About Saddle Up Riding Club

Mission Statement

“To improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities through equine assisted and related activities.”

Psalm 33:17-19 NIV

17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
    despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
    on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
    and keep them alive in famine.

Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT)

Nationally Certified

Saddle Up is a member center of PATH International (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horseman) which provides structured horseback riding sessions to individuals with physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities.

Our instructors are nationally certified in therapeutic riding through PATH International and our volunteers and horses have been carefully selected and trained for their roles.

Changing Lives

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.

Kellie Sipos

Founder/Executive Director
Certified/Registered PATH Instructor
Tier 3 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 (Emilie my oldest now resides in Heaven) and Grandma to two…

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 these 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.  

The memories I have over these past years of working with children able/disabled, at-risk youth, and the many volunteers who donate their time to our program will last an eternity. I thank God every day for using me as his vessel for Saddle Up. I have seen many miracles in the lives of those who participated in our programs but God’s goodness to us in the many hurdles we have endured in the almost 20 years of service to the community amazes me daily. 

Our scripture verse Psalm 33:17-18 was chosen at the start of this organization and we have seen it fulfilled time and time again as we trust God in every aspect of what we do.  In August of 2021, I thought I was retiring as we closed the doors on Saddle Up, apparently, God is not finished with us yet as we open the doors once again in January 2022 as an Equine Therapy Center. 

It will be exciting to see where this organization goes over the next 20 years.

Sipos Family:
Jeff, Kellie, Mollie, Maddie, and Olivia

Emilie Sipos, 
Forever 24

Staff

Mollie Sipos

Equine Manager

Hi! I’m Mollie Sipos and I’m the Equine Manager of Saddle Up Riding Club and the founder of Sipos Equestrian, LLC. I have been riding and training horses for the last 18 years. I was the Vice President of FQHYA and I’ve competed at the AQHYA World Show, as well as qualifying and placing top 5 in all of my classes for 4-H Regional 4 consecutive years.

Growing up with this program has made me the person I am today. I enjoy volunteering for Saddle Up’s Equine therapy program. The past 14 years equine therapy and volunteering has been a big part of my life. 

Sabrina Buxton

instructor/behavioral Specialist/Psychologist 

Sabrina has been involved in the equine world since she took her first steps. Having come from a mother and father who were both raised in small rural communities that encompassed the world of agriculture and farm life it was only natural that their children were drawn to that life themselves.

Sabrina has over 35 years of equine experience, having begun her formal training at the age of 7 in the style of Saddle Seat where she competed locally within the American Saddlebred, Morgan, and Tennessee Walker community and later progressing into Western Pleasure within that same community. Sabrina holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analytics with a focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder from Purdue University.

Having two children of her own on the spectrum, Sabrina has devoted her life to helping her children adapt to an ever-changing world that is often a challenge for them to navigate. Incorporating her love of horses and ABA therapy has been a dream of hers to achieve, having known all too well the impact horses can have on children and adults both on the spectrum and off.

Sabrina has not only been privileged to witness the ability of the horse to reach some of the most unreachable individuals through equine therapy but has benefited from Equine Therapy herself as a domestic violence survivor.

Renee Frank

Teen volunteer Coordinator

My name is Renee Frank  I am a junior who attends Richard O. Jacobson Technical High School.  I am part of their Veterinary Assisting program and have been a part of Saddle Up for about 5 1/2 years, loving every second of it.  I have had opportunities that no other place would offer.  I have grown as a rider and a person, and have been able to help so many disabled adults and children.  Saddle Up has been an amazing place for me to grow and learn different ways to handle different situations, I hope it can for you too.

Volunteers

Jacqui Baranich-Wolfendale

volunteer Coordinator

I have loved horses since I was a small child.  Every year I would ask Santa for a horse but that never happened.  I took it upon myself to purchase my own horse at 16 years of age and never looked back.  When my daughter was young she got her 1st horse.   We were at the barn daily and participated in many, many shows. Wonderful memories that I will cherish always. Being in the horse community, I started my involvement with Saddle Up in 2008.  Really enjoyed volunteering because it was so joyful not to mention an honor to be part of another’s journey for their well-being.  Eventually, I had to part due to family obligations.  Recently I have become an empty-nester so I have more free time to invest in the Therapy Program because I missed the rewarding aspect of the interaction and knowing I make a difference. 

 

Ready to participate or volunteer?