Tag Archives: Horse

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Hippotherapy Session One


After a week of having rain in the afternoon, my daughter was finally able to begin her Hippotherapy sessions. I was ecstatic as always to see how anxious she was in wanting to ride. Though, she started the session with a little humor. Her therapist and her daughter, who is leading the horse, already had the horse saddled and ready to go when we got there. My daughter calmly walked up to the horse and started to pet him.

She looked down at the ground and immediately picked up brown clumps asking, “What’s this?”

Her therapist replies calmly, “Horse poo.” I bit my lip trying not to laugh, but at the same time thought oh gross!

She instantly drops the poo and starts wiping her hands on her shirt saying, “Ew, poo! Nasty poo!”

I immediately reach for her arm, telling her calmly that we need to wash our hands now. After she was all clean she pointed to the horse, asking if she can ride. Her therapist pointed out where the horse’s mouth, nose, and eyes were before sitting my daughter on top of the horse. She then learned to make nice, calm strokes on the horses neck and not hard slapping pats.

Image

I watch her ride around the corral in one big circle, before riding off behind a house into a shaded pathway. The lead stopped the horse as the therapist began asking her questions, having her repeat words. Then they played toss the ring on a pole after her therapist asked her what the color of each ring was. The lead then had the horse stop in the middle of the circle where the therapist picked up some flash cards and began asking her what was on each card. This went on for an hour.

Image

After the session my daughter seemed happier and asked if she could ride again. I told her she will, though she would have to wait until next week.

Image

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.