Reaching + Grabbing

Again, today’s post is about a lesson objective. The game can adapt to the objective of reaching and grabbing. We take reaching and grabbing for granted but for clients who have a difficult time with fine motor skills, this can be challenging.

In therapeutic riding, many of our lessons include reaching and grabbing. We ask clients to reach for the reins, grab a toy, or hold a ring, but I don’t know how often we do this consciously. The lesson objective here is to get the client to reach for an object and grasp it with a full hand, like you would hold a water bottle.

Watch how the client reaches for the object. Does s/he stretch the arm out fully? Does the body come with the arm? Can the client cross the mid-line to reach? Do both hands reach out? These are all important items to note.

When the client grabs the object, how does s/he grab? Does he use his whole hand? Does he just grasp with his fingers? Can she use both hands to grab? Can she use them independently?

Reaching and grabbing are life skills we need, but we also need them for riding. Riders need to grab the reins or a handful of mane. Riders need to reach down to adjust their stirrups or reach up to tack their horse. This requires body strength, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skill development.

Slow down in your next lesson and observe how the client(s) reach and grab. Note if it gives you ideas for your next lesson and how you can help the client improve. Let me know what you learn in the comments below!

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