Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Feeding Horse Puppet

This was a fun adaptation. A very nice volunteer gave me a horse puppet. I cut a hole inside his mouth and sewed a sock inside. I cut small plastic orange pieces that I call "carrots" and ask the children to feed the pony. The toys travel down the sock. This is a fun diversion to use with fussy kids. It is also good activity to promote language,especially if you make a variety of food items to feed the pony and then try to have them say "yum yum yum". Some children can also doing this game while on their belly (prone over the horse's barrel).

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Button Stringing

One of my favorite clients turns 3 this week and will be stopping hippotherapy. I made a video of him using my new button stringing activity. It works just like stringing beads or larger plastic shapes- but instead of inserting a string, the child inserts a "button" (I cut out of a detergent bottle).  I sewed the end of the cord to the Home Depot apron I was wearing. I like starting out using rigid plastic and then moving onto using cloth pieces with button holes cut out of the centers.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Apples for Cheyenne

I have discovered this sweet and beautifully illustrated children's book that demonstrates the experience of hippotherapy from the perspective of a girl with autism. Julie fidgets, is willing to look Cheyenne in the eye, is bothered by some sounds but not the sound of the ocean while riding, understands how to make her horse trot, focuses while riding, develops motor control, thinks about her horse's feelings, enjoys touching him  and relaxes while riding.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Basketball while prone over Horse's Barrel

The snow has been closing my hippotherapy facility on the day I work but today was rather nice-but still had to stay indoors due to all the ice. I had a good day evoking some speech from pretty much non-verbal kids. One two year old has figured out that when I stop the horse- I want a sound, any sound before we get moving again-thats a good start.  

I cropped this photo to hide my client's identity, but perhaps you can make out her orange sleeve. She is on her belly bearing weight on her left hand since she just threw a ball into the basket. This toy (which I bought at a yard sale for a dollar) has been a hit because it makes funny sounds and it is small enough for me to hold  in locations positions- like here with the child over the horse's barrel.   

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rider Julie who is Blind/Deaf

According to the youtube description, this young woman is blind and deaf, but it seems to me that she is responding to speech. She does an excellent job helping to tack and seems to be really in her element.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Nice Training Video

This video of a hippotherapy session explains how the therapists make decisions re: what horse to use, speed, positioning, adaptive equipment, direction of movement etc. The narrator also reports the progress seen from session to session (i.e. improved stretch to straddle horse) as well as improvement seen from beginning to end of one single session-i.e. postural control to sit up without arm supported on cushion.