I have been thinking a lot today about how to increase body awareness so that the children help move their legs while transitioning from facing forwards, sideways and backwards. Some of them don't understand what I want even after I have moved their shoulders and hips, shifted their center of gravity and all they need to do is finish swinging their leg over.
Today I had the opportunity to use the larger arena and tried having the horse make tight turns in ways that would get momentum and gravity to help them swing their leg over. I also had the horse do tight turns to help them readjust and center their bodies while leaning to the side- If the child's body is sliding toward her left side-turn the horse sharply to the left and the feeling that she is falling off will increase body awareness so that she readjusts to sit in the middle.
Barbara Smith, M.S., OTR/L author of, The Recycling Occupational Therapist