Sunday, April 29, 2012

Giddyup, Cowboy Luke!

This was the first few minutes of riding the first day -
I'm not sure what made him change his mind during
that session....
We are almost four weeks into Equine Assisted Therapy.  It's a really amazing program that works on many skills with Luke - it encompasses PT, OT and speech into 45 minute sessions.  I was a little apprehensive about how Luke would handle being on a horse.  I was also nervous because due to his head size, we had to get him a men's size large helmet. It is heavy...and well, LARGE.  Luke was not excited about it.

The first day I show up with Luke and he is going to ride this sweet little pony named Gumdrop.  He's already kind of ticked off at me because I put his helmet on.  Then I put him on a horse and walked away from him.  I wasn't allowed in the arena because I was wearing flip-flops.  I wasn't thinking - duh, of course I can't go around all of the horses with flip-flops.  Ugh.  So...he's doing OK for about 25 minutes.  He's not happy but he's hanging in there.  Then comes 'The Lip'.  For those who have not experienced 'The Lip' when it comes out you have about 5 seconds to figure out what's wrong before a huge WAIL follows.  Well.....the wail followed which was then followed by Luke getting sick on the horse and on one of his side walkers.  And so ended day one.

Day 2 - Yes, we went back.  There are no pictures.  There was no camera involved.  We were down to business.  I had my tennies on and I was ready to go.  We pulled in and Luke says, "Home-uh, Home-uh, Home-uh".  It goes on but I'll stop there.  He was riding a different horse that day named Goose.  Goose was a horse - not a pony so I immediately thought that was our first strike!  A bigger horse could not be a good thing.  BUT today I was prepared with tennies on my feet and tissues in my pocket.  They decided to try it without me going in at first.  That lasted less than a minute before he wailed and got sick again - WITHIN THE FIRST MINUTE.  I wish I was exaggerating.  (Note to self at this point was next time bring a towel...tissues don't clean up puke very well.) 

Now, you'd think that was the end of day 2.  Nope.  The man who was leading the horse had a towel in his car.  He cleaned up Goose and luckily Luke didn't have much on him.  Soooooo we got back in the saddle with me as a side walker this time.  And we sang and sang and sang and got through 40 minutes with a lot of lip but no wailing.  There was  alot of 'All done' and 'Down' but no.  We couldn't stop the horse to participate in the therapy parts but WHEW we made it.  And yes...keep reading for Day 3.

Day 3....
 Day 3 - This time I brought reinforcements!  Dan came with me.  This was the 'make it or break it' session.  I was ready to give up the battle if he hated it again.  So I wanted Dan to come just so he could see Luke on the horse and because I wanted quitting to be a joint decision.  Equine Therapy was supposed to be fun for him.  This two year old has a lot on his plate and he has a lot of therapy so if he HATED this....I was preparing myself to throw in the towel. 

I don't know if it was having Dad there or he had just resigned himself to his horse riding fate but Day 3 was OK.  There was some lip action but not terrible.  AND he participated in the therapy parts and seemed to have fun. Best yet - Dan walked with him for awhile while I kicked back and took pictures and then Dan walked out for about the last 15 minutes and he did fine.  Whoohooo!!!!!!   We go back tomorrow and I'm hoping we've turned a corner! 

Kisses for Goose!

This sweet lady, Jeannie, has been with him all three times.  She
experienced him getting sick both times - personally:(

Luke was keeping the ball in the spoon while Goose was walking
around.  By keeping the ball in the spoon he was
sitting and holding himself upright without holding on. 
There is a crate on the ground.  Luke is supposed to be throwing
the ball into the crate.  While the side walkers support his legs, he
is supposed to use his trunk to bend over and throw the ball
in.  He had different ideas about that - they eventually picked
the crate up for him!   

Noooooo....(we don't know why he's saying it? 
It's over at this point.  Hmmmm?
I don't know who was smiling bigger at the end of Day 3...stay tuned!