Gateway to the Heart
Oasis Animal Adventures is an animal therapy program that utilizes unique, exotic animals, as well as horses, donkeys and mini horses, to provide a positive environment were children and adults can experience healing, security and unconditional love through interaction with the animals.
“No matter the age or personal life stories of those who come, the animals are the gateway to the heart, and the results have been amazing,” says Linda Goldner, who, along with her husband, Bill, owns and operates Oasis Animal Adventures and Picture in Scripture Amphitheater.
Located on the grounds of Picture in Scripture Amphitheater near Disney, Oasis Animal Adventures offers physical, emotional and mental therapeutic animal encounters for at-risk youth, sex-trafficked girls and special needs children and adults. Encounters are also available for the general public.
Oasis Animal Adventures is EAL (Equine Assisted Learning) certified through O.K. Corral Series by EAGLA founder Greg Kersten. This training helps Goldner make each session an optimal experience for both the person and the animal.
Interacting with the animals at Oasis Animal Adventures can enhance mental, physical, social and emotional functioning. The non-judgmental comfort an animal provides can help the child or adult heal while also building self-esteem.
“They say that one month of meeting with an animal is equivalent to meeting with a counselor for one year,” Linda says. “Animals don’t tell secrets. They give unconditional love.”
A God-led project, Oasis Animal Adventure began and grew organically with the animals — a camel, three donkeys and a standard-size horse — that were used in the plays at the amphitheater.
In 2012, after adding a small herd of mini horses, the Goldners received a request from a local residential care program for special needs adults wanting to bring some of its clients out to pet the animals. The Goldners and the animals happily welcomed the visitors. This was the first step in a new direction for the Goldners’ ministry.
The Oasis Event Barn was built on the property in 2014, and Oasis Animal Adventures, LLC, became official in 2016.
Currently the Oasis Event Barn houses more than 20 animals, including horses, donkeys, mini horses, kangaroos, a camel, a zebra, a Scottish Highlander and even a North African Sulcate tortoise. There are also a peacock, chickens and white pigeons. The newest and smallest addition to the animals is Omar, a lemur from Madagascar.
The animal therapy is provided through outdoor-based activities, educational field trips, leaderships and life skills courses for teens and community summer camps for children.
Several Oasis Adventures are available in both one-on-one and group classes. The animal adventures and educational experiences can be custom-tailored to your group.
Each adventure is a hands-on experience. In addition to petting and interacting with the animals, participants will learn fun facts about the exotic animals. Some adventures include learning the basics of handling a horse, how to halter and walk them.
Currently, Oasis Animal Adventures has four classes a week for residents of the Friendship Home in Jay and Teen Challenge youth. It has also hosted groups from Boys and Girls Clubs, churches and mental health facilities.
Costs vary depending on the adventure. Group classes are $10 per person. One-on-one adventures prices range from $15 for a child (ages 2-5) and a caregiver in the Oasis Animal Adventure to $25 for a child (ages 6-10) in the Oasis Mini Horse Adventure. There is a discount available for additional children and adults.
Most adventures last from 1 to 2 hours.
Available year-round, all adventures and therapy sessions are by appointment only. Call (918) 435-8207 to reserve your time.
The Oasis event barn and the surrounding property is available for rental for birthday parties, reunions and other special events. The animals can be incorporated into the event, if desired. Call (918) 435-8207 for details and pricing.