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excerises to do with riders with Cerebral Palsy

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  • excerises to do with riders with Cerebral Palsy

    a friend of mine has an 11 yr old cousin who has cerebral palsy, and we took her on her first "horse" ride the other day, two of us walked beside the horse and one of us led. she liked it so much,that she's decided she wants to do it again. Which leads me to my question...i know she's going to get bored just being led around in a circle week after week ( i know i would), so what kind of exercises/games can we do to keep it interesting?

  • #2
    If she is interested in riding and you are a riding instructor you would begin teaching her like a beginner rider. Just remember that she may need more practice at the basics before moving on to new skills. Like most beginners, make sure she is on a horse that is forgiving and kind and often one that won't challenge her balance too much while learning new skills.
    Karma and Drifter girl


    • #3
      Like the other thread you have on the saddles for riders with CP: you have provided no information about the level this person is functioning at...which could be very high or very low.
      Providence Farm


      • #4
        remember than what might be boring to you as an able bodied person might be wonderful to someone else.
        A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton


        • #5
          It would definitely depend on if she had high or low tone. If she needs help with core strength then you can work on jump position or any transitions (walk halt etc). If she needs fine motor skill work she can work on holding the reins, steering the horse to some spot and picking up items from a barrel, grooming or tacking, things like that. General riding skills are good for gross motor control improvements.


          • #6
            Here is something you have not mentioned yet....the HORSE. What does the horse move like? To be theraputic it does matter. With high tone you need a slow/easy horse to dicourage the tone. With a low tone ("floppy") type a quicker/bouncier mover will help increase tone.
            Providence Farm


            • #7
              To dougx3 and camohn,

              As far as we know the OP is not a therapist and wouldn't be working on gross motor skills or influencing tone!! Their goal may be including the little girl in a riding lesson safely. Certainly if the girl has trunk weakness or issues with tone the OP will need to work around these differences to include her in riding, but we all need to work within our experience/education/certification levels.
              Karma and Drifter girl


              • #8
                Originally posted by Karma View Post
                To dougx3 and camohn,

                As far as we know the OP is not a therapist and wouldn't be working on gross motor skills or influencing tone!! Their goal may be including the little girl in a riding lesson safely. Certainly if the girl has trunk weakness or issues with tone the OP will need to work around these differences to include her in riding, but we all need to work within our experience/education/certification levels.
                True, BUT if you are going to start working with people with disabilities then you do have to learn a bit about what you are getting into. It is not helpful, for example, to take a person with high tone (stiff) and make it worse...well intended or not. We are not talking highly technical treatment stuff here......and you simply can't effectively make recomendations about what would be good for someone without basic info. "stiff" versus "kinda floppy" can be observed by most lay people. Activities which involve quick starts, stops and bouncing (think trotting and cavaletti) would be a help to the low tone/floppy person and a hindrance to one with high tone/stiffness. Is the young lady here (and she does sound young by her other posts) going to intentionally be trying to influence tone? Of course not. It is going to happen anyway? Yes.......for better or for worse. Best to plan ahead and make it "better".
                Providence Farm


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Karma View Post
                  we all need to work within our experience/education/certification levels.
                  This is true but there are instances where we are in over our heads without experience/education/certification. A teenager putting a child with hypertonic CP on the back of a horse might be one of these instances.

                  I am sure the OP has nothing but the child's best interests at heart, and OP is probably a fantastic kid, but there are reasons (the main one being safety) that mounted work with a child with even moderately impacting CP should be left to people with education and experience in that area. Like I said in the other thread on this topic, the chance of doing more harm than good, through simply not knowing enough about what you are doing, is, imo, too great


                  • #10
                    I hope the OP isn't discouraged from helping the child ride. There have been many helpful posts.

                    One way to help you get answers to your questions would be to volunteer at a TR center, where you would then see different equipment etc.

                    All I can say if it wasn't for some other great horse people I wouldn't be driving today. And I probably wouldn't have ridden either. Of course I was a young adult and therefore capable of making my own mistakes

                    Yes, you do have to be careful about doing harm. Listening to the child and parents to know what they can and can't do.

                    And asking questions here is a great start!