Finding Your Own Support

My husband is my biggest support

Today, more than ever, it is important to check in with yourself. As caregivers, we need to protect ourselves from the daily grind of our work. At the PATH, Intl. National Conference there was a session on preventing burnout and safeguarding your own mental health. I previously wrote a post about self-care here but today I want to talk about finding support.

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Hypertonia and Hypotonia

In therapeutic riding, we often see clients who have issues with muscle tone. Hypertonia and hypotonia are two terms used to describe muscle tone. Hypertonia means high muscle tone and lack of flexibility. This often involves stiff movements and poor balance. Hypotonia means low muscle tone and too much flexibility, which can result in difficulty lifting limbs or struggling with fine and gross motor activities.

Therapeutic riding can help both hypertonia and hypotonia as long as there are no contraindications to riding.

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Down Syndrome and Therapeutic Riding

from pixabay.com

Today, I am continuing our disabilities series today with Down Syndrome.

Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder that is commonly associated with developmental delays, poor muscle tone, and cognitive impairment. Early therapy interventions can have a positive impact on children with Down Syndrome. Therapeutic horseback riding may be one such intervention used to help with physical, cognitive, social, and behavioral issues.

Please note: therapeutic horseback riding is NOT therapy unless it is done under the supervision of a therapist in hippotherapy settings.

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Catching + Throwing

What You Need:
Ball(s)

Catching and throwing is something most of us never think about. We might have played sports growing up (or still do). Maybe we played catch in the yard. Maybe we participated in an egg toss at the county fair. No, that one is just me? Well, you get the picture. I want to talk about catching and throwing as a lesson objective today.

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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.

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Give a Gift

What You Need:
Box or Treat Bin
Treats

This game can apply to any gift-giving time of the year; I am using it in lessons this week for Valentine’s Day. I set up the lesson to reward the horses immediately, but it can be adjusted to whatever works best in your program. If there is an off-horse part of your lesson, gathering art supplies on the horse and then making a card for a caregiver would be a great idea!

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Take Care of You

Self-care has been the theme of 2019. Everyone is talking about it – it’s all over Instagram and Facebook (#selfcaresunday) and there’s an emphasis in today’s Millennial-driven culture (of which I am a part!) to take care of yourself. This is not a bad thing! We need to be reminded to slow down, take care of ourselves, and relax. We cannot pour from an empty cup.

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