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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Exercises for your Therapy Horse

Most therapeutic riding horses are older and their work does not typically involve balance and bend work. The horses are asked to walk in straight lines or wide turns or listen to a beginner rider just turning their head. Outside of therapeutic riding, horses would usually have a warm-up and cool down period, do neck stretches and back stretches, and bend to a centered, balanced rider. We need to give our therapy horses a little extra care to make sure they stay healthy and happy.

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ADHD and Therapeutic Riding

Image by Merio from Pixabay

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that can cause difficulty staying focused and controlling impulsive behavior. It is a very common and may be a stand-alone diagnosis or a coexisting condition, typically diagnosed along with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

People with ADHD can be easily distracted, have trouble sitting still, and difficulty waiting their turn. These tendencies fit well with some of the benefits therapeutic riding or equine-assisted activities can provide.

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