Thursday 13 May 2021

Equine Therapy

*** Please note that we do not receive commissions of any kind for this post. This post is in relation to a therapy provider that we find useful. ***

Daddy superhero and I are always looking for different activities that we can incorporate into our weekly routines that will further develop the little superheroes skills. 

We've always known the power that animals have on both little superheroes and have always thought that both would love to participate in equine therapy. Towards the end of term one of this school year, Daddy superhero sent me a link to an equine therapy provider.

We'd just attended a horse show that a few of our relatives organised, and since then L had expressed that he'd like to learn how to ride a horse, just like his cousins Dave, Jane and Em.

After speaking with the owner of the Quarter Mile Ranch where the Equine Therapy is conducted, we booked L in for a trial session.

On the day of the session, L was over excited but as soon as we walked over to the horses, L immediately calmed. After introducing ourselves to Tiarne, we left L with her and stood back and watched.

The immediate change in L was just brilliant to watch. L's horse for the session was a gorgeous horse named Bear. L's first job was to brush Bear down, and he did this ever so gently. L then helped Tiarne to locate the riding equipment that L needed for the session.

After helping Tiarne to put all the riding gear into Bear, it was time for the riding to begin. L didn't show an ounce of hesitation as he climbed up into the saddle. The first session was quite short but in the short time, L learnt how to turn Bear, how to go forwards and backwards, how to stop (very important!) and he had a go at trotting with Bear.

At the conclusion of the session when we asked L if he wanted to come back to the ranch, he let out a resounding yes!

L and now O, have since began weekly Equine Therapy sessions. One of the great things we love about the sessions, is that the little superheroes aren't just learning how to ride horses.

At the beginning, and end, of each session that they have been learning how to take care of the horses by brushing them down, cleaning their hooves, brushing their horses manes. The little superheroes have to locate the riding gear that they will need for their horse, and with some help, they put all of the equipment on their horse. 

At the end of the session, they have to help with the feeding of all of the horses at the ranch. This they do complain about, but secretly I'm pretty sure they love this part. Not only do they get their hands dirty by mixing the horse feed, but they also get to see the horses become extremely excited because they know that it's dinner time!

The little superheroes are also practicing and working on their emotional regulation skills every week when they are with the horses.

And every week, the little superheroes learn and practice a new skill with the horses.

L has since been paired with a grumpy horse named Shotz. It's actually quite amusing to watch L and Shotz. Every time that one of the trainers interacts with Shotz, he tries to spin around and give them a nip on the arm. But with L, Shotz is calm and patient. It's almost as though while Shotz is a calming influence on L, L has the same effect on Shotz.

O is also loving the Equine Therapy sessions. She is still developing her confidence with the horses, but they are having a huge impact on O's anxiety. There have been a few weeks where O's anxiety has been sky high, but after working with the horses, O has been able to calm and articulate what has caused her to become anxious.

Both little superheroes are loving their Equine Therapy and no matter what sort of day they have, as soon as they begin interacting with the horses, they calm and focus. And then at the conclusion of every session, two happy flappy, bouncy children come running across the paddock to the car. This makes my heart sing every week.


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