FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Phoenix Club of Nashville Crowdfunds $10,000 Grant to Saddle Up!
Phoenix Club member Jack Hudson and President Patrick Baird
present grant donation to Saddle Up!’s Tricia Ward
Nashville, TN., December 10, 2021 – The Phoenix Club of Nashville (PCON) is very excited to announce, in their first fully-funded crowdsourcing effort, a $10,000 grant award to Saddle Up! for the purchase of three new therapy horses.
The mission of Saddle Up! is to impact the lives of children and young adults with disabilities by providing opportunities to grow and develop through equine therapy, educational, and recreational experiences. Guided by instructors and trained volunteers, riders see improvements in cognitive, physical, emotional, and social development, as well as improved balance, endurance, coordination, communication, speech, and attention. Saddle Up! brings this mission to life by providing a year-round program on their 34-acre farm in Williamson County.
This project provides an opportunity for PCON to partner with an established organization filling a vital need for youth in our community. Thanks in part to the crowdfunding efforts led by PCON Members Jack Hudson, William Crenshaw, Michael Moore, and Marlteze Saffold, this grant will be used for the purchase of three new horses. With 200+ children currently on a roughly year-long waitlist, the addition of these new horses means that Saddle Up! will now be able to serve an additional 30 children and young adults with disabilities per week, returning the organization to near its pre-pandemic capacity.
Allowing Saddle Up! to purchase the horses, as opposed to procuring donated animals, enables them to select horses with the specific qualities and training to meet program/rider needs. “I am so excited to see our organization’s crowdfunding capabilities thrive and culminate in this impactful partnership. I’m thrilled for PCON to be able to support Saddle Up! as they do the hard work of training and supporting children in need in such a unique way” said PCON President Patrick Baird. Phoenix Club Member and grant champion Parker Provost had his own unique connection as well: “This project hits home on a few fronts for me – I have ridden horses my entire life, beginning at 6-years-old, and I know how much the activity can instill confidence in a young person. Additionally, I am excited for the opportunity the Club has to support a nonprofit that directly serves youth with physical and mental disabilities.”
The impact of these services and the therapies provided by Saddle Up! are immense. Children and young adults enrolled in Saddle Up!’s programs show long-term improvement in both physical and emotional health. For individuals with mental or emotional disabilities, the unique relationship formed with the horse can lead to increased confidence, patience and self-esteem. Saddle Up! also provides opportunities for physical, occupational, and speech therapies, physical exercise, recreation, cognitive stimulation, learning, confidence building, and the creation of social and team networks.
Why equine therapy?
Nothing can compare to the power of the horse. The auto industry has put “horsepower” into their engines for decades, but there is a “horse power” beyond strength and speed that only a real horse can provide. Working with the Saddle Up! herd provides children and young adults with disabilities a unique environment in which to grow and develop. The horses provide movement, support, learning opportunities, strength, stability, companionship, and much more to participants in Saddle Up! programs. “The power of the horse-human connection is undeniable, and at Saddle Up!, we get to see that impact on our riders every day. We get to watch their journey to improved strength, confidence and skill-building. It’s a very special place and I’m honored to be a part of it,” said Trina Hayes, Board President, Saddle Up! Nashville.
About Saddle Up!:
Saddle Up! started as a dream and launched as a one night a week program – in daylight and good weather only – for 10 students. Saddle Up! is now a year-round program that will serve nearly 180 children and young adults with a wide range of disabilities in 2021. Saddle Up! is the oldest and largest program of its kind in the region, and the only one exclusively serving children and young adults with disabilities. They are a Premier Center accredited by PATH International, the organization that sets the standards for safety and quality in equine assisted programs. Saddleupnashville.org