I know I’ve talked about my youngest son before in some detail but not too much lately. He was only 31 when his dad passed away last year and he is also special needs.
Dave works out with a trainer at the park district three times a week, but he’s needing more to occupy his time. He started a therapeutic riding program a few weeks ago and loved it from the start. He has rarely been as excited about anything before (unless it involved a Chicago sports team😉). I really wasn’t sure when he got up close if he’d get on the horse, but he did and he’s never looked back!
The first night they used a western saddle, then an English saddle to challenge him more and the third week he rode with just a blanket. His horse’s name is Dakota and Dave told me he couldn’t believe how warm the horse was. He’s fed him carrots and apples even though he was a little leery of Dakota’s teeth!
Equine therapy helps with core strength and is a wonderful gait training exercise. It also involves lots of bending and reaching on horseback which helps with flexibility and balance.
Most importantly is a developing relationship with Dakota in an activity that is youngest’s alone, as no one else in the family rides. It may even evolve into a volunteer position down the road. So excited about the possibilities!