Monday, June 8, 2009

Hi Yo, Waldo Away!

Connor's faithful steed Waldo will be put out to pasture for a while. This is because tomorrow morning, Connor will be heading over to Spirit's Party Barn and spending half an hour on a real horse-- a miniature horse, that is. This will be the first of what will become a monthly experience, and we may go more often if he seems to really enjoy it and benefit from it.

It won't technically be hippotherapy, as we won't have a therapist present for most of his riding. We do, however, have a number of exercises to do on the horse that we've been given by our wonderful PT, Laura, and we also hope to haul her along with us for a session or two every once in a while to receive further instruction. There is significant evidence that hippotherapy, or therapy with horses, can be extremely beneficial to children with severe motor skill and vestibular delays. The movement of the horse activates the muscles used for walking and helps improve muscle strength and torso control, posture, and balance. The list of "general indicators for hippotherapy" off the AHA website, by the way, reads like a laundry list of Connor's diagnoses.

Though we won't be doing the kind of extensive therapy that an experienced PT and horse trained specifically for that purpose can provide, riding a horse should still give Connor a good workout. If nothing else, just the contact with animals is probably a good thing for the little guy, and since he loves horses and ponies I have no doubt he'll be extremely excited about it. There's also a petting zoo, and they have bunnies. Connor loves bunnies. I'm thinking it's going to be a good day.

It's only twenty dollars for thirty minutes on the horse, which is a really reasonable rate. We may eventually bump it up to an hour, but half an hour on a horse is a really long time for a three year old, so we'll work up to that. I'll be taking my camera, so expect some super cute pictures tomorrow night!

They also have a llama, by the way. Nothing that involves a llama can possibly be anything less than awesome.



Greymare said...

That is so super exciting!! I demand photos! :D :D

leah said...

What an awesome day! Riding a horse, playing with bunnies, and checking out the llamas. Though personally, I prefer alpacas to llamas. Alpacas have funny looking bangs, which endears them to me.

Have a great "therapy" day!

Michelle said...

What a fantastic idea! I can't wait to see the photos!

Julia O'C said...

Oh, wow! We've been thinking about doing something like this with Emmett. Can't wait to read about it.

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