OK, I need some ideas. Background: my ten year old daughter has muscle tone issues. She has high tone from waist down and low tone from waist up. She has difficulty sensing where she is in space. Her left side is weaker than her right. We have to remind her to keep herself straight in the saddle or I swear she'd eventually fall off the left side. That's not her big problem though.
She has difficulty sitting for long periods on the back of her bottom. The problem with this is that her legs get tilted backwards when her pelvis tilts forward. This makes control of the horse difficult. She is a very good little rider except for this one thing. She's taken hills that scare the dickens out of me without a second thought. She's been sick a lot this fall and this makes the tone issues worse.
We saw the physical therapist today and she gave us some suggestions for strengthening her pelvis. Any ideas about how to improve the ability to know where you are in space? She just doesn't seem to feel it when her legs move backwards. This is a problem in other areas of her life, not just horse riding so I know it's not her being lazy or anything.
She's such a brave and strong girlie and she loves her Joshua. We could use some suggestions about how to keep those legs forward! We are doing exercises, wearing her braces to bed, etc. but this is just tough for her. Any ideas would be appreciated!
what about a visual cue? like a bright pink sticky note on her toe - she has to make sure she can always see it.
also, you can stick a dollar under the calf and ask her to keep it there.
other balance exercises that I used to have my students do included reaching down and touching their toes, put feet in/out of stirrups, "around the world" where the rider turns completely around on the saddle (supervision and helping hands necessary!), take arms out to the side and do circles with them, also, have her stand on the ground with her hands on her hips and "pretend post" - you can then have her do it on a stool: the first time have her sit with her legs far back under her - and ask her to stand, then the second time let her bring her feet out in front of her, and have her stand again
I'm just putting this out there, do with it what you will.
What about a fit ball (balance ball) at home? You know, one of those huge balls you see women doing work-outs on? I use one to help with my posting.
What I do is place the ball on the ground, put a small chair in front of the ball. Straddle the ball, sit, and bounce; then work on the post.
I dont know if that is something that would work for you, but it might be something fun to work on at home.
Moxie, she has a ball and balances on it already. I think, though, that it'd help to encourage her to use that more.
Kickshaw, I don't think she could keep a dollar under her thigh, unless, maybe, it was taped there (but of course, she's allergic to tape:-( ). It's been a while since she did an around the world but maybe that would be a good idea. We could start lessons out that way. We already have her use "airplane" arms quite often. It's really helped her balance. She often has to lean over and use her hands to get her feet in and out of the stirrups. She is allergic to sticky notes and I don't think she'd notice them at all. I think we're really going to have to work on those hip and leg strengthening exercises. Her poor little body hurts today.
can you color the toes of her boots a certain color? or paint them?
the stand up exercises using the stool really helps too. :-)
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