Something happened at our most recent horse therapy session that I had not thought through before. It makes complete sense, but it just didn't cross my mind until I witnessed it first hand.
This is Duncan. He has spina bifida and cannot feel his legs. In this photo, he is extremely nervous about this new experience of coming to our farm, possibly riding a giant monster, and meeting all of these new people. It was his first therapy session...
It started to drizzle just as everyone arrived so we all gathered on our veranda and sat down. I began entertaining the kids by asking them to get to know one another.
See, usually, they all come, get on a horse, and off they go. It hadn't occurred to me that they didn't know one another until this moment when we were all huddled together seeking shelter.
When I introduced Duncan to Malia who also has spina bifida, I pointed out, "Duncan is just like you, Malia!"
Her reaction was priceless!
Malia just looked Duncan over soaking in the fact that she is not the only person who has spina bifida!
It never occurred to me that perhaps these kids have never met someone like themselves before! They are unique, after all!
This is a perk of our horse therapy program that hadn't crossed my mind until this point.
Malia took it upon herself to show Duncan that, although she was afraid her first time getting up on a large equine, now she is a pro and can do it with a smile. She competed wholeheartedly in the games and really worked hard. (Right)
It took Duncan quite some time to get used to the horses. In the middle of our session, he was already experiencing fatigue in his core. You can see in this photo how he was lying on the horse because he was too tired to support himself. Therapy sessions are quite a workout, and in time, Duncan will get stronger and stronger.
We are already seeing results in the other riders' core strength!
One thing is for sure, by the end of the therapy session, Duncan was enjoying himself! (Below)