Little Red Riding Hood

We started hippotherapy (horse-back riding therapy) because my Mom and I thought it would be good for her. We had heard all sorts of stories of people whose children had found success with it. I don’t think either of us knew just how good it would be.

She not only does her “therapy” now, she rides. She used to have an entourage following right along beside her to make sure she didn’t fall, to help keep her feet in the stirrups, to help hold the reigns.

Now, she rides like this.

I have to admit it makes me nervous when I watch her to see my little 45-pound baby girl atop that enormous animal. But she’s not nervous at all.

I love this horse. He’s so gentle with her. He’s so patient. I’m not an animal lover; but I love this horse. Andre.

I love watching her show off all the tricks she can do. Like standing up and sitting down while he’s moving. That’s super hard for someone like her with very little muscle tone.

Or doing the Superman while moving.

Or around the world.

Or a long trail ride.

Or steering the reigns. They’ve been working on this for a while now and she’s finally getting it. It’s so cool to watch.

Or trotting. Can you imagine watching your baby girl up there on that huge animal—running?? It’s scary. But she loves it.

But most of all, I love watching her face while she’s riding. She’s so confident and proud. She’s so happy. She shows off. Even her brothers can’t do it. It’s all hers.

Ride, little girl, ride.

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19 responses to “Little Red Riding Hood

  1. I cannot wait until Elisabeth is old enough to do this!!! I have heard nothing but good things about hippotherapy. Way to go Olivia!

  2. Every girl deserves something that is her own. It’s obvious that riding is Olivia’s. So proud of her.

  3. How wonderful! Thanks for taking the risk and giving her a chance to “own” her own activity! You are awesome!

  4. I love how you can tell how happy she is to be riding the horse and having her own “thing”. Way to go Olivia!

  5. she is owning that hippotherapy!! love it 🙂 my oldest daughter is obsessed with all things horse…..and even though it’s not for therapy reasons, there’s something about horseback riding that is just good for the soul. so, ride on, olivia…ride on!!

  6. I learned about hippotherapy about a year ago. It has fascinated me! I have thought about doing it for Cayman. But she is so frightened of the animals that I am not sure if it would ever be beneficial…more traumatizing possibly. Then there is the money factor. We just don’t have the resources to pay for anything extra right now. But maybe someday.

    • Kristen,
      Many centers offer “scholarships”. I would check with one and see if they offer any financial assistance. It truly works wonders.

  7. These are amazing pictures. I especially love that last one. This is really neat that she is able to do something like this!

  8. So lovely Cheryl. You can tell Olivia is a natural through the pics. I am certain that you are so proud of her and rightfully so!

  9. She does not cease to amaze me. Absolutely wonderful.

  10. This is so beautiful to read and see. So inspiring to all of us, let me tell you. While I sometimes wonder if my little guy will ever do this or that… I know that the possibilities are endless after seeing Olivia control a horse. Amazing!

  11. I love seeing Olivia so happy. I volunteered at a riding center for 2 years, it was great. I worked with a 3 year old one session that was terrified of animals the first session and by session number 4 he was excited when he saw the horses. It is amazing!

  12. She looks awesome atop that horse! She’s truly found her own little niche:)

  13. Wow, she has come so far. You must be such a proud momma!

  14. What a miracle she is!

  15. Tiffany, this is so great to see. I just wanted to let you know that you and Olivia have inspired us, and we will be starting hippotherapy soon, too!

  16. She is totally awesome! I am so impressed. Love that cute little smile of hers. You can tell she is just having a great time and loving it! This seems like a great idea.

  17. What awesome pics! She is doing so great and deserves something that is completely her own. We all do. Way to go for giving her that opportunity!

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