Thursday, October 22, 2020

A Treat to Watch: Dalton’s Hippotherapy

Dalton and Jack O'Lantern.

Dalton’s five. When we meet him at Triangle Therapy Services shortly before his birthday, we are dazzled, not just by his delightful smile, but also by his dimples!  Joy radiates from this little boy. He picks up the jack-o-lantern at the entrance to the barn and holds it in front of his face and urges Bernie to take a photo of him. He giggles when his horse starts to trot - and we do, too! He grins triumphantly as he completes each task his therapist assigns him.

 Dalton was born with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy. He’s been in therapy all his life. This summer he underwent surgery and therapy was interrupted while he recovered. Now he’s in intensive therapy and, under blue October skies, surrounded by the rich golds and reds of autumn trees, he’s back on a horse and loving it. 

When You've Found the Pumpkins!

Therapy, including hippotherapy – using the horse as a therapy tool – is hard work.  Dalton works at strengthening his core, balancing on the back of a moving animal, and exercises many muscles all while following a series of instructions. Therapy in a clinical setting, which is so much like the doctors’ offices kids with developmental impairments have to visit so often, can lead to tedium. Boredom can diminish a child’s enthusiasm for the exercises and progress can be slowed.

Hippotherapy, on the other hand, is fun, and children aren’t aware that they are working very hard. Dalton may be tired at the end of his hippotherapy session, but he’s excited for his next visit, when he can move freely through space, in the open air, and interact with a horse.

Happy boy, happy mom.

Dalton lives with his dad and mom and two sisters. Mom, Angie, drives forty minutes each way to and from Triangle Therapy and just as many to and from Dalton’s other intensive therapies at Children’s Hospital at the University of Cincinnati, multiple times each week. His family is grateful to have a hippotherapy facility within driving distance.

 If Dalton’s dazzling, dimpled smile has warmed your heart, too - like a Halloween bonfire - we hope you’ll consider donating to Jacob’s Fund, so that Dalton - and other kids like him – can continue to progress.  Our Facebook page, Jacob Beachy Fund, makes it easy: click the DONATE button.  We also welcome your check; please send it to:

 

Jacob’s Fund

1630 Tipperary Dr.

Middletown, Ohio 45042-3875

 

Thank you for helping children achieve independence and live their best possible lives.