Tag Archives: Harmony in Hooves

One Word Photo Challenge: Teal


This week’s One Word Photo Challenge is Teal; a beautiful shade found on the color spectrum of blue, can be found in the pictures posted below.

If you have never known the love of a therapy horse, or have seen the love expressed between horse and rider, then hopefully you can see that and more expressed in the photos.

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The ever so patient horse, encouraging the ever so gentle touch from a child with special needs is awe inspiring. Tears well up in my eyes with happiness, as I watch my daughter’s slow movements in her approach towards her therapy horse, Passion, who is moving in closer to my daughter for her to touch.

Horse/equine therapy, also known as Hippotherapy, has been very helpful with my daughter in teaching her to express herself more. Not only that, but it allows her to have a love for animals that she didn’t have before; she had expressed fear when any animal approached her, whether that animal was calm or not.

She expresses a giddy, “Hi, Passion.” before reaching up to brush her fingertips across Passion’s nose. Passion, a gentle therapy horse on Harmony In Hooves Farm, stands up to her name. Her gentle, calm nature would allowing anyone a chance to pet her. Horses can be very therapeutic and just being around her can be very calming.

You can check out my other blog post for more information on how horses can be therapeutic for special needs children.

The following photos is of some artwork pieces found in Bernice Gardens in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

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Weekly photo challenge: Beginning


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The beginning of a new friendship

Since my daughter started doing hippotherapy (therapeutic riding) this past summer, she has a new found friendship with each horse she rides. Though in the picture she is seen leaning in to kiss a horse named Peaches, she usually rides another horse named Gilly.

Hippotherapy has helped her open up more with her confidence in horses and most other animals, as well as helped her open up with her speech. Up until the age of three she had barely an eight word vocabulary, whereas most kids that age has three times that many words in their vocabulary.

Hippotherapy helps keep her calm and relaxed to the point where she can use that energy to focus on other things, such as seeing the world around her and telling us about what she sees. When she isn’t riding, she is mostly focused on one thing and has to have help in redirecting her attention to something else.

Now that she is four years old, she has started talking more and is using actual sentences. She still babbles a lot, but it is the effort in trying to say what she has to say that counts.

Horsin’ Around


For the past several weeks I’ve been taking my daughter to do hippotherapy every Monday. My daughter rides a small horse named Lucky, who has a calm demeanor and is quite loveable. In fact most of the horses that I’ve encountered at Harmony in Hooves are very loveable.

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This past Monday, while my daughter and I were waiting on Lucky to be brushed and saddled, we were approached by a very tall, dark, and handsome fella. No, he wasn’t a human, he was a horse. I was leaning against the railing when he came over and nudged me. I then began to pet him. My daughter comes over to him a little closer and he leans down and watches her closely, allowing her to touch his nose. She walked in a little further and started to pet his leg. She stepped back and started to laugh, as she was enjoying herself. I was just enjoying seeing how well she’s doing in such a close proximity to a giant beast compared to her stature.

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She steps in again and pets him on the leg, then reaches up as far as she could, petting him a few more times before standing back and giggles. He leans in and touches his nose to the top of her head and they both freeze. I watch her, curious to her reaction and see her smile so big. He lifts his nose from her head and she looks up at him smiling, then laughs again before reaching up to touch his nose once more.

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It makes my heart leap for joy to see the love my daughter has with these gentle animals at the stables. I’ve grown up infatuated by horses, and always find a way to be around them. I share the same kind of love for them as I can see she has. What a wonderful feeling. I can say I thoroughly enjoy our Monday’s together.

A Ride With Horses


ImageRecently my daughter has been approved for hippotherapy. Hippotherapy is basically horseback riding therapy. Since having my daughter ride yesterday, I’ve already been asked how does having my daughter ride a horse help her? Well, thank you for asking me, here’s the long and short of it…

According to the American Hippotherapy Association, “hippotherapy is a physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy treatment that utilizes equine movement as part of part of an integrated intervention program to achieve functional outcomes.” Hippotherapy can help people in all walks of life. From special needs to the disabled.

I took my daughter to Harmony in Hooves in Salem, Arkansas. Harmony in Hooves is an actual therapeutic riding facility for children and adults. While we were there learning about the horses and the facility, we got to see first hand how the facility works as two of their regular riders arrived after us. One was an adorable little girl with down syndrome and the other with a beautiful woman who was paralyzed. Riding helps both of them as it will help my daughter.

Equine movement – the movement of the horse – will help with posture control, speech, sensory integration, communication, gross motor skills, attention skills, and so many other things, especially security. It can even help with coordination and balance. It can be a big sensory input just from the contact of the horse and it’s movement. Hippotherapy isn’t going to teach riding skills, it is a slow pace riding to help with all of what I stated above.