UBC DAY 12: Aquatic Therapy for the Horse in Your Life

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One of the coolest things about starting my subscription copywriting service, Linked For Success, is that I’m continually getting to learn about really interesting people and businesses.

One of them is the Amber Glen Equestrian Wellness Center, in Pinellas Park, Florida.

Owner Patti Johnson has been a friend of mine for years. I met her when she was an administrator for a housing development for adults living with various physical challenges. She was an interpreter in American Sign Language, and one of the friends who fueled my interest in taking classes in ASL.

I was away from mainstream Pinellas Park for over a decade, and when I got back, Patti had a whole new career going on!

PPK LOCATIONShe and daughter Patti (“Patti Gail”) Fiedler had opened the Amber Glen Feed Depot, catering to all manner of pets with fur, fangs, fins, feathers, hooves, claws, what-not. And Patti also had started an Equestrian Center, offering boarding and training for the equestrian set.

The Amber Glen Equestrian Wellness Center grew out of tragedy, when one of Patti’s horses died following another stable’s fire. Patti couldn’t find a stable with the therapeutic resources to help her beloved animal, so she decided to build one.

CenterAisleThis state-of-the-art center features a central aisle barn that provides excellent ventilation to each of their 12′ x 12′ matted stalls. Feed is premium grade, and hay is dropped three times every day.

Amenities include automated systems for fly deterrence and watering; covered, lighted wash racks; a 150-foot roundpen for training; all-grass turnouts, with tree-shaded paddocks to shelter horses from Florida’s hot sun; a lighted clay riding arena; and a covered spectators’ gazebo. There’s 24-hour security and on-site management.

Patti’s daughter, Patti Gail, brings significant value to the Amber Glen Equestrian Center. Patti Gail is one of only eleven ARIA Level III certified instructors, and is AAA-carded.

TrainerPattiFiedlerShe is responsible for developing our City’s Mounted Police Unit, and trained Tampa’s police officers to provide mounted support during the Republican National Convention in 2012. Her therapeutic understanding has helped save the lives of a number of horses whose injuries and illnesses confounded other specialists.

Today, Amber Glen Equestrian Center offers regular boarding and training, as well as therapeutic boarding. Its services include Low Level (Cold) Laser Therapy to stimulate the healing of damaged tissue. A vibrating platform helps revitalize muscles.

And Amber Glen Equestrian Wellness Center has the only aquatic therapy program within a 90 mile radius of Pinellas Park that offers both fresh and salt water treatment to aid in wound healing and tissue revitalization.

The fresh water stall can be filled deep enough to float horses whose injuries won’t allow them to support their own weight. Normally, though, the water is only deep enough to provide resistance as the animals walk on the stall’s treadmill to speed recovery and build strength.

Pinellas Park is one of the last sections of our county that really caters to horses and horse enthusiasts. The city has a show and competition ring at Helen S. Howarth Park, and the Bay Area Horseman’s Association holds its shows on the Florida circuit every month from September through May. BAHA is further distinguished by including competition classes for riders with disabilities.




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2 Responses to UBC DAY 12: Aquatic Therapy for the Horse in Your Life

  1. Years ago, one of my son’s former day care providers opened a stable called Stable Movements, that gives “hippotherapy” to disabled children and adults. Horses have served mankind for thousands of years. But you never hear of therapy for injured horses. I loved this story, and am sharing it.

  2. Thanks, Alana! I think Saddle Up! Riding Club did hippotherapy, but I’m not sure if they’re still in business here. Years back, the local Kiwanis Clubs had a program called Horses for Handicaps that did the same thing. You’re right, though–you don’t hear much about equine therapy. Glad it caught your eye!

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