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

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

MESA Therapeutic Horseback Riding, Day 2

Day two with M.E.S.A. was a blast.  It was just the five year old and I, since the 10 year old had air rifle practice. The two year old stayed with Bugga again - although he begged and begged to get to go see the horses.  He'll get his chance later, once the five year old settles in.

They started the day with a little roping practice - first on a bucket, then on a metal steer.

He was very reluctant at first, but then he would throw the rope and get the biggest grin.

 A lot of what they did was review from yesterday.  They always start with grooming in every session so the kids learn to care for their horses.  But they also practiced things like trying to tie a slip knot (which is way above his skill level right now, but he enjoyed pulling it loose ;)

He wasn't too sure Sadie was going to stay put when she was untied.

Yesterday we learned about the different colors and breeds of horses, and today we learned about all the different body parts of horses.  They had sticker dots with body parts labeled on them and he had to stick them onto the horse in the appropriate spot.

He even stood up on a set of stairs to label the parts that were too high.

Poor Sadie.  She was so patient.  See the sticker?  It says "face."  The only one she fussed at was "nose," but that was because my sweet son took it quite literally, and stuck it in her nostril. It about drove her nuts - snorting and trying to lick it off - until the helper moved the sticker to the top of her nose.

Good thing these horses are so patient and gentle.

They also got to listen to the horses' hearts with a stethoscope.  I'm not sure whether my son actually heard the heart or not.  It looked like he was holding the ear pieces in right, but when I looked closer, the one side was in front of his ear rather than in it.  I'm not sure about the other side.  I'm not surprised though, since he has real issues with things being in his ears, and gets overwhelmed with sounds very easily.  I was proud of him for just trying.

They also felt the horses breath and counted how many breaths per minute.

 He's getting much more comfortable around the horses, and even asked to get on one today (which they didn't do.  We're just learning about them and getting comfortable with them this week. Riding starts later.)

They did more leading - outside this time, despite the snowstorm.  It wasn't snowing right at the moment they went out, but it was cold!

Thankfully tonight he was much less stressed on the way home.  Last night was a total meltdown, but tonight, he just pulled his hood all the way over his face and plugged his ears.  He really enjoys the experiences he has, but new things are very overwhelming for him.  I expect once he gets more used to the routine, we won't see any reaction at all.  But this was much better than the tantrum he had last night.  One big difference was that I watched for signs of him being overwhelmed, and as soon as he started saying he was done, we quit and loaded up.  It was only about 10 minutes before they planned to be done, so it didn't make much difference.  He starts riding lessons later in the month, and they will only be 45 minutes long, rather than the hour and a half these sessions have been, so I think that will help too.

O, by the way, we learned that a horse that has white over it's main color is called roan.  I think I'm going to start using that personally.  Sounds much better than "greying." ;)

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