"Lo, Children Are An Heritage of the LORD: and the Fruit of the Womb is His Reward" - Psalm 127:3

Monday, March 31, 2014


 We had an exciting time today.  Our five year old is now in a therapeutic horseback riding program due to his autism, and today was his first day.

I had to laugh when I headed into the bathroom with him.  This is what greets you when you open the door - a life-size John Wayne. HA

This week we will have three days of classes.  It's their winter camp, and they take this time to teach the kids all about horses and caring for them.  Today we learned all about the different breeds of horses, their coloring, markings on their faces and legs, and so on.

It was very interesting.  I learned a lot too.

Then we headed out to the corrals, where we visited some colts and were shown different markings on faces and legs.  By the way, the ten year old tagged along and they even let him participate fully.  It was a very neat experience for him as horses are one of his favorite things to draw.  He took command of my camera and shot several close ups of horse faces and other muscle groups.

Today was an introduction to horses for my wary five year old.  Thankfully it went really well and he was a little shy, but did really seem to enjoy being with the horses.

We got to walk through the pen of the older horses and see in person the difference between a sorrel and a bay.

The we headed back to the arena and the kids got helmets strapped on.

 They learned all about grooming, and what all the different brushes are for.

The horse's name is Sadie.  She is a 25 year old paint, and she was very gentle.

Each child is assigned a horse and a volunteer to work with them.  They weren't expecting our ten year old, so our boys shared Sadie.

She didn't seem to mind all the extra attention. :)

They even taught the kids to clean the hooves.

And then the kids were shown how to lead a horse, and they took their horse around the arena a few times, practicing saying "walk on" and "whoa."  They won't get to ride this week.  The actual riding classes start in the middle of April.  I'm glad they have the delay though.  The five year old is definitely not comfortable enough around the horses yet, and if he has a bad experience once, then he will be very unlikely to try again.

The five year old was about over all the stimulation at this point and he was beginning to shut down.  He couldn't get the hang of walking ahead of the horse to lead it, and he would forget to pull on the reins when he said "whoa" - and he practically whispered the word.  So we're going to have to work on that.

 They also taught us to tie a slip knot, which the ten year old thought was a lot of fun.

When he got it tied, he admitted that it was a lot more difficult than he had expected it to be.

It was a lot of fun, but by the time the hour and a half were over, the five year old was completely overstimulated.  This is a typical problem with autism.  And on the way home, he had a full-blown meltdown, screaming and fighting everything - the seatbelt, the seat in front of him, the door and window he was sitting by.  It was a total mess.  He had a very hard time pulling himself together for most of the evening.  I hope tomorrow he will be a little more used to it and it won't be too much for him.  When he did finally settle down (nearly 3 hours later) all he could talk about was Sadie.  So I know he did enjoy it.  I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

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