What's Up at Saddle Up?
2023 SPRING SESSION WRAP-UP EDITION
Three Exceptional Therapy Horses Retire from the Herd
Rocky, Lexi, and Oscar are hanging up their rainbow reins and retiring from the therapy horse life. Rocky will be returning to Nina Lindley’s farm to hang out with his BFF, Scout. Lexi is going home to Jordan Dillenbeck, and Oscar will be Saddle Up! Program Assistant Sarah Chenevert’s very own grouchy pony. Last lessons were full of well-deserved hugs and kisses (well, maybe not for Oscar who is very particular about his personal space and doesn’t go for the mushy stuff!). A million thank you’s to Nina and Jordan for loaning us these remarkable horses and best of luck to all of our retirees. You’ve all earned a long roll in the mud and extra flakes of hay!
Saddle Up! Named as United Way of Middle Tennessee Funding Partner
We so excited to announce that United Way of Greater Nashville will be partnering with Saddle Up! to continue improving the lives of our most vulnerable in the greater Nashville community with community impact funding in 2023-2024. United Way of Greater Nashville is working to create a community where every person — no matter their background, their circumstances or their zip code — has an equal chance at a bright future and SU! shares that vision. We are delighted to be a United Way partner agency and so grateful for this new funding! If you contribute to United Way through your employer, you can now EASILY designate Saddle Up! as your recipient.
Save the Date for Chukkers for Charity!
The Music Country Grand Prix is upon us and the minute the last horse has cleared the last jump, we turn our attention to our next event: Chukkers for Charity. Since 1996, Chukkers has raised over $2.5 million to support programs at Rochelle Center and Saddle Up! and this year’s co-chairs, Nina Lindley and Fallon Scott, are heading efforts for another record-breaking year. Mark your calendar for the 27th annual Chukkers for Charity Polo Match on September 9, 2023! This year’s theme is Passport to Paradise and the day promises to be full of island-time fun. Plan to join us on patron’s row, in the tailgating cabanas, or as a volunteer! Watch for tickets to go on sale in early July.
Meet the Newest Two-Legged Members of Our Herd
We are super excited to introduce six new Saddle Up! team members!
Two New Instructors
Our wonderful new instructors are Emily Wagstaff (Instructor in Training) and Corinna Glueck (PATH Intl. Certified Professional and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning). Most of you will recognize Emily W. as one of "The Three Emily's" and a fabulous intern from this spring session. We are so happy to have her stay with us and join the IIT program.
Corinna comes to us from Texas, where she has most recently been teaching therapeutic riding lessons and has participated in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy with a focus on trauma. She has worked as equine coordinator, and riding instructor at Gateway Freedom Ranch in Montana and at Joyride Therapeutic Riding Center and Reining Strength Therapeutic Horsemanship, both in Texas.
One New Therapist
We are thrilled to welcome Shelby Anderson, pediatric OT to our Therapy Team! Shelby is a Belmont University graduate where she earned her Doctorate of Occupational Therapy. She joins us starting with this summer session, and we will be sharing more about her vast experience as an OT and her love of helping children.
New Lesson and Farm Assistants
Next, welcome our newest lesson assistants: Arum Valkonen and Katelyn Cook.
Arum is new to the Nashville/Franklin area, moving here from Wisconsin. She has many creative talents and her true passion is music as a song writer, producer, and performer. She has volunteered at a similar center, Exceptional Equestrians. Arum has jumped right into helping in lessons already as a sidewalker and a leader.
Katelyn is from Spring Hill, TN. She recently returned to Tennessee after completing the Walt Disney World College Program in Orlando, FL. Katelyn will be continuing her education at MTSU in the fall. Katelyn has volunteered at Angel Heart Farm which serves children and families facing chronic and life threating illnesses using equine assisted therapy in conjunction with their medical treatment.
Also joining the Lesson Assistant team is long-time volunteer and recent MTSU Equine Science program grad, Grace Reitinger. We will miss Lindsey E. and Claire S., who are leaving us this summer to continue their education. Best of luck to all!
Finally, meet Stuart Boyd. Many of you may remember Stuart, as he is no stranger to Saddle Up! He's been an active Saturday volunteer and even won Rookie of the Year! He is joining our team as a part-time Farm Assistant and he brings a ton of experience with him. Stuart is excited to be supporting Russell with farm and property work, and helping with programs as needed. He’s been with us most of the spring and he’s already an invaluable part of our team. Welcome back, Stuart!
Two Friends of Saddle Up! Take On New Roles, Joining our Board of Directors
Some of you know Teri Hendricks well, as she and her husband, Scott, have been friends of Saddle Up! since our Leiper's Fork days! This year, Teri and Scott are serving as our Hoofing Society co-chairs. Teri's long-time passion for our mission and her love for our riders is evident in everything she does for Saddle Up! Recently, Teri participated in SUPER Show by awarding ribbons to our winning riders and we loved having her incredible energy here at the farm. If you spend even just a few minutes with Teri, it is obvious how well she loves people, horses, children, her community, AND Saddle Up!'s mission! We are so privileged to have her as part of our board.
Also thrilled to introduce everyone to Saddle Up! rider parent Tim Gerst, CEO & Founder of Thinkswell, a Nashville digital marketing agency focusing on social media and content strategies. Tim was recently named to Nashville Business Journal’s “40 under 40”, which recognizes Music City’s most influential young entrepreneurs, CEOs and leaders. He works with St. Jude’s as part of an advisor team that connects St. Jude’s with the music community, and is also CEO of the “I Believe in Nashville” brand, which has contributed 1.5 million to local organizations.
We couldn’t be more exited to welcome these two wonderful new board members and are so grateful for their commitment to our mission.
A Perfect Sunday Afternoon for Ponies, Friends, Food and Music!
Thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s Volunteer Picnic a huge success! We were so lucky to have the fabulous Lena Paige and The Midnight Writers provide live music that made the party extra special. The drill team demonstration from the SU Equestrian Club riders was a highlight! Thank you to our volunteers for ALL you do – it was our pleasure to honor all of you!
Congratulations to our 2023 Volunteer Award Winners!
Volunteer Family of the Year: Caroline and Andrea Stuart
Andrea and her daughter Caroline are Saddle Up!'s Friday pony experts. We appreciate everything that the Stuarts do for us!
Pony Pal of the Year: Melissa W.
Melissa W. has been a volunteer at SU! since May of 2017 and has logged over 1,000 hours, most recently riding her favorite girl, Cocoa.
Barn Volunteer of the Year: Christine M.
Christine M. has been at Saddle Up! for over ten years and has logged over 2,000 volunteer hours in a wide variety of roles.
Rookie Volunteer of the Year: Keri C.
Keri is a volunteer that will come volunteer in lessons at a moment's notice and she is a valuable SU! Pony Pal.
Junior Volunteer of the Year: Abby
Abby is a Tuesday sidewalker and has been volunteering at SU! since July 2020.
Saddle Up!'s Volunteer of the Year is Jayne O.
You would never know that Jayne has been volunteering at SU! just since December 2021 and came to SU! with no horse experience! Already logging more than 300 hours, Jayne comes to SU! 5 days a week.
Congratulations, all! We appreciate everything you do for the Saddle Up! family!
Spring Brings Fantastic Growth in Programs and Successful Events!
2023 Spring Program hours grew 17% over Spring Session in 2022 and our herd has increased in the past year to the maximum number we can house on the farm with a stall for everyone (and Dan and Thumbelina bunking together)! Growth requires more resources, and three incredible fund raisers this spring will help put hay on the table:
The PONY UP! teams really showed up, and PONY UP! raised an incredible $57,287 for the care of Saddle Up!'s herd of remarkable therapy horses. New SU! Board Member and SU! Parent, Nate Rittenberry, put together the winning team!
The Fearlessly and Wonderfully Created Art Show (photos below) was a wonderful event and in its first year raised almost $27,000 for program support. We are especially grateful to the FAWCAS event organizers and visionaries - SU! mom and artist Sarah Clinton, SU! grandfather and artist Dale Findley, and artists and SU! supporters Jess Peoples and Ellen Bibb.
David Yurman of Green Hills devoted a percentage of sales during their Mother’s Day weekend promotion to Saddle Up! and Walton’s Jewelry in Franklin also held a private event with proceeds going to our support our mission. Our gratitude to everyone involved in these events goes beyond words!
SUPER Show is the Highlight of a Great Spring on the Farm
It was a VERY WINDY day on the farm, but that didn’t stop our riders and their steeds from showing off their mad skills to family and friends at the 2023 SUPER SHOW! Every rider did their best and we all had the most wonderful day. Congratulations to all of the riders who showed us what hard work can accomplish!
Congratulations to our Super Show Award Recipients!
Justin Luckett, 2022 Fantastic Fundraiser
Mary Looney, 2022 Fantastic Fundraiser
Sarah Clinton, 2022 Saddle Up! Parent of the Year
Sarah was one of the guiding lights behind the Fearlessly and Wonderfully Created Fine Art Show, she dedicated her talents to painting our beautiful lobby murals, she has been an active member of the Parent Council and SU! Board, and she volunteers as a side walker in her daughter’s lessons as well. Thank you, Sarah, for all you do for us and for bringing your sweet spirit and many talents to all of us!
Boomer, 2022 Saddle Up! Equine of the Year
Boomer and Fu amazed us at SUPER Show with the horsemanship demonstration using the all-terrain chair. It's pretty easy to see why Boomer has been named not only 2022 SU! Equine of the Year, but also PATH Region 5 Equine of the Year! We love you Boomer!
Whew! We’re ready for a break after an incredibly busy spring, but there’s no time for rest as we celebrate the 35th Annual Music Country Grand Prix Presented by Tractor Supply Co. on Saturday, June 3 and begin a new session on June 6th with a full summer of lessons and activities, including Fun on the Farm! For now, goodnight….the ponies and staff are going to close up the barn for the evening and get a little rest.
Thank you for your ongoing support of Saddle Up!,
"where all children are equal in the saddle".
Manage your preferences | Opt Out using TrueRemove™
Got this as a forward? Sign up to receive our future emails.
View this email online.
1549 Old Hillsboro Road | Franklin, TN 37069 US
This email was sent to .
To continue receiving our emails, add us to your address book.