Tag Archives: horseback riding therapy

One Word Photo Challenge: Brown


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My daughter has been doing horse back riding therapy, also called hippotherapy, for almost seven months now and she really enjoys it. It has helped her out in many ways and has encouraged her to become more verbal, more attentive to her surroundings, plus she gets excited when I tell her that she’s going riding today.

It took her speech therapist four horses, each a different size and gait, to figure out which horse best suited my daughter’s needs (for both autism and sensory processing disorder). Though each horse she’s ridden has been really sweet and lovable, I sincerely love the horse she has now. She’s (the horse) is well taught in being a therapy horse, she’s smart, and likes to take part in some of the games we’re playing, such as puzzles, she likes to look at the puzzle board with us.

Since this week’s one word photo challenge is brown, I’ll share a few pictures of some of the horses around the farm where my daughter rides.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Getting Closer To Animals


Since I’ve been having my daughter do hippotherapy (horseback riding therapy), she’s been more calm and relaxed around animals to the point of getting close enough to pet them. This is not just horses, but it is also cats and dogs. We don’t have pets here at home because my grandmother doesn’t want them, so animals are not a part of my daughter’s natural environment. But since I’ve been taking her horseback riding regularly, she’s becoming accustomed to animals and is even seeing that they are actually okay to be near. Normally she would start screaming excitedly and try to get as far away from whatever animal she sees. If I am holding her she will try to climb up me to prevent whatever animal from jumping up and touching her.

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This weekend I watched her walk up to a horse and pet it without me saying anything to her. She did the same to a couple of cats. One of my parents cats was sitting at a window, looking outside, my daughter sits right next to him and looks outside with him. My daughter even laid on a coffee table next to my sister’s cat and let the cat stretch out towards her.

To some this may seem odd that I am even talking about it, but to me these are the small steps that I have to take in an every day life with an Autistic child. Small steps are even considered giant leaps, depending on what the situation is.

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Today, I was approached by one of my daughter’s teachers on how to help my daughter in some of her meltdowns. I was so happy that she had asked me, because I know how she is at home, she is going to be the same way at school. There’s a long list of things I have to instruct people on how to deal with my daughter, that are in her every day life, such as daycare. It’s good to see that she has people at her daycare that are willing to help my daughter and are willing to work with her.

I, as a mom and as a person who was bullied at home and at school, am concerned about my daughter’s future when she starts school. I do try my best to have her ready, but it’s the small steps that are necessary in getting there.