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Canadian County Power of 100 gift helps riders ‘saddle up’

Savannah Station executive director Andi Holland (third from left), board chairman Tom Manske and volunteers accept a huge gift from the Power of 100 Canadian County. Chapter member Shelli Selby (left) nominated Savannah Station for the quarterly Hope Award. (Photo provided)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A special group of horseback riders will continue to “saddle up” thanks in part to the generosity of a Canadian County women’s philanthropic foundation.

Power of 100 Canadian County has selected Yukon’s Savannah Station therapeutic riding program as its quarterly Hope Award recipient.

Power of 100 members on Feb. 11 presented a huge gift – totaling $16,565 – to executive director Andi Holland, board chairman Tom Manske and volunteers at Savannah Station, 13420 Frisco Road.

“We are very humbled to have been chosen by the Power of 100 in Canadian County,” Holland said. “This was a wonderful surprise. We’re just very grateful and appreciate their support.

“We feel privileged to be able to do the work that we do, by helping families that have children with special needs. It means the world to us to have community organizations step up beside us and acknowledge that what we’re doing is valuable and has purpose in our community.”

Power of 100 is a life-changing organization of dedicated women who meet quarterly to pool their resources to give money to non-profit groups.

Since 2013, Savannah Station has been changing the lives of people with special needs utilizing the healing power of the horse. Therapeutic riding is a proven form of valuable therapy that produces physical, cognitive, social, and educational benefits.

Savannah Station’s goal is to keep riders “in the saddle” free of charge.

As such, Savannah Station relies on grants, sponsorships, fund-raisers, and tax-deductible gifts.

“We don’t charge for our services,” Holland said. “We have 54 riders (ages 4-32) in our program who have a variety of special needs. All of them ride without a charge to their families.

“The funds that were donated by the Power of 100 will keep those riders in the saddle and help to care for our horses.”

Some of the funds may help purchase a new saddle and tack and make arena upgrades.

“It all will be used to keep our riders in the saddle and participating in our program,” Holland said.

Savannah Station, 13420 Frisco Road, has 54 special needs riders (ages 4-32) in its therapeutic horseback-riding program. Volunteers work as horse leaders and side-walkers to guide the horses and encourage riders toward independence. (Photo provided)


For riders with limited mobility, therapeutic riding provides them the unique sensation of walking.

Movements of the horse benefit the rider’s balance, strength, posture, and mobility.

Children with cognitive disabilities, learning disorders and speech impairments often try harder and produce better results in an effort to please the horse.

Savannah Station’s volunteers work as horse leaders and side-walkers to guide the horses and encourage riders toward independence.

Every session is led by a certified instructor. Volunteers are needed – both inside and outside the area.

“Because we don’t charge for our services, we do rely on volunteers,” Holland said. “We have about 120 of them now, which is amazing. But we could always use more.

“Each rider starts out with a volunteer team of three – one to lead the horse and two side-walkers. It takes a lot of volunteer manpower to do the work that we do. We’ll have a volunteer training before our summer semester starts, but volunteers can join us at any time. We will train them ‘on the job’.”

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