Kids who just make ya smile :)
So you volunteer at theraputic horseback riding lessons? Well, whether you sidewalk or lead (or both!), you know there is always a kid who makes you :D!!!!
Well, for the safety and protection of the kids, DO NOT USE THEIR REAL NAMES OR LIST THEIR DISABILITIES! Other than that, tell use why, when, and how the kid made you smile!
One little girl was riding in an English saddle for the first time, so they put a belt with loops on it on her so the sidewalkers could hold onto the loops. It was like Christmas morning for her! She was SO excited about the belt! She'd sit up there with a smile too big for her face on and blurt out "THE BELT!" and laugh hysterically!
One little boy I always seem to lead for and there is a sidewalker who always seems to sidewalk for him. The sidewalker will quiz him deeply on what he learned in school and--to be honest--I learn more school-related things in that half hour lesson than I do in a week of school! Also, the same little boy has a friend. Who is a girl. He gets all red when we tease him about it :)
So, how about you???
Very Nice :-)
Ooh, I love this idea! I have one little boy I've been working with for about 5 years. I'm very close to him and his family... they even came to my high school graduation! This is one of the cutest kids I've ever met. He loves to make new friends and goes out of his way to ask how the other kids, volunteers and instructors are. For example, today, he ran out and greeted one of the other kids with a hug. He's also incredibly smart and even though he's young, you can talk to him like a much older child. I get a hug from him at the beginning and end of his session every week :-)
There's another kid who always makes me smile. I don't know him too well, but I worked with him a few times over the summer. I led for him 2 or 3 times and sidewalked for him a couple of times. Apparently, he remembered my name. I was back at college, but there was a new volunteer who had the same type of car as me. Whenever this little boy saw her car, he would ask his therapist where I was. He would look around the barn, calling my name. I saw him again over winter break and he spent the whole session trying to hold my hand and had trouble focusing on directions until I told him to pay attention.
And then there are those kids that are so ridiculously adorable that you want to steal them :D We have a lot of those!
Awww. Great idea!
One little 4 year old girl is the sweetest, CUTEST thing you'll ever wish to meet. One time the hippotherapy instructor had her riding backwards with a bareback pad while we were going down "the trail". I was behind her leading another pony, and we all saw her lie down on her belly and put her head in her hands, with her elbows on the pony's rear. She let her head bob as the pony walked and just smiled. SO SO adorable. I just wanted to kiss her face off! She is definitely one of those students that anyone would just want to take home with them :)
Another girl--around six, is always cracking me up. One time I was showing her how to groom, and she was doing real well and using all the different brushes and everything. We were doing it in a stall during a storm and there was a pile of horse doo. She was so, so incredibly careful not to step in that pile of poop--it was just hilarious. Anyway, I had the grooming bucket out and she picked out the hoof pick and started brushing her pony with it. She was just holding it by the handle and brushing with the pick part. Ha ha. I had to hand her two other brushes before I could take it back, too. LOL
This same girl rides a pony names Bubbles. Her sister's pony is called JJ, and for some reason she's plum crazy about her sisters horse. She calls her horse "BubblesJJ" and will only ride Bubbles if you call it BubblesJJ-- NOT Bubbles. So if you ask her "Do you want to ride Bubbles?" then she will not ride. But if you say, "Do you want to ride BubblesJJ?" then she will ride. Doesn't matter if it's the same horse, just so ya have the "right" name! Hahaha. It's like when I was little, my mom had to call all meat "fish" or I would not eat it.
i have never done therapeutic riding before bbut i would love to i have heard so many good stories about it
There is a little girl who rides at our therapeutic riding session day, she does the cutest thing! We have an overhead radio system and she says every song is her favorite and then proceeds to sing to some of the lyrics! She also rides a little shetland pony and loves to ride backwards and pat all the dust/dirt out of his "dirty butt." She is so cute! She giggles all the time when she trots around and since no helmets fit her, she wears a hat with big ears that makes her look like a kitten, and she loves it!
I absolutely love ALL of the kids who ride at therapeutic riding and I have so much fun volunteering! I don't think I could ever be an instructor though, I'm not THAT patient, however it is still fun!
There's a girl who comes to ride at my barn who is obsessed with three things: sneezes, national anthems, and Dewey the Library Cat. Every time she comes, she'll ask me how I sneeze, how my friends sneeze, and how my parents sneeze. She'll laugh histerically when I tell her. Then she'll ask the sidewalkers and then tell us how she, her Japanese friend, and her cats sneeze.
After that, she'll sing the American, Canadian, and Japanese National Anthems. Then, she'll ask me all about Dewey the Library Cat - what color he is, how he got to live in the library, and about her cat that she named after him.
Finally, when the lesson is over, she will ask me to pet her. Yes, actually pet her head (apparently in Japan all of the Japanese girls like to be petted), and she'll say in Japanese, "I like that!"
And it's so funny because every time she comes, she'll do the same thing in that order!
Way to many incidents!
We had one girl a quadruple paraplegic, then aged about 6. She had some control over her neck and that was it. No speech but eyes to die for.
We started her in a chair saddle which was not very successful in that it only had a short back and short of tying her in there was no way to stop her flopping forward or to far back. Raising the back stopped her falling back but not forward so, I decided that the only way to help her was to have her ride with me (bareback) so I could support her with my body from falling back and with a hand from falling forward,
The mare I used was a Welsh Cob, had done a lot of driving and was very voice obedient.
I rarely ever rode with this child, in the arena but we would go out and about. She loved trotting and cantering, but her favourite was for us to ride down to the stream and wade to where the water was slightly deeper and let the mare paw and splash soaking us both. He laughter was infectious and soon we would both be crying where we were laughing so hard.
Another boy about 10 years was blind. He lost his sight after a brain haemorrhage. I would take him out of the arena too.
We had been for a long ride one afternoon and were walking back up a quiet lane. It was lovely spring day and the farmer had just turned some heifers out in the field, which was higher than the lane.
We were chatting away and he was riding off the lead. The heifers suddenly charged down the field towards us which was fine but, one never made the turn and came over the fence turning base over apex as she fell down the bank.
The horses both jumped to the side and D. fell off. He wasn't hurt and had landed on his feet. His pony only went a few feet and started grazing from the bank.
I never got off my horse but directed D. to the pony and told him how to get the pony's foot from the reins. he did all this and when he had remounted and we had driven the heifer back into the field and were riding back home he said to me "Do you know the worst thing about being blind?"
"Not being able to see?"
"Nope, you get use to that."
"What is it then?"
"It is that nobody will let you do anything but I fell off on my own and caught Rocky on my own and got back on and am riding on my own so, I can do something!"
I had to laugh to myself but it taught me a valuable lesson in that it was important to concentrate on what these children could do rather than what they couldn't and to push them hard.
My attitude is that if they get to the arena under their own steam whether it is in a wheelchair, using a frame or sticks, there is no reason why they cannot ride as independent people with no side walkers or leaders.
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