We've been Offering Alternative Therapy with Smiles since 1997. Our mission: to promote the health, well-being and happiness of disabled individuals through horseback riding and related activities. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit in Clarkston, Mich., our PATH Intl. premier accredited center serves all ages and disabilities year round. We help horses too!
Starting in January 2017, we have an exciting new program with Michigan Equine Therapy!
>> Read the Introduction to Equine Sports Massage Therapy
>> Meet Lisa Murray Machala LMT
To our Wonderful O.A.T.S. Family and Friends,
We know that it is a busy time of year for everybody so we just want to send a note to say how thankful we are to all of our supporters and volunteers who allow us to be able to continue offering fantastic classes and programs. Please take a moment to read about Oliver, one of our youngest riders, and how O.A.T.S. is making a difference in his life, just as we do for the many riders who attend classes with us each week.
>> Read the 2016 O.A.T.S. Holiday Letter
Below is a letter shared with us from Bill "Cowboy" Brown, one of O.A.T.S. wonderful volunteers...
One of my fondest memories of this past year will be watching Nicholas come out of his shell. Nicholas is the son of O.A.T.S. (oatshrh.org) Executive Director Beth Pellerito, and her husband, Fred. Nic has Cerebral Palsy, which manifest in difficulty with speech and walking. Nic would come out to O.A.T.S. on a regular day and sit. Except when he would lead riders in a rousing rendition of "Head, shoulders, knees and toes".
Late this past spring Nic decided to start following me around as I do small repairs around the stable. He recognizes that he and I share a disability and, we think, he has found someone he can imitate. As such it is great to see Nic help me. Moving light tools and materials from my truck to the work cart or Gator. He enjoys putting tools back in the box as I finish with them. He has also begun trying to do the work. I still need to scoop 'it', but then give the handle to Nic and he will lift and dump the rake.
The vision that O.A.T.S. staff holds for each rider is that the rider becomes an independent rider. Our hope is that independence will encourage the rider to do more in other areas of life. It is my belief that each child has a 'key' that, if found, will open more of the world to them. It would be my hope that children would be exposed to all manners of interest to find that key. Music, dogs, horses, cooking, poetry, gardening and, yes, maybe stock car racing could be such a key. But, then at what age? How many times?
We cannot, and should not, give in or give up. The next sound, the next subject, the next person or picture (For me it was a picture of Richard Petty going thru turn 6 at Riverside Raceway 1965) could be what opens wonderful possibilities.
Everyone at O.A.T.S. would like to thank our wonderful sponsors for their continuous support of our program. We are very fortunate to have organizations such as these assisting us in our mission.
Are you or anyone you know planning on purchasing some gifts or needed items from Amazon? If so, please consider using AmazonSmiles to make your purchase (http://smile.amazon.com/).
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support O.A.T.S. – just enter Offering Alternative Therapy with Smiles as your charity and then begin shopping.
When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to O.A.T.S.
Keep up with the weekly happenings at O.A.T.S. by visiting us on Facebook. See photos of our horses, riders, donkeys goats and pig (yes, we do have a therapy pig), as well as learn about upcoming events.
As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, O.A.T.S. wouldn't be possible without the generous support of the community. Ever mindful of the financial burden of caring for the disabled, O.A.T.S. has always strived to keep program costs low, making contributions from those outside of the organization critical to our present and future operation. Here are ways you can help.
To learn more about these opportunities and how you can support the O.A.T.S. mission, please contact us at 248-620-1775 or via email at WalkOnOats@gmail.com
The following forms are .pdf documents that require Adobe Reader to open, view and print. You can get Reader free at www.adobe.com.
If you are a teacher bringing a class to O.A.T.S. for a field trip, please note that you need both the Field Trip form AND the Rider Registration Packet downloaded, printed and filled out for EACH rider. Thank you.