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Guided Animal Intervention Therapy (GAIT)

Healing on horseback

The GAIT program, located at Seneca’s Canyon Acres Ranch in Anaheim Hills, is a therapeutic riding program that uses horses to support children in meeting their mental health & behavioral needs. GAIT serves children in the community who have mental health goals and specializes in treating children who have experienced trauma and loss and supports these children in being able to build trust, positive thoughts, and a healthy sense of mastery and control.

GAIT makes a difference! The GAIT program provides children the opportunity to heal by building a relationship with a horse while they learn to cope with and manage emotional triggers. GAIT’s therapeutic riding instructors are PATH certified and every lesson has a specific therapeutic goal paired with a horsemanship goal. Our facility provides opportunities for children to have lessons in the arena, do empowering activities in the round pen, or engage their senses with a trail ride on the sensory trail. This innovative approach allows horses to act as a mirror to the child’s feelings and a bridge to achieving their goals.

GAIT serves children who have goals associated with the following:
  • Depression & Anxiety
  • Trauma & Loss
  • Impaired Attachment
  • Opposition & Defiance
  • Social Skills
  • Frustration Tolerance
  • Confidence
  • Self-Esteem
  • Communication
  • Trust
  • Decreased Isolation
  • Self-Acceptance
  • Impulse Control
  • Boundaries

What you can do to support GAIT today!

1. DONATE! Click here to support this remarkable program. 
2. VOLUNTEER! Click here for volunteer information.


For more information or to refer a child to Seneca’s GAIT program, contact Sara Arpiarian at Sara_Arpiarian@senecacenter.org or call 714-944-1966.

  The GAIT program features therapeutic riding instructors certified by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH).


Meet our Horses!


Valkyrie “Kyrie”
Age: 8
Breed: Icelandic horse

Sponsorship: Available

Valkyrie, who goes by “Kyrie”, is a spunky pony with a big personality. She may be the smallest in the herd but she makes her presence known! She is a very special breed that originated in Iceland and is very sturdy.  Kyrie can perform two gaits in addition to the walk, trot and canter called the tolt and pace. She once starred in a commercial where she performed her trick of sitting on a hay bale!






I Padrini di Antonello “I Padrini”
Age: 10
Breed: Fjord

Sponsored by: I Padrini di Antonello

I Padrini is playful, engaging, and curious. He is happy being a child’s partner in games and being led through obstacle courses during sessions. His willing nature and calm demeanor make him an ideal therapeutic riding horse.






Lucia AKA Lucy
Age: 15
Breed: Azteca "Flea Bitten" Grey

Leased Horse

Lucia, or Lucy as we call her around the barn, is a beautiful Azteca mare with a sweet and friendly temperament. She loves attention and is very smitten with her neighbor I’Padrini. Lucy has a high-stepping “parade” trot that is characteristic of Aztecas, who are also known for their athleticism and ability to learn quickly. It is said that once an Azteca learns a skill, they will never forget it! We look forward to seeing how Lucy will make her mark within our program.






Age: 7
Breed: Paint

Sponsorship: Available

We are excited to welcome Skylar, the newest member of our herd! With her impressive looks you will do a double take! Skylar is very sociable and loves to be where the action is. She is a quick learner and is eager to please.