Old West Special Trails :: Our May Nonprofit of the Month


Memphis surpassed Salt Lake City this year to rank as the most generous metropolitan area in the United States, giving almost $6 of every $100 earned to philanthropy. With this in mind, the Memphis Moms Blog wants to feature a local Nonprofit every month. There are so many amazing organizations in our city dedicated to looking out for the well being of all Memphians, and we want to feature them. If you know of a Nonprofit we should feature, please go the the “Contact Us” section at the top of the page and click “Nonprofit of the Month Nomination.”

Old West Special Trails

Old West Special Trails is the dream of Danny and Debbie Cooley. 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. Their vision is that every child has the opportunity to know and love a horse, without regard to financial, physical, or mental restrictions. They believe that all people are born with a purpose and have the talents to fulfill it.  Between the two of them, they have over 60 years of experience teaching children to ride horses.  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 to bring out the best in the horse and rider.  They have been operating since 2003, and they have served thousands of children in this capacity.  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 of 2008, Old West Special Trails, Inc. officially began operating a full service equine facility offering riding lessons, full boarding, and summer camps. 

Old West specializes in bringing children and horses together by offering quality, experienced, and affordable equestrian education to Memphis area families.  

We serve Memphis area children who want to take lessons and attend horse camps but cannot afford it.  We help children who are at risk, economically disadvantaged, or have special needs.  We serve our homeschooling community by offering affordable classes designed with homeschooling families’ schedules in mind, as well as private lessons and affordable boarding.   

For more information, visit their website or Facebook page!