Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Tonight was the first night of the fall session of horseback riding.  Audrey did the same program last's offered through the special needs arm of our park district.  Lots of people say that they see great benefits from therapeutic riding, including physical and motor (improved balance and trunk strength) and in terms of calming and regulation.  The blurb in the park district catalog promises no less than this:
"Riders develop balance and rhythm as they feel the movement of the horse and embrace the ageless goal of lightness and harmony with one's equine partner."
I don't think that that lofty goal was quite achieved tonight, but it's only day one.  Audrey was actually a little more scaredy cat than she was a year ago.  Which sort of annoyed me at first, until I remembered that in the meantime she'd broken her arm falling off of monkey bars and smashed her face in falling off a swing

But she got on her horse, Lizzie, just fine and was perfectly calm after a few minutes.  They don't do much the first day...they just walked her around and asked her to say "whoa" and "walk on".  Even with all of these beautiful half-ton animals galloping around, Audrey was mainly concerned with the stable cats and if they were watching her.

Sadly, they were not...

Totally uninterested in
human-feline bonding

The stables also have a small petting zoo area with ducks, chickens, and goats. 

This encounter with this
chicken resulted in...
Lawsuit! I'm chokin' that
chicken for all it's worth!

Six more weeks to go...are we feeling the oneness and harmony with nature yet?


  1. :) I felt a huge deja vu reading this! Chandler did therapy riding last year. It started off.....rough. My in laws have horses, and have purchased a saddle for my son now, and we ride together. I like that better, but I think we did see some cool improvements during the fall session last year. If nothing else, I saw the amazing balance he has, and can see we have had the experience!

  2. What a cool program! My daughter did some horseback riding at her day camp over the summer. I don't know if it helped regulate her, but I'm sure it helped with her trunk muscles!

    Darn chickens can be mean!

  3. LOL this seems like something Audrey will really love- I know this is the only "therapy" that Brian would truly do his happy dance (flap) for every time :)

    and damn chickens- i don't like those things

  4. Chickens are such nasty, dirty, unpredictable birds.. Why even put something like that in a petting farm? I love the video of Audrey - at least she looks really comfortable on the horse, right? And maybe the cat will be more interested next week.

  5. I wish they had something like that around here. :(

  6. Um. When you do choke that chicken, please post photos.

  7. My son takes riding lessons, too. For a long time refused to say "whoa". Why would he say that ever, when he wanted to keep going? Walk on...

  8. I really wanna do this with the bird sometime soon but I'm so out of time with all these other therapies!! Plus, the therapeutic centers are, like, an hour away. Yeehaw, Audrey!

  9. Stupid cats. They don't know what they're missing.

    Seriously, she is so adorable in her riding hat. Is it called a "hat?" Or a "helmet?"

    You've inspired me to check out a riding program near our house. Looking forward to hearing updates!

  10. I applaud you for seeking unique ways to help your daughter...thanks for visiting during my SITS Day!

  11. yeah..I'm thinking along the lines of big daddy...why would you reward the chicken? ;)

  12. i have mixed feelings on this with my son. first off horses smell and that would be tantrum #1 right there...he would have to get past teh smell before he got near

    but audrey looks fab riding her horse. it looks fun.

  13. This is so fun! What a great idea. Also I love how authentic you seem to be. Your style and passion for blogging is contagious. Thank you for sharing your life!