Friday, August 30, 2013

a Horse Lover

I've mentioned before how much Cate adore animals.  She has said every time anyone has asked for the last 3 years or so that she wants to be a zookeeper when she grows up - and anyone who has seen her around or even just heard her talk about animals can believe it might just happen.  She has always liked horses but since the introduction the Disney movie Brave her goal has been to ride a horse and shoot a bow and arrow - at the same time.  Now that part isn't likely but her love of horse has definitely grown.  She not only wants to ride a horse, she wants to take care of it - lead it, brush it, wash it, feed it.  She has been on pony rides a couple times but this summer she got to be a guest at one of Lucy's friend's pony birthday party.  The handlers at the party all told me we needed to get Cate on a horse for real.  There is a branch of physical therapy called hippotherapy that utilizes horses in the process of reaching therapy goals.  It has great success in increasing core body strength, coordination and speech as well.  Cate doesn't really need any PT right now given her swimming plus the goal of hippotherapy is to use a horse to pursue other goals not to teach the child to ride a horse, but she isn't ready for a group horse lesson either. 

I was lucky to find a great farm not too far away that offers "therapeutic riding" lessons.  The goal of these sessions is to teach the child to ride a horse but are taught a therapist who will also work on goals of increasing coordination, core strength, and confidence.  So tomorrow is our first session and Cate is over the moon excited.  I have made her earn 10 "horses" on a reward chart by getting green behavior ratings at school and cooperating on her homework.  As of last night she had 8 - so assuming she gets a green today and cooperates fully at swimming tonight we'll be go to go - otherwise I'll have to make up another way for her to earn one! 
As I understand it tomorrow's session would not normally include much riding but since we are kind of testing the program out (it isn't covered by insurance) to see if it is valuable enough for the time commitment and how often we want to do it, the instructor was planning to get Cate on the horse for a little while.  Keep your fingers crossed for us that it goes well!
Here are the pics of her at the party last month:
from the minute we got there we couldn't get Cate out of the barn

so happy

see that face when the helper tried to get her off??

Lucy didn't want anything to do with horses but loved the fashion.

she convinced the helper to take her "barrelling" around the hay bails!

its horse love for sure!

No comments:

Post a Comment