America's First Horse Brings Excellence to Equine Therapy, Working Equitation, Dressage and Trail Rides.
Blue Oaks Center supports equine therapy, arts and education with America’s first horses, the Spanish Barb, Baca strain. Blue Oaks Center’s Interpretive facility provides knowledge of the local, native Nishenam Tribe’s culture and heritage.
Blue Oaks Center will provide a State of the Art Equine Center to be used by the community for Equine Education and Therapy. When fully developed, The Center will consist of a covered riding arena with handicapped access, community activities, arts and education classroom and an interpretive museum displaying the history of the Baca Spanish Barb Horse. The Blue Oaks Center supports many community organizations including YMCA camps, scouts' equine experiences, children, veterans and families’ equine therapy, training workshops, senior citizens horse activities, and school field trips.
Carol Fuller Powell, EdD., Founder
For the past 35 years, I have made a career out of helping others. In 1984, I founded the non-profit organization charis youth center.org, providing residential, educational, and mental health support and services for emotionally-challenged, at risk youth and their families. As I began to plan for retirement, I realized I could continue helping children and families while pursuing my passion for horses. I envisioned a professional Equine Center with trained staff to establish an Equine Therapy Program for children, youth, families and seniors who wanted to gain personal knowledge, skills and healing through natural horsemanship.
In January of 2015, I began a search for the perfect therapy horse – one with a mild character and temperament. By midyear I found exactly what I was looking for in a very unique strain – the Baca Spanish Barb Horse. No other horse in history has had such an impact on the development of America as the Spanish Barb horse. Brought to the New World by Cortez in 1517, the small and hardy horses endured centuries of harsh conditions. By the late 1800’s, the majority of horses were killed after U.S. government attacks on feral and sacred Native American herds. Large, European breeds were introduced into the herds, diluting the Spanish blood. During the mid-1900’s the first preservation efforts took place to save what horses were left.
While there were very few of these horses still in existence, there was a group of them being used in a therapeutic riding school with great success. Unfortunately, these were either gelded or too old to breed. By November 2015, four breedable pure Baca Spanish Barb Horses, (3 mares and 1 stallion) had been found throughout the United States and they were brought to Big Oak Valley, California.
At the end of 2015, Blue Oaks Center was founded to preserve this rare strain for the specific work in Equine Therapy. Blue Oaks Center recognizes the value of utilizing quality horses when working with children, youth and adults in equine therapy. With highly trained professionals and natural horsemanship based practice; the outcomes for healing and growth are truly remarkable. The initial concept for equine therapy using quality horses with qualified professional partnerships for remarkable and significant positive growth and wellness outcomes for children, youth, families and seniors, had now been established.
Create an Event Center that will provide educational opportunities to the community to learn about Equestrian partnerships through therapeutic relationships and arts through collaboration with local schools, universities, military and senior/youth groups.
Provide public education and awareness, preservation and sanctuary for the Baca strain of Spanish Barb Horse ensuring its genetic diversity for future generations.
Convey awareness and understanding of the Nishenam, the original peoples of these lands, by providing historically accurate accounts oftheir cultural practices and ecological traditions that have sustained these lands for millennia,while preserving the ancient artifacts and original living site located on this unique64 acre property.
Thank you for visiting our website. In order for Blue Oaks Center to sustain its programs and grow to meet more community needs, we depend on people just like you to support in any way you might see fit. Healing hearts can transform not only communities but our world to be a better place for all. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
or Make Checks payable to: BLUE OAKS CENTER
Your donations are tax deductible. 100% of your donation goes to program development, research and preservation. All of Blue Oaks Center's organizational/ administrative work is done purely by volunteers. We do not use any donation money for administrative costs or salaries.
We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, EIN 81-5433993