We are extremely excited in the Carroll household to get Stella and Evy into horseback riding. Horse therapy is great for kids with hemiplegia for building strength, trunk control, helping with gait patterns, more excuse to get "righty" to do things, and self-esteem/confidence. Besides that, there is an indescribable feeling of calm and peace that envelops us at the ranch. There is a ranch near our home which specializes in horse therapy for special needs kids. The instructor, Rachel, is a dynamo. We went on Sunday to check out the ranch and to get to know Rachel. Yesterday was Evy's first appointment for therapy. She had been on a horse only once before, when we went on an hour-long ride at Deep Creek Lake last fall.
Rachel is a firecracker (kind of like Evy!) She was blown over by how comfortable Evy was on the horse and how enthusiastically she follows instructions. Evy got on the horse with Rachel and rode around... then Rachel had Evy ride by herself on the horse, and then the next time I look Evy is standing on the horse while it is walking with just Rachel and her assistant holding her legs.
They were also amazed how a child with hemiplegia consistently reaches and tries with her affected arm and hand. Thank you, Alabama.
Next week Evy will be upgraded to a faster horse! Go, Evy, go!
Evy will be going weekly. Rachel squeezed her into her schedule. I asked if Stella could have her own lessons, too, because I don't want her to feel sad. She loves horses just as much as Evy. Rachel will try to fit Stella in soon. In the meantime, Stella will get on at the end of therapy for a few minutes. We also take carrots and apples to feed the other horses while Evy is in therapy and afterwards, too. Stella fell in love with Tiger Lily, a beautiful brown mare.
There has to be a Make a Wish for siblings. Just an idea!