This weekend Oia had her forth hippotherapy session. This one may have been the best session yet. Sessions 2 and 3 were a bit miserable for Oia only because she just doesn't like wearing the helmet and she poked her bottom lip out about the whole time to communicate her extreme dislike for even having it on her head. Some tears were shed as well. Yesterday, however, she seemed to have taken a turn for the better in that department. No lip, helmet tolerance, and LOTS of talking Oia-nese the whole time.
The session yesterday was a bit of PT, OT and ST all rolled up into one. This time there were no handles for Oia to grab onto while riding which obviously makes staying balanced, centered and upright more challenging but she handled herself well and needed no adjustments. She rode while seated forward, backward and sideways. The therapist would stop frequently to engage Oia in an activity to make her use Righty by throwing balls and grabbing rings and other small toys. They even challenged Oia by trying to help her say the pony's name and other smaller words. She tried to do all that was asked of her and did very well.
This clip shows Oia riding sideways and changing into facing forward. She is actually able to lift her right leg (weaker leg) up and over and initiate the change on her own. That's pretty awesome. (Take note that our therapist is also wearing her helmet...to appease Oia. I guess misery loves company.)
The next clip shows Oia working to grab a toy with Righty. Also, she must say the pony's name to resume riding. She can easily say 'go' so you'd think that saying 'Bo' would be just as easy for her but it is not. Instead, they modify the name to just 'B' and this she could say after some prompting.
The session ended just a couple of minutes early because Mr. Bo got spooked. They were riding right in front of Rob and I as we watched and suddenly the pony 'jumped' and jolted backwards. The lady walking Bo did a great job of pulling the lead tightly to her to prevent him from dashing off or rearing up and Brenda, our therapist, pulled Oia off without hesitation. The whole incident lasted about 5 seconds and was very much under control. It happened so fast that I wasn't scared until after it was all over...