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GaitWay Therapeutic Horsemanship hosts 8th annual Derby Day

3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago Saturday, May 04 2024 May 4, 2024 May 04, 2024 10:40 PM May 04, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The GaitWay Derby Day is one of Baton Rouge's hidden gems. It's a Kentucky Derby-style gala with participants dressed head-to-toe in their best dress and derby hat.

GaitWay Therapeutic Horsemanship is a nonprofit organization that uses horseback riding as a mode of therapy for individuals with special needs. Available programs include adaptive lessons for children and adults with physical or mental disabilities, horsemanship lessons, equine science classes and much more.

The organization hosts a Derby Day to raise money and awareness for the benefits of horseback riding as a form of therapy. 

Volunteer Greenley Duplantis says she spends her free time working at GaitWay because of its welcoming atmosphere.

"It's a place where everyone is accepted. Where you can come be yourself and enjoy yourself. Of course, you can come and ride horses but it's so much more than that," Duplantis said.

Duplantis says whether she is working with children or helping at Derby Day, it's rewarding.

"It's not something you do for yourself, it's for other people, and you definitely leave with a smile on your face," Duplantis said.

Volunteer Kristina Wilkerson has been riding horses her entire life. She says when she first began volunteering at GaitWay, she didn't know what to expect.

"It's a place where I didn't know what was going to happen. I was really putting myself out there trying to get back into horseback riding and working with horses, and kids as well. They have been the highlight of my life right now and they just make me so happy," Wilkerson said. "Every time I go there, I just know that I am going to leave with a smile on my face and that my day is going to be ten times better."

For more information about the program, click here. 

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