Isaiah has started riding Babe. He says it makes him a cowboy and is quite excited about it. His therapists are thrilled that he has access to a good horse to ride because it will help both with physical strength and some of his sensory issues. It does seem to be quite calming for him.
Babe is one of the horses that my friend rescued a couple of years ago. Last summer, she was finally healthy enough to start riding, so I rode her a bit then. Now that she’s entirely healthy and strong, she’s proving to have a lot of spunk, but her previous therapy training is really showing, too. She’s amazing with little kids and very calm.
When Isaiah rides, he has his own saddle, though it still doesn’t have short enough stirrups for him. He doesn’t get to use a bridle because he would tug on the reins all the time, so I just put a halter and leadrope on Babe for his rides. She happily walks along with him for as long as he wants to ride. He wears his helmet whenever he rides. The chances of him falling are very slim, but I believe it’s better to have him dressed properly and safe, just in case, than to be unprepared and pay for it.
After rides, Isaiah pets Babe, offers her grass and sometimes helps with grooming. He doesn’t always get to groom her because some days, he goes home with my mom while I take a turn riding. He loves every step of the process.