SADDLE UP RIDING CLUB INC

Rating: 4.94 stars   65 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Sports

Location: 18217 Gulf Blvd % Kellie Sipos Redingtn Shor FL 33708 USA

Mission:
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 22-3946890
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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.

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.)

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

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

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!

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.

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

not.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been volunteering at Saddle Up Riding Club for about a year now. My experience at the club has been a wonderful addition to my life. Not only do I love horses, but the social aspect of the work is very good for me. I am mostly involved in the Saturday Therapy Riding program. We have many clients who are physically or mentally challenged. The satisfaction I get from watching our students ride, gain strength and just have a good time, actually helps me! I talk to the parents who's children are involved and they always tell me that Saturday riding is the brightest spot in their week. Getting outside, riding, playing games and the parents get to socialize too! I am happy and proud to be a part of this organization!

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

Seeing the change in our clients strength, happiness and mobility. They smile and laugh when they are with us!

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

Make it easier for Kellie Sipos to raise money to continue her good works!

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer at Saddleupridingclub for about 2 years. I am a disabled veteran at 100%. Since that time there are several things I can do including using the horses to talk about whatever is bothering me. They won't tell anyone. I have also been able to decrease some of the medications I take & been able to STOP some altogether.
I am getting more involved in the Veteran programs and able to talk to too my fellow Veterans about how they can help & be helped as well. TRY IT YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED

Linda F.

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

Using the horses for counselors about problems I have, they listen and DO NOT PASS judgement or tell anyone. Able to decrease some medications & get STOP some altogether

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

Get the word out to more people to give the program a try. Some people have never been around horses or animal therapy, this program is a good place to start.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Saddle Up has given me every welcome as a volunteer, just to see the riders smiles of happiness tell the story of an amazing experience everytime they are on a horse, incredibly fulfilling.

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

I'm a side-walker, walking alongside the rider for safety and enjoy interacting with the riders who are always so happy.

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

nothing to suggest at the moment

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

My name is Tina Hernandez and I am actually a parent of a volunteer. My son "Brandon" had the opportunity to train and participate as a volunteer this past school year. This was a wonderful experience for him for many reasons. He was taught compassion and patience working as a volunteer horse walker used during their theraputic riding sessions. I wish that when Brandon was younger we would have known about the program as a student with mutiple disabilities and traumatic experiences he as endeared I believe that his experience would have been even more magnified. Brandon is now 17years old and has been employed for 7months and dual enrolled at our local college. Thank you Saddle Up for being a part of his learning process.

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

I have personally watched my son grow from this experience.

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

I don't have any suggestions at this moment.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Great experience for both the volunteers and participants. It really amazes me how much therapeutic horseback riding can help disabled people.

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

I've been a volunteer and seen the results for myself.

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

Perfect.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a part of Saddle Up Riding Club for over a year. When I was making a decision, as part of a New Year's Resolution, I knew that I wanted to work in my local community serving others. I found SURC in my own backyard, well actually down the street. It is such a joy to see our clients smile everyday, increase their balance, and overall improvement in their health.

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

Helping others, losing weight, a sense of personal satisfaction, have increased my horse handling skills.

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

Dedicated time for volunteers to ride horses.

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?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Satisfied, an overall sense of calmness from a hectic work week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

As a volunteer at Saddle Up Riding Club, I am a truly blessed person. I get first hand experience helping our children and adults. It is such a blessing to be able to make a child smile, and to see their face light up when you greet them. I have been touched in so many ways through this organization.I feel proud to be apart of such a wonderful group. The people we work with are so inspiring, we as a community are inspired by the success of our riders. The organization is a wonderful addition to my life. To be able to put a smile on a child face is the most precious thing on my earth.Thank you so much for your dedication to making disabled riders lives, as well as my own enriched through equestrian therapy! :)

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

My experiences through helping children and adults as a side walker.

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

I would have more required volunteer meetings, to update information, and keep a more open dialogue with volunteers.

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?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I began volunteering at Saddle Up Riding Club about 9 months ago. I was experiencing a devastating depression and had just moved to Florida from Virginia. I grew up with horses, owning several and I saw an ad in the Clearwater Beacon for volunteers. I started as a horse handler. The very first day I was hooked. Talking to the kids taking therapy lessons they were so excited and proud of themselves for every obsticle they completed on horseback. The equine therapy has such a profound effect on these kids and adults. These kids aren't afraid of these big animals, they love on them like they were puppy dogs. The disposition of our Club horses is such that I think if they don't see their regular student one week, the horses miss them. This interaction between these kids and these giant animals leaves me awe struck. My greatest joy has been by participating as a volunteer, now Volunteer Program Manager. So many people, teens and adults, even families look so forward to working with all the students and are so generous giving of their time. The vision Kellie has for this organization is makes this organization a stellar example of sucess and growth. From barn staff, volunteers, Board of Directors,students and parents, the minute you step on the property, you become family. I thank God for Kellie and her 2am epifanys that make Saddle Up such a gift!

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

I have personally experienced joy and warmth being blessed to work with these awesome people. I believe I was led here by a higher power and I am so proud to be a member of this most wonderful family.

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

promote more funding for current and future programs. You only have to visit once to see how your sponsorships and donations are being such happiness to our students.

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Review from Guidestar