Heaven’s Gait Ranch, Inc. is a nonprofit, therapeutic riding center whose mission is to build a compassionate community that embraces individuals who recognize the need to heal and challenge their adversity to grow.
Heaven’s Gait Ranch, Inc. strives to be a community leader in improving the quality of life in individuals with special needs and veterans with disabilities through equine-assisted services.
While offering equine-assisted activities and therapeutic services to individuals in need, Heaven’s Gait Ranch will create an extended family who cares for the well-being of its fellow man: stranger or neighbor. This family understands the need to care for that whole person—mind, body, and soul. Therefore, because Heaven’s Gait Ranch was founded under our Christian values, we will strive to lead by example and offer opportunities for children, teenagers, young adults, veterans, and retirees to grow in these ways—not just as riders but also as volunteers.
Heaven’s Gait Ranch began in the mid 2000s when the late Elaine McClaren envisioned the power of its potential. As a new resident to Cedar Grove who was entering her encore career, she came across the perfect property to open a therapeutic riding center, a long-held dream of hers. With her faith in God, love of horses, and respect for U.S. Veterans, this facility was undoubtedly one way she hoped to make a difference in the lives of those around her. Nevertheless, while working to organize all of the details that go into starting a non-profit organization, Elaine was diagnosed with an uncompromising form of cancer, and she sadly passed away before her hope for the ranch ever came to fruition. But with quiet encouragement from near and far, Elaine’s son Brian and his wife Margaret Mary prayerfully picked up the reins.
Reaching out to friends and family for support, Margaret Mary’s father, U.S. Army Veteran Mark P. Zirngibl was honored to join the Board as Co-Founder & Veterans Liaison, and the three began working hard to divide and conquer. While filing for permits, coordinating contractors, and recruiting volunteers, their neighbors, mentors, previous employers, and old colleagues began backing their efforts, making the mission of Heaven’s Gait Ranch fall further into place. Together, the Board began their journey as volunteers in the equine therapy industry, and they were inspired by the positive effects therapeutic riding not only had on each rider, but also each spectating family member and participating volunteer.
Therefore with much joy and appreciation, the Board of Directors successfully incorporated Heaven’s Gait Ranch, Inc. as a nonprofit organization in January 2016 and also filed as an Accredited Member Center of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International. They opened for lessons in January 2017.
Although Brian, Margaret Mary, and Mark were a driving force in making this dream become a reality, they fully give credit to the faith and fortitude of the kindhearted people who continue to make this mission possible today. As a result, they invite you to learn more about Heaven’s Gait Ranch and look forward to sharing this incredibly moving experience with you.
Heaven’s Gait Ranch rests on a 17 acre property in the heart of Cedar Grove, WI. Maintained with the care and talent of Jeremy Ebert and EZ Signs, LLC, our beautifully-manicured facility is a hidden gem off Main Street. Forty minutes north of Milwaukee and 20 minutes south of Sheboygan, Heaven’s Gait Ranch is centrally and conveniently located to serve your needs. We offer both indoor and outdoor riding arenas for our participants and veterans, as well as grooming stables and rotating paddocks for our program horses. Our visitors and spectators can view the magic comfortably from our viewing area, and our barn cats Goose & Carol will keep you company in the heated family room while you relax. With riding trails and activity fields, there is no shortage of room for fun, learning, and growing at Heaven’s Gait Ranch!
Heaven’s Gait Ranch, Inc. has earned the Gold Seal of Transparency on GuideStar.