David and the horse...Week Two
This week David got to ride.
David got Lucky out of his corral and brought him over to the hitching station. He had to bring Lucky's tack and saddle out (Miss Jane helped David carry the saddle on the way out--that saddle is heavy! David wondered how Lucky was able to carry that thing around).
David needed to brush Lucky down to get the dirt out of his coat so he wouldn't get saddle sores. Then they got Lucky all ready to ride. David learned how to saddle a horse.
David was so excited and happy to see his friend Lucky again.
In the arena, Miss Lisa and Miss Jane helped David into his saddle and showed him how to hold his feet--heels down, how to get the horse to walk and stop, and how to make him go one way or the other.
Miss Jane lead Lucky and David around the arena a little bit so David could get used to the motion of the horse and find his balance. Then Miss Lisa and Miss Jane worked with David to help him stand up in the stirrups and place his hands on Lucky's neck for balance. (He looked like a little jockey!) Finally they had David close his eyes and also hold his arms straight out as he rode to help him find his sense of balance and learn to trust Lucky. They played a game of Red Light, Green Light. Then David trotted with Lucky a couple of times. That was bumpy!
When the riding was done they took Lucky back to the hitching station to brush him down and get him ready for bed.
Now it was time for David to feed the horses. Miss Jane helped David with the hay. David went into the horse corrales by himself this time. When the horses came up to sneak a bite before he could put the hay in the trough, David put his little hand on their noses and pushed them back. It was so It was so amazing to watch him handle these horses with so much confidence and see the horses' response to him.
At the end of the day, riding and feeding done, a physical therapist that works there with Miss Lisa talked with David and showed him some exercises to do every day that will strengthen certain muscles he needs to be able to ride well and also to help stretch out his legs so he will be able to keep his heels down better.
It was such a great day. I even had a few moments of the mommy tear up watching this little man out there perched so confidently and strong on this horse. There were times I could have never even imagined I'd see him doing this. He is amazing.