Angel Fire Equestrian Center, located in Coyle, serves a very special need in the community. Their purpose is to help young people become better citizens through therapeutic horse care and riding. They are not just a riding program however; Angel Fire is a mentoring program as well.
“We work with horses and underprivileged kids age 4 to 18 years old,” said Valerie Cotton, founder. “They can come out and learn to ride and take care of the horses. We also do a reading program with the Coyle schools as well as St. Mary’s in Guthrie. We take books to the first graders as well as the animals (small horses, donkeys, and Cowboy the Chihuahua) so the kids can read to them.”
Each child receives two books. They are invited to visit Angel Fire Equestrian Center to learn basic care for the animals as well as have an opportunity to read to the animals. The lessons are generally group lessons which enable the children to interact with their peers and adults. Children are exposed to a variety of enriching activities.
Cotton expressed, “We believe that all people can benefit from an association with animals, especially our horses. Our purpose is to help young people become better citizens.”
They also have a partnership with Good Friends Book Club, an organization for special needs adults, that come out and explore the farm setting and animals, too.
Liz Sterkel is the founder of the Good Friends Book Club. Sterkel wanted her students to learn about Guthrie and the community. When Sterkel heard about the reading program, she decided it would be a good partnership.
“These kids never get opportunities like this,” explained Sterkel. “They can’t ride the horses, but they can love on them. We think it’s a neat story that the two groups have come together.”
The main fundraiser for Angel Fire Equestrian Center is their annual rummage sale. It began Friday and continues through today at the Simple Life Center, 324 N. 19th in Guthrie. Items such as furniture, jewelry and keepsakes can be found at the sale.
Interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities? Forms are available a www.angelfireequestrian.com. You can also contact Cotton at 405-466-1541 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for other opportunities to serve or donate.