Therapeutic Horseback Riding at Helen Woodward Animal Center

Therapeutic Horseback Riding at Helen Woodward Animal Center



I'm salmon pink white and online news Oh shanon's nine years old she has cerebral palsy and she is quadriplegic so it affects all four of her limbs her biggest challenge is rest with the core structure balance maintaining balance her body in three-dimensional space my wife and I realized that horses were a good body strengthening program for her so we sought out to the therapeutic riding for that reason the way the horse helps people like Shannon is by providing a nice even gait for them to ride the walk of a horse mimics the walk of a human on their own two feet only with four legs um so there's a lot of core strength that is built when you ride a horse from having to sit up tall your balance has worked on because you have to be able to sit in the middle and find to your core balance to be able to balance on their back and so riding horses really helped Shannon and her muscles form properly to improve that walking respect riding has helped too with my walking because how would we feel really uncomfortable just if it like the teacher had me stand there for like a couple of seconds like when you're sitting on a horse you sort of feel like you're standing sort of and you just have used you have to stay in control and you have to control your body so now when like the teacher asked me to stand I can stay in control just seeing her ride a horse the way that the rest of us ride a horse and do some of those things that that she technically shouldn't be able to do begin to happen it's really amazing the long-term changes are definitely in muscle and in body control like I see things that that I didn't think she would ever be able to do starting to evolve since she started trotting I mean just the fact that she's able to squeeze her legs and give them a nudge fort I never expected to see that I thought it would always be voice commands my favorite part of being horse is trotting because I really like how you feel like you're jumping up in the air and me and you just feel so great when you do that it feels like you're running as fast as like lightning all of our horses go through very special training to be able to be comfortable with the different things that we ask of them during the lessons he has to be able to kind of understand exactly what it is each rider wants and each rider does tell him in their own different way it's great because I get to interact with the horses and I can sort of also like feel what they're feeling and I get to feel their love in their hands the horse and the rider usually form a really strong bond and it's a bond that you can't reciprocate with with other human beings volunteers also play a great role in the social atmosphere an aspect of the lessons as well people are this like so like so so nice and like you feel like there's oh they're always on your side volunteers I really feel like they're in and I know Shannon doe she feels like they're her friends she's very defensive and protective of her volunteers for her their their their mix of friend mentor and personal support this is a very special environment because it's not the sterile medical environment that most of these kids usually gain assistance in you don't even realize you're doing therapeutic riding it's just like it's so fun to people that are looking to support the program that you're really helping these children to do things that they wouldn't be able to do elsewhere so unimaginable that there's such a great place to do riding and you just feel like jumping up in the air every single time you come over here it's like such a blessing like you're so glad that there is a place where you can do riding

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