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66 Reviews
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February 24, 2012

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1 previous review
February 23, 2011

I have been riding with Saddle Up Riding Club in Pinellas Park for 2 years. As a parapeligic with traumatic brain injury I have difficulty maintaining balance and exercising my upper body. Riding ke... more

February 24, 2012

As an Air Force Veteran with a disability, I've been participating in the theraputic horse riding at Saddle Up Riding club for a few years. The improvement to my circulation is amazing! I work at maintaining muscles and keeping atrophy at bay. It is a wonderful organization filled with uplifting people that help others through therapy while riding horses. It is far better than going to the gym!

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have experienced increased circulatio-medications work better for me, better bladder and bowel control, muscle maintenance and a great time every Thursday for the past few years.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

How did you find this group?

Advertisement for an open house funtion through the Pinellas Park Beacon.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

Laughter and acceptance, no matter what your disability is.

February 23, 2011

I have been riding with Saddle Up Riding Club in Pinellas Park for 2 years. As a parapeligic with traumatic brain injury I have difficulty maintaining balance and exercising my upper body.
Riding keeps my weight down, increases blood flow, and allows me to work muscles when sitting on the
horse that I couldn't work on sitting in a wheelchair. My capability to balance has increased tremendously. It might not seem like a lot to other people, but I can actually brush my teeth standing up now. It's a personal best. LOL I exercise my ankles and thighs while riding, and have increased my arm strength. I am healthier all around because of riding. it is the only exercise I get during the week. I ride on Saturdays.
I have met wonderful people at Saddle Up, from the volunteers to management, everyone works together to provide a great environment for the horses and the people that ride. I am so blessed to have met them, they have certainly changed my life for the better.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Increasing balance, weightloss, bloodflow increase

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not change a thing!

March 2, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
March 2, 2011

My aunt found Saddle Up Riding Club via an internet search for horseback riding for kids in Pinellas County. Connor has been attending the program since September 2010. Kelly and her staff are very knowledgable, interactive and helpful with treating my autistic son. He continually benefits from his experience. Thank you to all!!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The benefits for my son.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

N/A

February 28, 2011

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February 28, 2011

It is every parents' dream to see their child grow to be independent and happy. When you have a child with a different ability, it is often hard to accomplish both those goals on an equal playing field. Saddle Up Riding Club has provided my daughter, Gina, with the opportunity to experience both independence and happiness all while riding a horse. This experience has carried over to all other areas of her life! It has given her common experiences with other teens her own age, allowing her to verbally participate and understand in conversations about horseback riding, both at the Saddle Up barn and at school. She has been in riding competitions, just as other typical kids her own age do. Her speech and social skills have improved as she interacts with the volunteers at Saddle Up. The expectations from her equine therapists, Kelly & Melissa, are high and achievable. I have watched Gina go from having low muscle tone and ache from having to use her muscles to having great posture while riding. She even sits up tall in her chair at school! No more slumping!!!! She can now carry the saddle used by her horse, without complaining that it hurts her! I have watched Gina go from being led around with a side walker and a leader , afraid she would fall, to riding independently without the lead or side walker. While not totally comfortable yet, Melissa and Kelly continue to give Gina the courage to get out of her comfort zone and rise to new heights. She trusts these ladies! Gina absolutely LOVES the horse she rides. She talks about her horse to all her friends, abled and differently abled.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching my daughter, who has a Sensory Processing Disorder, strengthen her trunk, which has improved her posture. Her upper body strength has improved to where she can now carry a saddle by herself. She is also beginning to ride independently. Her confidence in her abilities has greatly improved. Her new motto is ..."I can do it, there's nothing to it!"

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

donate as much as I could to keep the program running! It is worth every penny and more!

February 28, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 28, 2011

My name is Katherine Lee, and I am a junior High School student who volunteers at Saddle Up Riding Club in Pinellas Park, Florida. This non-profit organization has not only changed my life but countless other's, there is abosultely nothing that is even close to being as rewarding as watching a child once labled as "disabled" become the strongest, most selfrelient and determined child you've ever met. The words "I can't" are never spoken, and new-found possibilities are endless. I have never seen so many hardworking, caring, and optimistic people all in one place. Mrs. Kellie and all the other volunteers and participants have taught me that nothing is impossible, and that the healing power of the horse and caring people has brought nothing but goodness and hope to a community that was in grave need it.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

One of my closest family friends is a young teenager named Christine, she has cerebral palsy. I watched her go from not even being able to hold her upper body straight while mounted on the horse, to not only hold he upper body up straight without assistence, but also use her legs to ask the horse to go forward. This is the most inspiriing organization I've ever seen. I've witnessed so many people reach and surpass their goals.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wouldn't change a thing! No ones perfect, if anything that's the most importent lesson we learn at Saddle Up. They have systems set up that make organizing students and lesson times almost painless, and the calm atmosphere we present is almost unheard of anywhere else. Mrs. Kellie and all the volunteers put in countless hours so the organization runs smoothly, and 99.9% of the time it does. (after all, horses will be horses.)

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

I would change abosloutely nothing.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

It made me realize that even someone whose still in highschool can dedicate time and effort into something productive and life changing, not just for myself but selflessly for others who need it most.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

it makes me feel as if I'm making a difference, maybe not world wide but atleast in the hundreds of lives that this organization touches. There is nothing more inspiring and rewarding.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 28, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 28, 2011

I am a rider at Saddle Up Riding Club. I ride the horse Alice. She is my favorite horse. I call her my little buddy. I have been riding Alice for two years. I love riding at Saddle Up because I can ride a horse there and I have friends there too. My name is Gina. I have a different ability. My different ability is Sensory Processing Disorder. I have trouble learning things too. I can learn, but I learn different than others. When I ride Alice at Saddle Up I am like my friends who ride horses. They do not have a different ability like me. They are Samantha and Julia. They have their own horses. I like Saddle Up because I can go in a competition. I went in a competition two times. I have got a first place two years, a second place and a fifth place. My friend Samantha does competitions too. We can talk about our different competitions. I like that I can talk about that to Samantha. It makes us the same in a little way. At first I used to have a walker all the time. But now I ride by my self sometimes. It makes me nervous, but I can do it. Lisa is my walker. She is a great person. She is my friend. She will sometimes tell me what to do because I don't always remember. I have to steer her close to the fence to stay on the railing. It is hard for me. I can do obstacle courses on Alice, I make Alice back up. Lisa will tell me good job. I have also learned to tack up Alice this year. This was hard at first, but now it is easy. I can even carry the saddle. I help Lisa with tacking up. Melissa and Kelly are my teachers. They give me hugs sometimes. I am learning a lot about horses from them. They make me work hard. They are nice. I love going to Saddle Up every week. It is a great place to feel good.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have learned to ride by myself since I have been coming to Saddle Up. I am getting strong muscles when I ride. I am learning to put my heels down.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would get all girl horses. I like to ride only girl horses. A pink horse would be nice, but I know there are no pink horses!

February 28, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 28, 2011

My nephew, Zack Vanderbeck, was diagnosed with a carnatine deficiency where his muscles don't absorb protein. He has lived with this for 19 years and ever since he began with Saddle Up Riding Club - he has improved beyond anyone's expectations. This has been the best thing for him because not only have his balance and motor skills become stronger from riding but he has a real sense of purpose and drive in his life. He eagerly goes twice a week and would live there if he could. He absolutely loves the responsibility of taking care of the horses and learning about stables, equipment and competitive riding. Ms Kelly, who runs the program has the perfect balance of encouragement and discipline within her program. She really cares for her participants and vice versa. It is such a wonderful program - I wish her and everyone involved continued success!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the change in my nephew in such a short time.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have it federally funded so that it would continue indefinitely!

February 25, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 25, 2011

I have ridden here for nearly four years and have loved it! I have wanted a horse since I was 2 and this is very close to having one! I go to barn times monthly and I have a great time. I have progressed soooo much since i have come to Saddle Up. Kellie is a great person and has helped me achieve my goals in horsemanship. She really does a great job of running this program and contributes to everyone's growth.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I found this organization because of my love of horses. I would never change from this to another stable EVER!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not.

February 25, 2011

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February 25, 2011

Saddle Up is the most wonderful program I've been involved in during all my years of service and ministry. It is a hands on program that enables you to make an immediate and long term impact in the life of a child. Many of these children don't have the opportunities or abilities to excel in the sports and other programs that most kids are involved in. They come each week excited and filled with anticipation, and they leave with hope and encouragement that helps sustain them. They also reap the physical benefits of the program ( strength, balance, coordination, ...) which enable them to function better in their activities of daily living (mobility, independence, ...) and to more effectively interact with the world around them.

Kellie, the one who makes this all happen, is an amazing woman who has devoted much to this organization and the people it serves. And it's not just the children. There are several adults in the therapeutic riding program, and most recently she has started a new program for disabled veterans. She also has special riding programs for small children and a program for youth who want to learn to ride and care for horses. And these programs are all available for prices you just can't find anywhere, making it affordable for families. Kellie offers great services in a safe and nurturing environment at a very reasonable cost. Kids learn to love, trust and respect animals in a way that is fun and rewarding for them, while also improving their overall physical, mental and emotional well being. Many parents have told me how Kellie helped their child when no one else would, and how this program has helped in ways where nothing else could. It's very inspiring to be a part of something like this. I guess Kellie has her own idea of "no child left behind". A truly awesome place!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My niece has a disability which causes her to be unbalanced and somewhat uncoordinated. When I first got involved with Saddle Up, I decided to introduce her to riding and sent her to horse camp for Christmas. She loved it! When we were driving home one evening she said "thank you soooo much. This is the first thing I've ever been good at.". She has developed in so many ways since then. More confidence, more courage, more coordination, more balance, more patience, I could go on, but out of space.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not.

February 25, 2011

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February 25, 2011

My daughter has found a love in horse and she love going to the Saddle up Club. This is a great program for younger children and when they get older the progress in experience. I love how patience everyone is and how Kellie Sipos is with the kids.This is great place for kids for all ages and parents to spend quality time with there kids. i love this ans i am glad my daughter does too.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My daughter rides at the saddle club

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

i would do nothing its great!!

February 24, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 24, 2011

Saddle Up Riding Club is an equestrian facility like no other. The organization offers activities for absolutely everyone, the barn times, lessons, shows, veterans programs and therapeutic riding. Kellie Sipos is a wonderful woman who manages to get it all done! I love going there and riding every week, i love the freedom you experience when your there and just being with all of your friends on horseback is one of the best feelings.
I thank Saddle Up Riding Club for all that they have brought to me, I've grown up so much, learned a TON of self confidence and i love volunteering to help others. I hope that Saddle Up will be right where its at for many years to come!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

riding there and participating in their fundraisers, shows etc;

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

saddle up is perfect the way it is!

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