Avery had her first equine therapy session last week. We had been waiting on this wild Wisconsin weather and we finally got the warm stretch we were hoping for. By wild I mean going from temperatures cold enough to have freeze watches and warnings to now being humid with a tornado watch. Anyway, we were lucky enough to have a sunny and 70 degree day for our first session.
I was really not sure how Avery would do; so I was relieved when husband ended up having the day off and came with us. I was under the impression that Avery would be riding a pony but when we got there they had a horse named Minnie saddled up for her. At first I was a little nervous about Avery riding a horse. But I guess Avery wasn’t. She got on the block and was happy to let her instructor help her onto Minnie. There were three volunteers and her instructor in the ring with her. We were able to sit and watch Avery but we weren’t allowed in the ring.
In the beginning it was mostly Avery riding around and getting used to Minnie. She had a volunteer on each side in case she decided to bail off. (Which she did, but she didn’t even get one leg off.) After a bit the instructor put cones on the top of three barrels and handed Avery rings to put on top of the cones. (Avery thought she should wear the rings as bracelets at first.) So, Avery and Minnie stopped at each barrel so Avery could put her rings on the cones. She did get quite a few rings on once she got the hang of it. Before I knew it the session was over. I was shocked when I realized that Avery actually rode Minnie for 30 minutes total. I really thought she would last maybe 10 minutes. We are super proud of Avery for doing such a great job!
Besides the rings Avery is also working on making Minnie move. The volunteers count to three and then her instructor squeezes Avery’s legs so Minnie will move. They are also working on Avery moving her head in the direction she wants Minnie to go. Lots of new things for Avery! She will also have another student joining her in June so I am hoping she will make a new friend. For now the plan is to have Minnie as Avery’s horse. It may change depending on how Avery does in class.
I would definitely recommend equine therapy if it is something anyone is considering. Avery’s horse is so good with her and she seems to sense if Avery is getting anxious etc. I am so excited for our next session!