November 9, 2011

Hippotherapy - Getting Started

Charlie had his first two hippotherappy sessions at Park City's National Ability Center. As expected it was a bit of a challenge with so many new things at once. He didn't like the required helmet, so he fixated on that right away. But he LOVES his horse, Captain Brownie. Captain Brownie is small and fuzzy and amazingly patient. He moves slowly and reliably on verbal commands and he's extremely interested in Charlie.


His sessions are in an inside riding ring which has many adaptive considerations, including a ramp to a loading dock, so Charlie can walk up to Captain Brownie on his own. That ramp also leads to a sliding, mechanical harness which allows the staff to load disabled adults onto their horses. Charlie got to watch that procedure and thought it was pretty cool.

Charlie's first two sessions have been tough because of the equipment, and because his therapy requires the hands-on attendance of professional therapists with whom he's still becoming acquainted. So Sarah and I have to watch from outside the ring. But that's ok, because the staff members at the NAC are patient and kind, and they're very sweet to Charlie. So he'll come around.

We're excited for Charlie's next session this weekend, and Charlie gets excited when we mention Captain Brownie. We're so grateful for all the generous help from our friends and families. Thank you to all those who participated or donated to Crest on Cruisers. We're so lucky.

Here are the pictures we've managed to snap so far.


More Pictures »

1 comment:

Ellen said...

Hippotherapy rocks. Max got it when he was Charlie's age, for a few years—in a very similar ring to yours. This therapy was instrumental in teaching him to hold onto stuff (the bar), in helping him balance, in strengthening his core. Max cried for the first three times then loved it. Charlie will get used to the helmet!