BOTE Presents //
Sage To Saddle
Photography: Sean Murphy
Videography: RABBIT FOOT STUDIOS
Story: Nate Bressler, Co-Founder of Sage to Saddle
A question I often ask myself has to do with sports and its meaning and relationship to our everyday life. To begin, what do we even call an activity that we love to do any chance we get… is it trekking or going for a walk in the wilderness, is it surfing or going to “church” to get closer to your “god” and what beautiful things Mother Nature has to offer? No matter your what your passion is, the common ground is the way we feel and the benefits that come from it.
For many our sanity depends on the hobbies in our life and we often feel like something is “off’ when we’ve been kept away from those morning paddles, or evening runs. Exercise is also a great tool for developing minds to burn of some steam, when preteen kids are too much to handle and a run around the school yard is just what they need.
A program on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation focuses on these philosophies and the benefits of after school activities for “Americas hardest hit community” to heal from poverty and an excessive teen suicide rate. Life on the Great Plains is challenging enough with 8 month winters and triple digit summers (not to mention drug n alcohol addiction that is three times the national average) so Sage to Saddle is on a mission to restore some of the pride lost from seven generations stripped of their ways, lost right in the middle of our country’s heartland.
The Oglala Lakota are a Horse Nation who’s ease on a horse is obvious when a young beginner mounts a horse for the first time… the connection is palpable. For most, their first ride is all it takes to be hooked for life with a creature that understands them more than most. Our relationship with horses are incredible connection between two vulnerable beings trying to understand one another and that bond is priceless… and so is the innocence.
Beyond the summer group rides and weekend events the folks at Sage to Saddle are dedicated to building indoor riding arenas for our Native brothers and sisters from ages 8-18 to have a place to escape after school when the short days of winter and overcrowded single wide trailers become too much for the young fragile mind to endure. Together with help from great people like you, we can provide the horseback experience and the mental getaway every kid deserves with an opportunity to forget about life’s challenges that these young minds learn too quickly… the time is now to help so many in need. Please join us in our mission to provide the chance at success every young mind deserves with a physical activity they were born into.