Category Archives: Horse stable

Down by the river!

Mark and I went to the Terelj Hotel in the National Park, which is around a 2 hour drive from our apartment. We had a relaxing afternoon down by the river just watching all the activity.

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I was amazed to see the vehicles cross in the deep water.

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This guy got stuck.

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This old Russian tanker arrived and after a few tries managed to pull it across.

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My kids would remember me trying to get across a river on a 4 wheeler.
We enjoyed watching the horses cross the river.

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This rider was really moving thru the water.

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This is the way I would like to cross the river.

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It was interesting to watch this woman wash her quilt in the freezing cold water.
First with her feet end then her hands.

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Then the rinse

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She received some help to wring it out.

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On the way home we were careful to stay out of the way of all the horses.

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We just had a great day.

Having fun in the dust!

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to play in the sun and the dirt.

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Yesterday, I was out helping Snipper the horse and a couple students but because of confidentiality I am unable to show pictures of the students.

I have enjoyed keeping the students safe by holding my arm on their leg while I walk beside the horse. The lead teacher will ask them to stretch and reach for items, or ask them to touch their head, or reach for their feet. The one little boy reminds me of previous students of mine, when he will recite repeatedly, “I don’t want to ride Snipper, I don’t want to ride Snipper”, and then climbs on him happily. He will say “his name is not Snipper”, and give the horse a made up name. Anything the teacher asks of him, he will do the opposite. He is the cutest little American six year old with his two front teeth missing, that he just makes me smile, when he comes up with all his expressions. I am always trying to stay one step ahead of him. During the hour lesson, I can see the calming affect the horse has on the students. Oh I miss my cute little students!!

I really do get a workout mentally and physically as at times the teacher will ask the horse to trot so the children can learn to better balance themselves. That means I have to run beside the horse, holding onto the student and trying to keep my balance, in a few inches of sand, which believe me is not easy. Needless to say, I am happy when the students say to the teacher, no more trotting.

The parents mentioned that I must really like horses to do this, to which I said, no it is the kids!

My volunteer partner, Snipper

Yesterday I met my new volunteer partner, Snipper. He is a 23 year old horse, that is only found in China.

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I was able to watch Priscilla (bending over) the founder of HOPE, and Sara her horse handler, groom the two horses.

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HOPE  stands for Horses Offering People Enrichment

Horses Offering People Enrichment

HOPE is a therapeutic riding (TR) program that serves special needs children in Beijing, China. At HOPE the treatment involves a licensed physical therapist who conducts a therapy session with the child on a horse. The child, as the rider, responds to the movement of the horse.  The therapist pays attention to how the horse’s movement affects the patient and then directs changes in that movement pattern to help the patient work on functional goals.

Why do therapy with the horse?  The horse, at a walk, provides the rider with symmetrical movement at the pelvis that is similar to a typical human gait.  This experience can help improve the child’s ability to walk.  Further, when the horse walks, each hoof hits the ground at a different time, and with each step the rider must work to maintain his/her balance on the horse.  Together these movements promote the patient’s balance and coordination skills.  Finally, the horse’s walk is consistent, frequent and predictable, all of which are important when learning or refining a motor skill.

TR can be a powerful therapy tool. Often children have a special relationship with the horse that facilitates communication skills.  And, the horse’s  movement provides a rich sensory experience which can promote sensory integration processing.  Many children can benefit, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) as well as those with no specific physical disabilities, but with global developmental delays.

The information was taken from her webpage.

I met Priscilla a couple weeks ago, and after she mentioned she was looking for volunteers, I figured it was a good learning experience.

Tom drove me to the remote stable which took 45 minutes, which gave me time to review my Chinese for the evening class.

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Next week the students arrive, so I was taught how I can help facilitate each child’s learning experience. I will walk beside the horse along with Priscilla, while she engages the children in varying activities. I will be making sure of the child’s safety on the horse. I will work with 2 students once a week, for an hour each. I am looking forward to working with children with special needs again, but not the sand/dirt.

P1020500 I have a pair of cowboy boots here, which needed a little work done inside. Tom took them to a shoe shop while I was in my calligraphy class to get them repaired. I was thrilled to get them fixed for the grand total of 30 cents. Hope it doesn’t get too windy or rain!!!!