Saturday, February 14, 2009
I like how the parents put some explanations on the video-
They had the horse stop and start to work on muscle control. Stopping also helps the child to get his sensory system organized. Just as one's body becomes alert when suddenly moving, the body becomes alert again when stopping after several minutes of movement.
Changing the direction while walking around the arena is good for the horse, the rider and the adults walking with him. It gives the horse's body a balanced workout. As I walk in a circle the muscles on my side facing the inside of the circle are shortened and I have to be sure to change sides on the horse and also direction in order to avoid imbalance and pain around my hips and back. The rider is also experiencing muscle shortening and lengthening while walking in circles. Therapists can position the child and walk in certain directions to lengthen muscles on the child's tighter side.
Barbara Smith, M.S., OTR/L, author of The Recycling Occupational Therapist