Hi! My name is Megan Manning, I have spent the last couple of days reading through your blog and thought I'd post a little comment here, on completely catching up! I am a registered Therapeutic horseback riding instructor in Texas, about an hour from the big city of Dallas. I am currently studying to get my Occupational Therapy degree. As I was reading through your blog I can across some surprises... Your blog from August 17th, 2009 is a picture from our center! The horse pictured is named Sultan, and he has since been retired, but is still living with us there. The center's name is All Star Equestrian Center you can look us up at allstarfoundation.org. Another neat surprise was from your post on February 18th of this year. I personally know Michael Richerdson. He helps to just a horseshow called Chisholm Challenge for Special Riders that is held every year in Ft. Worth that our center participates in, a long with many other centers. It was neat to see him up there! He judges the trail sections of our horse show for us. At All Star my summer project is to get out sensory trail up and running... so far I have about 6 big arches placed out on a trail. They are about 8 feet off the ground I think... I was wondering if you have any ideas that I could use for the trail? I was thinking about a pool noodle 'car wash' as well as wind chimes in trees, with possibly a tree that has different door bell chimes up in the branches, so you can push the door bell button down on one of the arches and listen for the chime in the trees. Any suggestions you could give me would be marvelous! I will continue reading and look forward to any more new ideas you come up with! : )
I'm glad that you are enjoying the blog and that you like the picture of Ben-that his father sent to me. I had written several book reviews on Saving Ben. I love doing hippotherapy with the kids on the spectrum. You may have noticed that most of my pictures are from outside of where I work-that's because I am not allowed to take pictures that show my clients or the farm. But I do photograph my activities without showing the kids. I have lots of ideas about setting up a sensory trail-but another source of frustration is that I can't do this at my job. But I am in the process of starting a new business with 2 riding instructor friends and their ponies.
As far as the sensory trail goes-here are my fantasies-I would place lots of toy animals and take photos of them . Then I would show a photo to the client and ask her to ride and pull the reins when she finds the toy- . You can bring rings along with you on the trail ride and place them over poles or gather rings on the ride and bring them back to the arena to do a ring stack activity. I would love suspended banners or balls to whack. Chimes and noodles-love that idea. I've seen eyes, nose, ears and mouth sets that can be pushed into the tree. Then you can touch a feature and have the child touch her own. Have numbers posted along the trail. Then when you stop there ask the child to do that number of motor acts-sit ups, push ups, post etc. My ideas go on and on, so frustrated.....
One more thought- if I had permission to post photos of your sensory trail on my blog that would be great and then we can all benefit from your creative ideas. I love the photo on your site of the girl reaching for the animals (lizards or something like that).