Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Horse Named Stella (surprise ending)

Saturday was a big day. We took Maddie to New Heights Therapeutic Riding Center in Folsom, La to be evaluated for hippotherapy sessions. Hippotherapy is a riding therapy with an Occupational Therapist that helps with core strength, balance, and sensory input. We have been hearing amazing things about hippotherapy since Maddie's birth, so I was incredibly excited that they were willing to evaluate her, even though she was below the age limit. They normally see kids ages 3 and up. And although I was certain she was physically able to participate, I wasn't sure if we would even get her near a real horse without a struggle. Maddie tends to get frightened and cry whenever animals come too close...I've seen her come completely unglued over puppies and birds, so a horse was a big deal.

Maddie's horse was named Stella. She was sweet and calm, and Maddie warmed up to her within minutes. She even decided she was ok with the riding helmet, if it meant she could ride her. Soon she was up, on her own, riding Stella. I've never actually seen hippotherapy before this, but I was completely shocked to realize that there was nothing holding Maddie up there...and no one riding with her. Just a group of instructors walking alonside the horse, and one in front....I was a nervous Mama. She looked so incredibly tiny up on that huge horse. Then I realized she wasn't scared...she was enjoying it, and I started to relax too.

They put her in several different positions to test her balance and core strength. She rode straddled, sidesaddle, and even backwards!

She did so GREAT! Her focus and determination is always so surprising to me...She is so completely capable.

I am so happy that it went well, and she has been accepted into their program. Now we wait to find out about scholarship opportunities, and scheduling...and I'm hopeful that we will get a partial scholarship to participate,but after seeing that look in her eye, I know we'll do whatever we have to do to make this work. We have to. More updates on this to come...till then, Happy Trails!


And now for the surprise....If you are reading this on Facebook, click HERE.

After many attempts to catch this on video, this is the best I've got so far...

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Philippians 4:13


  1. This is just amazing what Madison can do!!! Hayden loves the hippotherapy too. I wish we could do it every day!

  2. Oh my goodness!! Beautiful, amazing, precious girl!!! Sending lots of love and "hoorays!" from Ga!

  3. AMAZING!!! Tears of joy watching that video!! GO MADDIE!! Oh, and I'm so impressed with her riding that horse! I think that Grey would have a MAJOR meltdown if I took him anywhere near a horse! :)

  4. Wow! I watched it like five times! How exciting.

  5. OMG!!! She is walking! By herself and perfectly! She is amazing. I love the photos of Maddie on the horse, that sounds awesome.

  6. What an amazing little girl. Each time I see an SB kid take those first steps it fills me with joy and a renewed sense of hope that someday it will be our turn. So happy for you!

  7. Way to go Maddie!! :**) She is such a cutie, and those pictures of her on the horse are precious. My boys think she looks just like our Maddie. :)

  8. OH MY GOSH!!!!!! Surprise ending indeed! HOW AMAZING IS SHE?? That's the best blog ending ever!

    And she makes one gorgeous little horseback rider as well!


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