Friday, July 30, 2010

Check out my new article in The American Hippotherapy Association Magazine:
Therapy Share: Lacing Shapes Activity

Tall basketball hoop for trunk rotation

I like how the child is facing  backwards and using a tall basketball hoop that promotes trunk rotation.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

One of my favorite little guys turned three this week and finished hippotherapy paid for by the early intervention program. His grandmother baked treats for all the staff-which shows just how much families appreciate what we do.
A little girl who was never able to do sit-ups without some physical assist- today lied supine reaching above her head with a magnetic bingo wand to catch plastic fish and then sitting up with just verbal cues. I have used this activity before- attaching paper clips to the fish, but today I hid them on the trail, so she could find them and then made her do sit-ups to catch each one as I held  them above her head. Motivating with activities is what occupational therapy is all about...... 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Props used during hippotherapy

I like the use of shakers (or whatever they are called) to work on following directions, body awareness,  balance (riding without holding on) and bilateral hand use.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Misty of Chincoteague

I have been thinking for several years that I would love to visit the wild ponies that live on the island of Assateague--a 33 mile long island off the eastern shore of Virginia. I recently came across the book  "Misty of Chincoteague" by Marguerite Henry--the story of a wild pony named Phantom and her baby Misty, descendents of the ponies who landed on the island during a Spanish voyage to Peru. The ponies won the hearts of a young brother and sister. It turns out that this is a children's book with exquisite illustrations that remind me of Robert McCloskey's "Make Way for Ducklings" as it transports the reader back to a simpler time and place. Now I am more inspired than ever to travel south, camp and see the island's wild ponies.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Finding Horseshoes

Finally a cool, drizzly day, my favorite weather for working outdoors.

I cut some horse shoe shapes out of plastic orange juice and laundry bottles and placed them along the edges of the trail. These were perfect because I don't care if they get lost-they are so easy to replace. One little girl immediately got excited when she saw them, pulled the reins to stop and I handed them to her to place in the folding basket attached to the tack. She posted to reach for them on the mane and tolerated lying down supine while grasping the toy and doing a sit-up before placing them in the basket. This was great because she ordinarily does not like to do sit-ups and will use her elbows to make it easier, but couldn't "cheat" with the elbow trick while grasping the toy. This gave me the idea of incorporating sit-ups into the "pull the clothespins off the mane" game. A different girl lied supine, sat up , then reached for the pins on the mane, inserting them into the basket, repeating the entire sequence about 8 times. We both found this a lot more fun than doing plain old sit-ups.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Great essay!

I especially like the essay at the end of the video!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Heat Wave

It's so hot- I considered calling in sick knowing that I might get heat stroke. But I survived. This little girl spoke for the first time during her 3rd session. She said "TAIL". Usually the first word is "go" or "more", so I was quite impressed and took a picture. She loved my  game called "touch the ball and it will squeak" and she does a great job reaching for it. 

Another little girl requested that we play "what is mommmy doing?" This game involves my asking silly questions such as "Is mommy fishing"? or "Is mommy climbing a tree?" "Is mommy mowing the grass?" and eventually I ask "Is mommy waiting for you?" This seems to reduce separation anxiety and entertains all of us at the same time.  

Monday, July 5, 2010

Brain Gym Articles

I try to incorporate crossing midline during hippotherapy activities. Part of the warm up exercise routine is to touch the right hand to left shoe and left hand to right shoe. I sometimes addg touching body parts such as "touch your right hand to my head (I am on the child's left)" and "touch your left hand to the sidewalkers head". Then I may add different body parts in the directions such as touching our ears, shoulders, etc.I like the Brain gym activities that focus on crossing midline-as I wrote in these articles.....
Brain Gym Lessons 

Brain Gym Exercises