So another really cool thing we have here at NPH is horse therapy. Once a week the special needs kids climb in the microbus and head out of town. About thirty minutes later, down a long dirt road, they arrive at a gate where they wait to be let in. Another long dirt road brings them to this idyllic place. The owners, who run a small spa, restaurant and getaway allow our kids to ride the most docile horse you have ever seen for a couple hours every week.
The kids take turns, changing the saddle to fit their different needs and engaging in games like reaching for hoops to help with balance and hand-eye coordination. We have several therapists that accompany them and plan out their treatment.
The best part is seeing the smiles on the kids faces! This past week I took the morning off work to accompany the kids to therapy. We were such an excited group! While the kids waited their turns to ride, I crashed on the grass and then strolled around the beautiful grounds with them. Then I walked beside the horse and handed rings to one of the kids riding on top. Afterwards we had a light picnic on the lawn, loathe to leave.
I wish everyone could spend a month with these kids. And not just my special needs kids...all the children are amazing. I took one of my kids to Mass in her wheelchair last night and as we came up the aisle she was met with waves and invitations to park her wheelchair next to different kids. During Mass I could hear the little girl sitting next to her whispering, and even an occasional giggle. For communion, the same little girl pushed the wheelchair up. As we left, the kids walking past us reached out and gave my special needs kid handshakes and squeezes on the shoulder. Precious.