Monday, October 25, 2010

Up and Down Hills

Going up and down hills is great sensory stimulation and I love the hill at the Stone Ridge Farm in Haverhill because we have a nice wide area to repeatedly go up and down. This gives my clients practice going into the half seat position going up and leaning back while going down. This is great for postural control, strengthenging and teaching them to follow and remember directions.  I don't know if you can hear this little girl say "uphill" and "downhill" but she was repeating my words.Maria Hurley owner of   Divinity Farm in Groveland and coordinator of this hippotherapy program is the side walker.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cute video

I would have loved to compare his gait after the treatment with the gait before riding. But I like how this video shows a variety if activities that he seems to be enoying.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weighted ball exercises

We did some strengthening work today with a weighted ball. I love the sensory feedback and how the children must use both hands to hold it. This little girl did some exercises with the horse stationary. Another client was able to move the ball up and down with the horse walking and holding the ball seemed to improve his body awareness.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Unmounted Equine Activities

I like the many activities in the article "Unmounted Activities for Rainy days: in the NARHA Strides magazine:
Activities include:
  • Making collages from old horse magazines
  • Drawing of horse themed activities to color
  • Equine themed decorations
  • Equine board games
  • Cooked and uncooked horse treats
  • Play "horse and rider" with the rider leader around the blind folded child who is the  "horse"
  • Play "Mother May I " but instead of using those words say "Walk on" and whoa".
There's lots more activities in the magazine.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Two more therapists shadowed me today, actually one led the horse and the other side walked as part of their training. I was amazed that my 2 year old with athetosis is getting so strong - he can sit grasping the handle with enough control for me to briefly take my hands off his shoulders and trunk and just press down on his thigh. Two months ago I had to wrap my arms around his shoulders to stop his arms and trunk  from flailing.Maybe he just likes it more and is cooperating, hard to tell.   His mom told me that the PT is working on maintaining a quadruped position (on  the floor and since I had a PT side walker-decided to give it a try. He cried but did hold a quadruped position with horse stationary . The PT held his hands on the anticast handle, some support under his chest while I held his legs in position-for about 10 seconds. It was awesome!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Shadowing therapist

It was fun having a new therapist shadow today and it turned out that she had previously worked with my new almost 2 year old client. He did very well as long as we kept moving and he also tolerated being stationary while popping bubbles.
The highlight of the day was having a two year old stand on top of the horse as she manipulating the velcro bottle. This involves grasping the bottle handle with one hand, pulling toys off with the other and inserting them inside. She has done this before while sitting but it was a first having her do it while standing. I love seeing kids do this while standing on top because the fine motor activity takes their attention off the fact that they are standing on a horse and they seem to realize that I am so busy keeping my hands on them that they are more willing to do the activity without any help from me.