Children with disabilities are always very aware of being different than their peer group which affects their ability to function in school and social surroundings. We strive to be sensitive to all of our students and the affects that they are experiencing in these areas. They experience the warmth and connection with their horse as they groom and brush them before riding. The horse provides a sense of freedom from these limitations and special motivation to interact and try to communicate with their volunteers.
Coffee Creek is an educationally based program offering Free therapeutic riding opportunities to children with disabilities ages 3-12. The program serves a wide variety of disabilities utilizing specifically designed games and exercises to facilitate improvement of strength, balance, fine and gross motor co-ordination, social interaction, speech and self-image.
By many miracles the center has been provided free for the past 43 years. Last year CCRC provided classes serving a total of 240 students. Volunteers from the community make the program possible, as each child requires a horse leader and two side-walkers to assist them during the class. The program has about 140 teen and adult volunteers each year. Several volunteers over the years have chosen careers in allied health fields including nursing, occupational or physical therapy and special education through their work at Coffee Creek.
The program impacts students in both the Edmond local community and the greater Oklahoma City metro area. The center serves special education classes from the local and outlying areas as well as individual students brought by their parents. Special education classes come from schools in Putnam City, Deer Creek, Yukon, and visually impaired classes from Okla. City and hearing impaired class from UCO that serves students from all over the Metro area. Coffee Creek serves a wide variety of disabilities including deaf, blind, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, autism, spina bifida and developmental delays. The special bond between child and horse gives the motivation to work hard at gaining balance and coordination. Little special lives faced with difficult challenges, some unable to walk without the aid of walkers or canes or even wheelchairs, find that the four strong legs of a horse can carry them with ease. Both hearing impaired and blind students smile as the horse’s rhythmical walk rocks them softly side-to-side