Thursday, September 10, 2009

Therapeutic Riding Update

Emma had a rough few months start with therapeutic riding. She pretty much cried for the entire 30 minute session each week and we were starting to wonder if we should keep taking her to the farm. Emma has a unique cry that she reserves for therapeutic riding. In the beginning Emma would cry when she saw Miss Kris, Emma's helper on the horse. Then she progressed to crying when we started up the dirt road to the farm. Eventually, she recognized the ride and started crying when we came off the main highway onto the road the farm is located. AMAZING! No one can tell me that my child is not smart, because if they do they clearly do not know my child very well!

Here is a photo of Emma throwing her fit while riding her pony, Mercedes. It upset Miss Kris a lot that Emma always cried when she saw her. Apparently, Emma hadn't yet figured out that most children smile when they arrive at the farm to ride a pony!

After 3 months of constant crying, Emma was becoming a bit of a legend around the farm. We were even thinking of taking a few months off of riding when the animals for the 4H program ( a first of it's kind for special needs children!) that is getting started at the farm started showing up. The first animal to arrive was Adam, a goat. Emma met Adam shortly after his arrival at the farm and that is when the people at the farm first saw Emma smile! When Pam brought Adam to Emma, she immediately reached out to touch him, grabbed his paw and didn't want to leave. It was love at first sight.

Here is a photo of Emma meeting Adam. Unfortunately, Adam got sick shortly after he arrived at the farm. Although he only was with us a few days his legend in making Emma smile and transforming her attitude on the farm will live on forever in our hearts.

Thankfully, Emma has found a friend in Ella another goat on the farm. Emma still cries a bit when Miss Kris first puts Emma on Mercedes, but we now tell her that she is going to go see Ella if she stops crying and she immediately stops crying! We then go over and meet up with Ella and Emma gets to spend a bit of time *talking* to Ella and petting her before we head out on the pony ride without any tears. Emma is even sitting up tall on Mercedes now and talking a bit on the ride around. Who knew that it would take a goat to turn Emma on to pony riding???

Here is a photo of Emma, Ella, and a smiling Miss Kris! I'm not sure who is the happiest about Emma's new found love of goats and ponies - Mommy, Emma or Miss Kris!

5 Comments from readers:

Anonymous said...

Bless her little heart! This post made me teary. Miss Kris looks like a gem and the pictures of Emma with the goats are fantastic. Sweet sweet sweet.

Ethan is incredibly observant in the car as well and always seems to know where we are. We're going to start hippotherapy this fall...I'm in the process of setting it all up right now. I can't wait to see how it goes!

Kristina said...

Heather -
I'm so happy that Ethan will be starting Hippotherapy! That is so exciting - please keep me posted on how he does. I really hope it doesn't take him as long as Emma to warm up to the idea of riding....

I always love your comments! Thanks for all the support.


Anonymous said...

I know, I hope he stays put. He's not one to stop moving or sit still. We'll see....

I just love coming here, you've got an awesome blog!

Janet said...

My son (almost 7) has been in hippotherapy since Feb 2008. He now LOVES it. For him it took a few months of me running out of the arena as soon as his therapist and side-walkers took over. It does wonders for his senosry integration (wish we could do it every day!). But even better he will TALK while on his horse. (His therapist is speech/language) It is an amazing way to do therapy.

Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

I have been thinking about hippotherapy lately. Around here, they won't do it until a child is 2. Emily is turning 2 in about 3 weeks so I have had this in the back of my mind.

I adore the picture of Emma petting the goats. It is cute that she was so taken by them. I am so glad that she has started enjoying the pony rides because of her friend the goat. Adorable!