So, here's the plan.
Kendall's SLP is opening 2 hippotherapy and therapeutic riding facilities in the near future. She asked Justin a few weeks ago if he would like to help her with the horses. He happily agreed to ride for her and help take care of the horses in the barn by our house when she's in a pinch.
Last Friday we discussed the pros and cons of hippotherapy vs. therapeutic riding for Kendall. And have decided hippotherapy is the best fit for her and her needs right now.
But since its not open just yet, we are going to spend the next few months getting Kendall acclimated to the horses. On our own time (as in no official therapy sessions) just letting Kendall get used to the surroundings and the whole idea. When daddy heads up there to ride, we may tag along and watch. On Monday evenings, we will take Kendall to visit the beautiful horses and get used to the sights.
Tonight Kendall met Batman. Batman is a rescue pony that was donated because the horses at his old barn picked on him. He's small and thin, and Kendall found him a lot less intimidating. After only 2 or 3 freak outs (exactly like the ones last week) she actually pat the pony on the back. She's not fond of his tail at all though! And does not like when he sneezes.
She did so much better on her second try. And now, I also totally get it! She was definitely afraid of the big horses. She's not OK with us just forcing her to do something (what 2 and a half year old is!?) This is going to take some work. We left with a bucket, a brush, a sponge, and a chunk of hair from Batman! We also added hay because that is something we found that completely terrified her. We are talking about the horses and these items this week, and will head back again next Monday.
I'm at peace with this decision, and have relaxed a bit. There is no need to rush anything. The opportunity for her to be on a horse at some point is definitely in her future...we're just going to slow our roll a little!
As always, thanks for your suggestions and input!