Alea is originally from Lafayette and joined GaitWay after six years of working as a Riding Instructor, Lesson Program Coordinator, and Camp Director with BREC’s Farr Park Equestrian Center. She manages the office at GaitWay and aids the Board of Directors in fundraising efforts. Alea began riding lessons at a young age and maintained her equestrian passion while serving in various leadership roles throughout her high school years. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management at the end of 2019. Alea looks forward to applying what she has learned on the job and in her fields of study towards fostering the mission and development of GaitWay.
Public Relations & Volunteer Coordinator
Mallory assists with our volunteer training and scheduling as well as managing our social media accounts. She is a lifelong resident of Iberville parish. Mallory has been involved in many aspects of community service her whole life and is excited to be working at GaitWay and with the wonderful community here.
Errin is a graduate from Mississippi State University with a BS in Agriculture Leadership/focus area in Animal Science. She is originally from Madison Mississippi where she began her career with horses working at a local hunter/jumper barn for 6 years. Since then, she has started to attend 3-day events with her horse YaYa an American Warmblood. Errin did her internship with Mississippi State Therapeutic riding center, and she has also worked with an occupational therapist in Madison MS that practices hippotherapy.
PATH Certified Instructor & Lesson Program Coordinator
Brianna’s journey with GaitWay started over 5 years ago. At 15 years old, Brianna came to GaitWay as a therapeutic rider. At GaitWay, she was able to make amazing friends along with progress in her riding and volunteering. She volunteered almost every day. Two years later, she got her first horse, Greta. As a teenager, Brianna remembers telling her riding instructor that she wanted to be just like her one day. And now here Brianna is, out of high school with her second horse, Heilo. She is still out at GaitWay almost every day and attending horse shows on weekends. She is now PATH certified and is an irreplaceable part of the GaitWay team.
PATH Certified Instructor & Development Associate
Marlena McGrath is a graduate of St. Andrews University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Therapeutic Horsemanship. Her love and passion for horses began at the age of four. Her father commissioned into the United States Army, forever altering her life in the best way possible. Every move was a new adventure for her and her siblings. Marlena’s desire to be a Therapeutic Riding Instructor stemmed from her first encounter with a Therapeutic Riding center in Upstate New York as a sophomore in High School. During this time, her father returned home after serving a year overseas in Iraq. As a way to reconnect the family, her mom signed the family up in a program called Horses for Heroes. After a lesson with her family, she remembers seeing a young boy in a wheelchair exemplify an abundance of excitement to ride. From there, she worked hard to find ways of making her dream of recreating that same joy in others into a reality. After living in nine different states, Marlena came to Louisiana to pursue her lifelong dream and continue making once in a lifetime opportunities in the process.
Changing Lives One Stride at a Time
Since 2005, GaitWay Therapeutic Horsemanship has been improving the health and abilities of Baton Rouge’s special needs community. What started off as a one-woman operation with just a few horses and clients has grown into a program that currently serves over 60 clients annually with 11 equine therapists and a database of over 45 active volunteers. GaitWay is overseen by a Board of Directors comprised of eight dedicated individuals from various fields.
GaitWay offers its services to both children and adults with a wide array of disabilities in the Greater Baton Rouge area. For the individuals in this region, GaitWay is the only provider of equine-based therapy services that offers both a certified therapeutic program, and the option for financial assistance. Traditional approaches to therapy focus on the assistance one human can offer another; at GaitWay, the horse is a companion on the journey and the living embodiment of power through trust and collaborative effort.