Bundle Internet, Cable & Phone - WOW!
Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
Submit News
  
 Search
  9911 Seminole Blvd. Seminole, FL 33772       Ph. 727-397-5563   View TBN's FREE e-Edition today!  
Click here to learn more
Pinellas Park Beacon
Saddle Up club expands to serve veterans
Article published on
  Print E-Mail
 
PINELLAS PARK - Saddle Up Riding Club has expanded its Equine Assisted Activities Program to create a Saddle Up for Heroes program specifically for veterans.

Angel Watson, a nine-year Air Force veteran, has been riding with Saddle Up’s EAAP for more than three years. Her progress inspired the riding club to create the new program for veterans.

“Riding has helped me with flexibility in my hips, my core strength is better, and I have improved both balance and stability,” said Watson, who uses a wheelchair and had it not been for riding, would not have improved as much as she has.

“It’s more than just relief from chronic pain,” added Jennifer Ellroy, another member of the program. “I have found a new social group and have made friends with the other veterans riders, volunteers, and horses.”

The pilot program for Saddle Up for Heroes was developed through a relationship with Bay Pines Veterans Hospital’s Recreational Department and funding from the US Olympic Foundation/Paralympics Foundation to fund programs that help veterans compete in local sports.

Kellie Sipos, founder and executive director of Saddle Up, did not need much to convince her to get a group of veterans together to train and compete.

“Showing is in my blood,” she said. “It’s what we do at Saddle Up through our able-bodied program, 4H, and Special Olympics for our mentally and physically challenged riders. We attend shows at least five times a year with riders. The first show we had the veterans attend, four of them were able to compete. They had a ball and took great pride in the ribbons they won.” 

Sipos, a registered therapeutic riding instructor through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horseman, attended a three-day clinic at TROT in Tucson, Arizona. Topics included the different challenges veterans with special therapeutic needs face and how to set realistic goals for each rider.

Veteran riders are evaluated or referred through the Veterans Affairs recreational physicians’ therapist, who makes the first assessment of each individual veteran who has expressed interest in the program. The veteran then comes to SURC for an evaluation to determine if the program will benefit that individual and to rule out contraindications.

SURCS Veterans range in ages and challenges, from young soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, to Granada, Vietnam and Panama. Ages of veteran men and women range, with some in their 60s, and they ride for therapy with paralysis, amputations, strokes, traumatic brain injuries, chronic pain, and post traumatic stress disorder.

Saddle Up’s overall goal for its Heroes program is to promote self-confidence and build strength and balance.

For more information on how you could donate to the Saddle Up for Heroes Program, or to become a rider or volunteer, call 520-3132.
Article published on
Copyright © Tampa Bay Newspapers: All rights reserved.
Printable Version E-mail article
NuSmile
Featured Print Advertisers
Flooring America of Seminole
9012 Seminole Blvd.
Seminole
(727) 397-5509

Web site        View Ad
:)
Custom Couture of Clearwater
(727) 735-8407
By appointment please.

Web site        View Ad
:)
NuSmile Dental
13611 Park Blvd., Suite G
Seminole
(727) 475-7866

Web site        View Ad
:)
Florida Center for Back & Neck Pain
Dr. Greg Hollstrom
11444 Seminole Blvd.
Largo
(727) 393-6100

Web site        View Ad
:)
Oakhurst & East Bay Medical
13020 Park Blvd., Seminole
(727) 393-3404
3800 East Bay Dr., Largo
(727) 539-0505

Web site        View Ad
:)
Abbey Carpet & Floor of Largo
13120 66th St. N.
Largo
(727) 524-1445

Web site        View Ad
:)
Tampa Bay Newspapers
Online Advertising
For information, e-mail
webmaster@tbnweekly.com
:)
Online Services Directory
MEDICAL DIRECTORY   ONLINE DINING GUIDE
MEDICAL DIRECTORY ONLINE DINING GUIDE
AUTOMOTIVE GUIDE REAL ESTATE GUIDE
AUTOMOTIVE GUIDE REAL ESTATE GUIDE
Community Focus Online
Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
Submit News