I have literally grown up doing Saddle Up as I was only 2 when my mom started the club. I take great pride in the care of the clubs horses. I do all the medical treatments on all the horses. I show 4-H and AQHA Western Pleasure and Trail on my sisters horse Opie. I have been a Jr. Instructor and assist with lessons and barn time. I also volunteer for therapy classes on Saturday mornings. Horses are my life. I believe in the Clinton Andersons method of training and hope to study under him when I graduate High School.
Growing up around horses, Saddle Up has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My family started Saddle Up when I was 8 and it has been part of my life ever since. I've been officially training for 3 years but have been showing, breaking and schooling horses for over 10 years. I have show experience in both Western and English and have shown all disciplines except dressage and saddle seat. 4-H has been a part of my life for `13 years. I've shown at area, state, and regional levels. Showing AQHA American Quarter Horse Association was a big part of my showing years. I was proud to be part of the 2013 AQHA Novice Youth Championships and also was Champion in 2013 for Western Pleasure for the State of Florida. I've trained all levels of riders from beginners to experienced and am able to teach English and Western. I look forward to meeting and working with you.
Availability: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays (Only After 1:30)
My journey with horses began when I was twelve years old. I competed in barrel racing in Croton Ohio. I left Ohio to go into the Air Force which I did retire from. I had quite a long break but never lost my love for horses. I decided I wanted to do some volunteering, and my love for horses brought me to Saddle Up Riding Club. I have been with them four years. I am a member of the board and the Volunteer Manager. This club has captured my heart and I love volunteering.
Barn Time Instructor:
Hello my name is Catie Hashem, I am 18 years old and Saddle Up has been apart of my life for 8.5 years. Like many of our children I have always had a love for horses. At 10 years old I came to Saddle Up for my first barn time, from there I became a volunteer for the equine therapy at 14, and became a Jr. Instructor teaching camps at 16. I have shown both Western and English, and my favorite horse at Saddle Up is Joker. This past year I was asked to teach barn times something that seemed very natural to me after all the years I spent in attendance..... I love incorporating games and activities into all my lessons.
My first introduction to horses was when I was 6 and my dad was stationed in Wyoming. I fell in love immediately with the horses, the barn smell, and the sounds of leather saddles. I would never forget the joy it brought me.
Fast forward –many years. I had lost my second husband and was living in a small town in Washington when I came across an organization offering equine therapy. After asking a few questions I found that their services where offered free to our service veterans. I didn’t qualify for their services but they welcomed volunteers. I thought at least being around the horse might just be enough to help me to feel better. I started volunteering to clean stalls on Sundays after church.
My four years with that organization gave me the passion I now have for equine therapy. I have volunteered in many capacities from those beginning days of stall cleaning to grooming, tacking, side walking, leading, horse training, horse care, riding, and being a Horse Team Captain. I also learned much about people, the challenges we all face, and how horses are able to help in so many ways. I have seen these though others and my own experiences.
My background includes a degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in special education and reading. I spent ten years as a Para-educator (teacher assistant) working with both general and special education students. After receiving my degree I spent several years as a substitute teacher by choice. Doing this gave me the ability volunteer for the therapy organization and allowed me to work directly with the participants and horses.
Upon coming to Florida to care for my mother I was excited to connect with Saddle-Up Club. It is a mission of mine to help others through the use of equine therapy. I look forward to continuing my education and my ability to help other through the completion of my PATH Certification.
Executive Director, Registered Path Certified Instructor, Special Olympics Instructor:
I started Saddle Up in 2003 due to a passion for horses and teaching. I am a mom of 4 beautiful daughters and 1 gorgeous granddaughter. I have been teaching for over 12 years. I love teaching and combine that love with the love of horses just seemed natural to me. Saddle Up began on a small farm in Seminole and quickly out grew our space. The organization became a 501 c3 and moved to Pinellas Park. I never knew how theses gracious animals responded until watching our first horse Flip relate to a child in a wheelchair. Everyone has an "Ah Ha" moment when it comes to horses and therapy and mine was watching my horse lay his head on the tray of a quadriplegic so she could pet his head with her chin. We give HOPE where sometimes there is no hope and I thank God everyday for using me as his vessel for Saddle Up.
Saddle Up Riding Club