Equine Therapy is for the following disorders: ADD, CP, depression, anxiety, autism, drug and alcohol addiction, Downs Syndrome, and PTSD, among others. Saddle Up is not a place just for riding in the box. Saddle Up’s arena-based program includes barn orientation/safety, horse grooming, tacking, behavior around horses, controlling the horse, and arena riding. Participants work on posture, getting exercise, stretching, working muscles and strengthening body core. We teach a variety of things about the horse and horsemanship to get the participants comfortable with the horse before they actually get on. Horse handlers and side walkers are used with each participant for safety.
Classes are 40 minutes long and held each Saturday morning.
Cost is $40 per session or if paid in advance $150 a month or $75 if riding bi- weekly
Saddle Up is a place not just for riding horses, rather Saddle Up is a place of the heart. Everyone who works or volunteers at Saddle Up does so with their heart, not just their hands. This is a program where people connect with horses, which is a wonderful thing in itself. But it is so much more than that. This is a place where people connect with each other; where relationships are built that change the lives of the riders as well as the volunteers; where genuine love and commitment are evidenced at every practice session and at every event. Saddle Up is a place of equalization: every person, no matter rider or volunteer, no matter able-bodied or disabled, no matter mentally challenged or fully mentally functional, all experience the sheer joy that comes through the triumph of the human spirit. Being part of Saddle Up will change you forever to watch as children and adults who are in shells created by disability, by emotional pain, by fear, by anxiety chip away at those shells from the inside as instructors and horses chip away from the outside is an amazing thing to see and to be a part of. And even more so, when that shell is discarded and left behind, and the person who emerges is stronger and more confident and more able to cope with their situation in life, being a part of this cannot help but change a person in more ways than can be expressed in words. Come and see for yourself. You too will be changed forever.
Saddle Up competes in area and state special Olympics. We are so proud of our riders and hope you would consider helping them in their showing.
Saddle Up does not accept pay for riders to go to shows and must pay for loding, stalling of horses, gas and show expenses on our own.
Saddle UP Riding Club's Equine Assisted Activities & Therapies (EAAT)
Saddle Up Riding Club, Inc. Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) Program is to improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities through equine assisted and related activities. Saddle Up Riding Club is a previous member center of the PATH Intl. (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International), which provides structured horseback riding sessions to children and adults with physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities. Although we are not still members of the PATH Intl. due to the cost of fees. We still and will always follow their guidelines. Our instructors are nationally certified in therapeutic riding through PATH Intl. and our volunteers and horses have been carefully selected and trained for their roles.
Depending on the disability, benefits of horseback riding include improvement in joint mobility, balance and coordination, relaxation of spasticity, increased muscle tone, self-confidence through self-image, improved learning, concentration, spatial awareness, and motivation to set and achieve goals. Riders also benefit emotionally, through the unique bonds they form with their horses and our dedicated volunteers. Most important is that riding a horse is fun! From the beginning, riders learn balance, coordination and self-assurance while receiving therapeutic muscle stimulation. As a result of carefully planned lessons, poise posture, strength and flexibility improve. A strong sense of responsibility develops as the rider learns to take part in the care of the horses and equipment. Advanced equestrian skills, teamwork and cooperation are learned as the rider becomes independent on horseback. Finally classes, horse shows and events encourage confidence, self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment as new levels of expertise and new goals are met. Advanced equestrian skills, teamwork and cooperation are learned as the rider becomes independent on horseback. Finally classes, horse shows and events encourage confidence, self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment as new levels of expertise and new goals are met.
What programs are available at Saddle Up Riding Club?
Saddle Up for Heroes • Special Olympics, Paralympics and Competition Training • Internships
At Risk Youth
Saddle Up offers our At Risk Youth program on Tuesdays for schools educating at risk youth, as well as offering a opportunity for youth in the juvenile arbitration program through the court system to complete there court mandated community service. Community service opportunities are given on Tuesdays and Saturdays only.
Therapeutic Horsemanship (TH) is one of many different approaches within the fields of equine assisted learning (EAI) and equine assisted therapy (EAT). They all work from the premises that contact with animals is therapeutic and healing in a variety of different ways and can be useful for people who may find traditional therapeutic or educational interventions challenging or difficult in some way.
TH is often a more encompassing intervention which can include horse riding together with all aspects of horse care and management; It is understood to be therapeutic as opposed to being a therapy as such. Horses seem to appeal to and motivate young people who have suffered exclusion and disadvantage and who may have previously found it difficult to engage with other services.
As the youth become more comfortable in the farm environment, they are noted to be appropriately physically affectionate with both the horse and staff. Even the boys or girls who were seldom seen expressing physical affections with humans are seen hugging and kissing the horse. Getting in touch with a horse , both literally and figuratively, can enhance one’s appreciation for both the horse and one’s self...we suggest that therapeutic horseback riding and working with horses is a promising way for such individual to more fully participate in their own lives.
In addition to the learning and therapeutic gain from being with horses, being outdoors in the natural environment is beneficial to young people who attend on different levels. These included the obvious physical benefits from the exercise involved in working with and caring for horses, together with the mental advantages that have been attributed to exercise. In addition to those benefits are the less tangible effects of being in nature in perhaps enabling the young people to relax, to be more motivated to learn and engage, and to get away from their problems by being outside in the open, in the natural environment.
To improve the lives of able, disabled and at risk children and adults through direct interaction with horses and equine assisted activities
Whether you've grown up around horses and are wanting to reconnect. A child with aspirations to compete with your giant furry friend. Disabled and wanting to feel the freedom that horses unlock within, or you simply find joy in getting dirty with the aroma of horsehair following you home, while creating something special through helping others; Saddle up has a spot for you.
Offering programs, opportunity and a family for anyone and everyone. Saddle up is a family owned and operated 501c3 that believes in teaching the character traits of perseverance, teamwork, compassion, confidence and the desire to help others grow through intervention and care of horses. We are founded on the truth that the Lord is our shelter and our strength. He has blessed us with the opportunity to share his compassion for us and reveal his strength through learning, caring and understanding these majestic animals. (Psalm 33:17-19)
Who We Are
Everyone who works or volunteers at Saddle Up does so with their heart, not just their hands. This is a program where people connect with horses, which is a wonderful thing in itself. But it is so much more than that. This is a place where people connect with each other; where relationships are built that change the lives of the riders as well as the volunteers; where genuine love and commitment are evidenced at every practice session and at every event. Saddle Up is a place of equalization: every person, no matter rider or volunteer, no matter able bodied or disabled, no matter mentally challenged or fully mentally functional, all experience the sheer joy that comes through the triumph of the human spirit
Come Join Us!
Join our Barn Time, which gives children the chance to learn about horses, their care, and how to ride in a group setting. Sessions run for three hours, this includes learning safety around the barn, grooming and tacking, cleaning, and general horse care. We also offer beginner lessons along with specialized Western and English lessons.
Meet Our Team
Certified/Registered PATH Instructor
Special Olympic Coach
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 18 years. I love teaching and combining that love with my love of horses just seemed natural to me. Saddle Up began on a small farm in Seminole and quickly outgrew 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 "Aha" 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.
Kellie is a podcast host for
My Child Left Home for Heaven
Saddle Up Riding Club is the best riding club in the area! I volunteered here as a nurse for school and loved every minute. They are so professional and do great equine therapy. Kellie and the rest of the staff are always so kind and helpful! I highly recommend Saddle Up for anyone interested in horses!
We’ve been here over three years with our Special Needs daughter. They have done so much to help her with her self confidence and balance. She has been on their Special Olympics Equestrian team three years now and has been to the Florida State Games twice. My other daughter has also taken private riding lessons here and has had a great time. They continue to make improvements to the facility and are making this into a first rate operation. I highly recommend them to all my friends.
Relearning how to ride and relate to horses has been on my bucket list for years. After investigating several stables and not being completely at ease with any of them I contacted/visited Saddle Up Riding. I was impressed with the instructors knowledge and the conscientious (even affectionate) manner she cared for the horses. After three lessons I am even more favorably impressed. This is a great place to bring your child(ren) or to learn to ride yourself.