Born @ 27 weeks
2lbs 7oz

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Equine Machine

Having spent endless hours of research on various therapies offered to children, equine therapy was not at the top of my list. (equine....equestrian....took me a minute, too).

I'm afraid of horses.

Granted, I will ride (when forced), like on my honeymoon or on a short trail through the mountains. Galloping on a beach is not my idea of a good time. And when I do end up getting on a horse, I usually ask the stable hands for the half-dead, lazy pony, named something like Sugerfoot or Turtlecrossing. However, it never seems to fail that I end up with Diablo or the 15hand Thor!)

Of course, my boys are pushing me out of my comfort zone. Who knows, maybe we'll end up being a horse family. (I can hear my husband's eye roll as I type that).

Wouldn't you know, I stumbled upon a flyer (it literally landed in my lap) about Equine Therapy in Hilton Head. Today was our first meeting at the stables and I can't type fast enough from all the excitement.

Therapeutic Horseback riding has proven to help special children & adults improve muscle tone, balance, posture, coordination and motor development, as well as emotional well-being.

In short, for little guys like Shaw, the motion of the horse walking is rotating his hips and pelvis in a way that emulates walking and other major motor developments. Simultaneously, it is awakening the brain to the movement and creating muscle memory. There is also an emotional component with special needs children to the animals, which I love.

Here is the best news... The therapy is FREE! This particular program in HHI is sponsored by Make A Wish. All of those that have donated to Make A Wish - Therapeutic Riding Center  made it possible for our little guy to receive this awesome therapy for free!! (My eyes swell with tears as I type this).

The second best news.... The guilt that I feel dragging Nash to therapy after therapy for Shaw is overwhelming. I do my best to have other arrangements for Nash, but as often as we go, that isn't always possible.

At Equine therapy, Nash gets pony rides!! He rode for the first time today! Not only are there big horses to watch and shetland ponies to ride, but there are bunnies and sheep and a deer, donkeys, pigs and more. It is a 2.5yr old play land! A win/win.

As soon as we return from our appointments in Charlotte next week, we will begin our weekly Equine Therapy. More to come...

Praise God for the opportunity and putting us right here, right now and for all those people that selflessly donate to organizations like these that make a tremendous difference in lives of families like ours.


Heather said...

Heart-warming. I love horses and would like to get into hippatherapy as a 2nd career. I'm so thrilled that it us beneficial for Shaw. He may want to be a cowboy one day. ;) so wonderful that Howey can do it for FREE!!!!!!

Spengler said...

Candace - I absolutely love this story! So happy that you found something that is so helpful and that everyone can enjoy. Love Nash's boots too! Miss and love you! JE

amy said...

so glad you checked it out! there is a farm right down the road from house that has a program...and as luck as it, i used to work for the man that owns the guess what we will be doing when we get back from the beach and this fall? Yep - same thing! My aunt and uncle have a big horse farm in virginia, so i rode a lot as a "younger" Ryan loves it there and has had the BEST time riding! can't wait to hear how it goes for ya'll!!

claire dorotik said...

What a great story!

Claire Dorotik LMFT, author ON THE BACK OF A HORSE: Harnessing the Healing Power of the Human-Equine Bond