About Open Gait

Located 20 minutes east of Huntsville in Paint Rock, Alabama, Open Gait Therapeutic Riding Center offers equine-assisted activities to children that have been diagnosed with chronic or life-threatening illness. Open Gait provides a peaceful setting in which parents and children can get away and enjoy farm life for the day.

While participating in Open Gait’s program, kids will learn general horsemanship, riding skills, safety, and basic horse care. For those kids who may be too ill to ride, we offer such activities as grooming, feeding, petting, loving and playing with horses and the other critters on the farm. 

Children participate at no cost to their families, thanks to private and public donations. Open Gait invites you to look at our website and see if our program can benefit you and your family.

David and Crissy Tucker,
Open Gait Program Managers 




About Open Gait


Open Gait’s name was born out of a love for “gaited” horses (horses who have a particular style of movement that their breed is known for), especially the Tennessee Walking  Horse. David Tucker and Crissy Tucker, Open Gait’s co-founders and program managers, built their barn in February 2003. They also purchased a few Tennessee Walking Horses to fill the stalls and pasture. As they were sitting on their couch one night, exhausted from a day of very full day in the barns and on the trails, they happened to tune in to a television program that featured therapeutic riding.  Instantly they looked and each other and said, “THAT is what we have to do!”

In the years since, they have built a range of opportunities for children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses to build their experiences and interactions with the horses, animals, and environment around the farm. Open Gait helps children in these special circumstances expand their opportunities for delight, awareness, confidence, skill-building, responsibility and overall connection – all at a level that’s right for each child.

Children are accepted for therapy on a case-by-case basis. If you think this type of therapy could benefit your child, please call 256-468-4548 to receive more information or schedule a tour of the farm.

We also schedule tours for those who are looking to contribute to the valuable and incomparable opportunities we offer to critically underserved families. We’d love to show you some of the ways that we directly and profoundly impact the lives of wonderful children who truly need help – help us do even more!