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(Adult Rider and Volunteer)It was because of Joy Milligan that I got my first taste of freedom after eight years. I was injured in a gymnastics accident in August of 1986. I was fifteen when I fell and broke my back. This left me paralyzed from the waist down. My body, which had once allowed me to defy gravity and fly, now became a prison to me. I was unable to get my body to do what I wanted it to do; instead I was trapped, unable to control my legs. I could no longer run and jump and tumble. This can be quite devastating to a teenager. Coffee Creek helped me find the way out of my prison. Not only did Joy give me the physical freedom of riding a horse, she also showed me where to find the spiritual freedom I was desperately looking for. I first heard about Coffee Creek Riding Center during the summer of 1991. I went to a day camp at OCCC. They handed out brochures about it, and I took one. I did not actually get out to Coffee Creek until the end of the summer of 1994. During those 3 years, when ever I would think about wanting to ride horses I was never able to find the brochure, then when I was able to find the brochure, I was not really interested in checking into riding horses. Finally, everything came together at he beginning of the summer of 1994. I was interested in riding and I had just happened to find the brochure. I called Joy and asked about the program. She sent me some paperwork to fill out and send back to her. I managed to get this done sometime during the middle of the summer. After that, I did not call back until the end of the summer to make arrangements for my riding lessons. Summer session had just finished but they had me come out anyway. I rode for two weeks by myself. Then in the fall session, Joy put me in a class that rode in the afternoons. This class suited me well. The other people were already good riders and they showed me what I could strive for. I did not have any legs to stand on, but now I had not two but four good legs to allow me the freedom to go places I could not go before. I like each horse for different reason, Captain I love because he was my first horse. Crickett I enjoy because I can trot small jumps and do simple dressage. I really enjoy helping train new horses to wheelchairs. I also like volunteering at the games with the smaller riders.What Joy did not count on was me wanting to know about spiritual matters. Every time I would talk to her about spiritual things she was somewhat hesitant. I was as persistent as a bull dog with a bone. I would not let it go. Because of Joy’s help, I got myself together spiritually and got born again in September of 1994. As I came to know Jesus, He became my best friend. Because He knew everything about me, He was able to look into all those secret areas of my heart and work in my heart to set me free. If I had not gone to Coffee Creek, I would not be the person I am today. Thank you Joy.
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