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Puzzles are a great activity for fine motor skill development and cognitive development. Puzzles require matching, memorization, and manipulation of fingers and hands. Oftentimes, we play with puzzles off the horse but here’s a way to play on horseback!
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.
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.
The series continues! We’ve talked about gross motor skills and fine motor skills and how to help develop those motor skills with off horse activities. Today I want to bring the horse back in to the conversation. As horsepeople, we know that riding is only a small part of being around the horse. Feeding, bathing, hand walking, turning out, medical care, grooming, cleaning tack, and so many other tasks make up our time with horses.
If we want our riders to develop deeper relationships with the horses, what better way to do that than through grooming?