I’ve really been looking forward to getting Sophie into therapeutic riding which is also known as hippotherapy. After some research I had come to the conclusion that this was in Sophie’s future, the benefits are countless. If you google benefits of therapeutic riding you will come across many articles including research articles on the subject. Here is one I found very informative and positive, Benefits of Hippotherapy , proven by the Washington University Research team, a project funded by Horses and Humans Research Foundation.
I have loved horses for as long as I could remember, I learned to ride as a child it was my most favorite thing in the world. There is just something so free about being around such amazing creatures. I plan on having two of my own within the next few years so introducing riding early on to Sophie is very important to me, not just for therapeutic reasons but because they will be a part of our lives and a huge opportunity for her to learn and gain from the experience.
I began my search for lessons once we were settled in our new life here in NC, the rates some places were trying to charge because Sophie was special needs was crazy. I was stumped and not motivated to keep looking because I could not believe how expensive it was. That changed one day as my husband and I were driving back home when he spotted a sign offering riding lessons at Five Stones Equine Athletic Company. He decided we should check it out. I was not sure I wanted too, I was unmotivated thinking I would not be able to find a place I could afford because the other places wanted to charge an arm and a leg for a 30 min riding session. But, I went along anyway and I’m happy I did.
The owner Devin Sandoval, an outgoing and happy young woman greeted me and took the time to chat with me before she started a lesson. She gave me some background info on herself, shared some info on her horses and I shared some info about Sophie. The first lesson was free and her husband assisted in the session, it was basically an evaluation lesson for her to get to know Sophie. It’s important to know Sophie’s reaction to the horse and her overall abilities before she could recommend best plan for her. Her pricing is very fair and within my budget which really made me happy. We decided at her recommendation to start with two sessions a week for thirty minutes each and it sounds like a great plan to me. I’m excited!
Sophie did great! She corrected herself when the horse began to move and required little support. We had a meltdown that lasted almost an hour prior to arriving at the session but by the time we left she was completely calm and relaxed. Now, I just have to find a helmet small enough for her head.