Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Yesterday, BR and I drove out to R.O.C.K., Ride On Center for Kids in Georgetown. They were featured in a news story over the weekend for their Horses for Heroes program, which provides hippotherapy to returning war veterans with disabilities.

From the R.O.C.K. website:
Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy treatment strategy that utilizes the dynamic movement of the horse to achieve therapy goals. This type of treatment is effective because the gentle, rhythmic movement of the horse simulates human walking. The term Hippotherapy comes from the Greek [word] "Hippo" which means horse.
The story got me wondering if BR would be a good candidate for hippotherapy. Only one way to find out. ROAD TRIP!

We met briefly with Nancy, the director. She was very kind and encouraging, explaining how hippotherapy should be able to improve BR's balance, trunk strength, and leg spasticity. They have the equipment necessary to get BR into the saddle. He just needs to be able to sit up with assistance from two therapists walking along on either side. BR has lost a lot of trunk strength, so this may be a make-or-break issue. She asked us to come back next week for a full evaluation.

Before we left, BR put the chair into four-wheel mode, and took a spin around one of the horse trails at full speed. Gotta love the iBOT!


Cranky said...

Steve - I hope it works out. I'm imagining how wonderful it will be for BR to sit on the horse, feel its warmth, feel its movement and smell the animal. And for it to have some physical therapeutic value over and above -- how great!

Anonymous said...

I had never thought of Bob using this therapy, but The Arc has been doing this for over 10 years. The physically challenged children derive great benefits from it.Out of the wheel chair and on to the horse!!!You two are simply amazing!!!Much love

steve said...

Cranky and 'Nony -

We've been searching for a good physical therapy option for a while now. It's hard to stay motivated doing the same exercises either in bed or in the chair. The horses will make each session unique, which should help keep the level of interest up.

Herrad said...

Hi Steve, Hi BR,

Bloody brilliant plan excellent hope BR can sit up ok and ride often.

Riding is the only way we will feel the movement of walking.

BR try and do alot of stomach exercises apparently they are good for strengthening back muscles.



steve said...

Herrad - You are so right about the stomach exercises. We've got a really good feeling about hippotherapy, and we are going to work hard to make it happen.

Richie said...

I would rather dentistry without anaesthetic than ride a bleeding horse but for those of you who like it I understand it can be very nice.
I hope it works out for you BR- I know Herrad would love just to get in touching distance of one of the foul brutes.
Will you wear a Stetson and chaps? (many gentlemen do in Amsterdam and I seldom see any horses)