Old West Special Trails, Inc. was founded in 2003 by Danny and Debbie Cooley. The Cooleys are an interesting pair. Danny is quiet and focused; Debbie is always moving, on the go all the time. Both are committed to their passion of changing children’s lives, one ride at a time. Their vision is that every child has the opportunity to know and love a horse, without regard to financial, physical, or mental restrictions. Between the two of them, they have over 60 years of experience teaching children horsemanship.
Since 2003, Old West Special Trails, Inc. has helped thousands of Memphis area children fulfill their equestrian dreams. Throughout the years, the organization has experienced many financial challenges. To help keep Old West Special Trails, Inc. afloat, Danny owns and operates Double D Construction.
The Cooleys worked for 15 years operating Old West Stage Coach Line, Inc. which was founded in 1990. They recognized the needs of many children who wanted to take lessons and attend horse camps, but couldn’t afford it. Old West Special Trails, Inc. was founded as a way to help children who are at-risk, economically disadvantaged, or have special needs fulfill their hearts ’ desire.
In June 2005, Old West Special Trails, Inc. received 501(c) (3) status as a non-profit organization that could accept tax-deductible donations. Initially, children were sponsored at other stables, allowing them to take riding lessons and attend summer camp. In September 2008, Old West Special Trails, Inc. officially began operating a full service equine facility offering riding lessons, full boarding, and summer camps.
The Cooleys love the Lord and give so generously to everyone. Through their faith, they have created a unique safe-haven for children and horses. Generations of equestrians throughout the region have been inspired and taught by them.
We believe that all people are born with a purpose and have the talents to fulfill it.
Danny and Debbie feel quite blessed to have found theirs, and despite numerous obstacles and financial hardships, they’ve never given up on their dream of bringing horses and children together, or their goal of uniting the entire equestrian community for one cause: to help our greatest asset – our children.
Danny is the consummate horseman and freely shares his many gifts, knowledge, and talents with everyone. Debbie, a gifted horsewoman as well, has an uncanny ability to connect a child with just the right horse that brings out the best in the horse and rider.
When you visit, they can’t tell you enough about the wonderful things they’ve witnessed – the children whose eyes light up, the kids who find hope in their love of a horse.
We hope you’ll join us and see for yourself how simple it is to bring joy to a child. Please feel free to visit – just give us a call at 901-490-5555.