January 3, 2012

Hippotherapy Update

Charlie just finished his first round of hippotherapy session before the holidays at The National Ability Center.  As you may know from the previous post, the first two sessions presented a bit of a challenge for Charlie who was resistant to the equipment and unhappy to be separated from Joe.

Thankfully, we stuck it out to the third session which was truly the turning point. Charlie rode a different horse, Tulip, this time. She is a petite chestnut horse with the same amazing disposition as Captain Brownie, and all the horses at the facility from my observation. I am not certain what turned it around for Charlie but he spent the hour giggling and playing games with the therapists.

The following two sessions were equally as enjoyable for everyone. Charlie laughed and sang as he rode backwards, sideways and even stood on Tulip while she patiently walked and trotted around the arena. Joe and I still hid in the alcove with tears in our eyes at time but now they were tears of joy. 

I can not sing the praises of the therapists and handlers enough. They have unending patience and abounding passion for their work making it easy to leave Charlie in their care. Charlie will continue this therapy in the Spring and I am optimistic that he will pick up right where he left off.

Here is Charlie with Allie thanking Tulip for an excellent session.

At the end of each session Charlie feeds Tulip a well-deserved treat. I noticed that Charlie has gained a new appreciation for carrots and even ate some the other night while we were cooking together.