.

Gigi Kratzke – Administrative Assistant

Gigi Kratzke has worked in various capacities over the years with other nonprofit agencies including New Jersey Easter Seals and the Pike County Library. Looking to join a charitable organization, she joined GAIT in February 2007 as the Administrative Assistant. She is a tremendous help alleviating the increased workload resulting from GAIT’s successful programs which continue to increase in size and number. Gigi graduated from Sussex County Community College with a two-year degree in Accounting and Computer Information Systems.

Diana Moldovan- Volunteer Coordinator

Diana Moldovan had been a volunteer at GAIT during her teen years and had donated a horse to the program before moving away. Since moving back to the tri- state area, she has accumulated experience working with various horse stables and also with individuals with special needs in an assisted living facility. Diana returned to GAIT in 2014 as the Instructor Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator, where she assists with maintaining and updating volunteer information, ensuring there are enough volunteers at each class, and providing information to volunteers via the website or Facebook page.


 
Support Staff
Susan Swalm – Activities Program Coordinator

Susan Swalm, who had horses growing up, has been volunteering at GAIT TRC since March 2005. Since the autumn of 2005, she has spent most of her time working with the riders during off-horse activities and planning the current curriculum for the Activities Program. She uses her education and experience in the planning and facilitating of activities for the riders and enjoys helping them develop an awareness and appreciation for the world (especially the natural world) around them and their place in it through story, music, art, games, language, creative dramatics and puppets.

Robert Plate – Barn Assistant


GAIT TRC Horses


GAIT TRC utilizes specially trained horses who have been carefully selected for their temperament, soundness, and equilateral movement. Prospective horses that are donated to the program are thoroughly vetted prior to being accepted on a trial basis. 
The ideal horse must be sound at the walk/ trot/ canter, have good ground manners, accepting of their environment and riders, have a low flight response, and able to learn how to handle people walking on both sides of them. Ideal height is 13-15 hands and usually in their teen years or older. While the work is at a steady pace, not every horse is suitable to accept the challenges presented within a therapeutic setting. Emphasis on the horse’s health and happiness, as well as the safety of riders and volunteers, is of the utmost importance to us.

Horse Sponsorship Program
GAIT maintains a herd of ten very special horses; each one unique and with very specific needs. Providing for a barn full of horses is very expensive, but GAIT’s Horse Sponsorship Program helps to offset the high costs of vet care, farrier visits, basic necessities, and individual needs. When you sponsor a GAIT animal you will receive a folder containing a Sponsorship Certificate, a picture of the horse you have chosen, and a biography of that horse, not to mention the satisfaction of contributing to a good cause.
You can sponsor a horse for $100/ mo or $1200/ yr, but any donation amount would be greatly appreciated. 


Therapeutic horseback riding
PO Box 69, 314 Foster Hill Road , Milford, PA 18337

Martha A. Dubinsky, Executive Director
Visit our Website
(570) 409-1140
(570) 300-2288