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Nathan is Hebrew and means "gift from God" - we couldn't have been more blessed than to have been chosen as his parents!

Thank you for keeping up-to-date with Nathan. We hope you visit often and enjoy experiencing our son's journey as much as we do. Please feel free to leave comments.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Our Little Cowboy

For the past few months, Nathan has really been enjoying his hippotherapy sessions (physical therapy on horseback). He and his horse Babe, have become fast friends. It's amazing to see the improvements in core strength that have been made since the beginning of his sessions.

Take a look at Nathan's posture in this first picture. Notice how poor it is? He is literally sitting at an angle. That's what they're working on correcting. The goal is for Nathan to have enough core strength to sit up straight and the therapist uses a lot of different techniques to accomplish her goals. As you can see from this picture, they've turned Nathan sideways to give him a little added challenge. Notice his posture? Not so great. He's not yet strong enough to sit completely backwards, but it's coming. But look at his posture here ~ he's sitting up great and even holding on properly! Way to go Nathan!! You should also be able to see he's wearing a special belt. His therapist holds on to this belt from behind, which help him to remember to sit up straight and stay on the horse. He's still a little boy who likes to just jump off things without thinking. Yeah, he tries! When he's "all done." When the weather is nice, they take Nathan and Babe outside the barn, which is a nice change of scenery and it presents Nathan with an added challenge ~ uneven ground. Although Nathan absolutely loves riding Babe, it's very fatiguing and he's not a fan of his riding helmet. It's bigger than his little head!

Funny story ~ a few weeks ago, Nathan and Babe were outside and the therapist stopped walking, which happens frequently (it's the communication component of the therapy). The therapists and I began talking and after a few minutes, Babe scraped his left foot twice on the ground. The therapists started to laugh because this was Babe's way of saying, "let's go!" However, before they begin, they make Nathan say, "go" or have him do their sign, which signifies go (he taps Babe twice). When they asked Nathan to say "go," he imitated Babe and rubbed his left foot twice along the saddle! I didn't even know he was paying attention! It was super cute and we all got a chuckle out of it. At the conclusion of each session, Nathan feeds Babe a treat of carrots and apples. He's always a little skittish at first when his big horse comes in for his snacks, but calms after a minute and enjoys the experience. Nathan's sessions end in mid-December and won't continue until Spring. He'll miss Babe, but I'm glad he won't be riding in the winter!


Nathan, Daddy came to see you ride Babe this week and you kept waving to him and throwing both arms up in the air like when we do "hip hip hooray!" He was so proud of you up on that big horse!

1 comment:

Lianna said...

Hi Kandi!

This post is completely inspiring. And I think it's time to search out hippotherapy in our area to help Gabe's core strength. I wish we would have pursued it sooner...Anyway, Nathan looks like he's doing great. What an improvement seen in the photos! Way to go, Nathan!!!♥