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Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Two letters came in the mail, one for Masha and one for Kimani. Masha’s letter welcomed her back to the spring session of hippotherapy and invited us to set up her riding day/time...
The other letter informed us that "it has been determined that your child could benefit from a break at this time due to safety issues. You may reenroll at a later date if it is determined that Kimani is able to demonstrate safety necessary to be in the arena and on the horses."
I am crushed. This is a program designed for kids with special needs. Aside from pool therapy which ended with pre-K, this is the only therapy that Kimani has shown interest in and even clearly enjoyed. And she benefited greatly from it. We saw her begin to use her right hand, as well as begin talking again. She would get so excited when horse day arrived. She’d bring me her horseback-riding PECs card and her shoes. She would vocalize all the way to the barn and back.
I am angry. How dare they dump her because she requires more support, more effort on their part. This is not about safety but rather about her being a lot of work. She never did anything wrong toward the horses (other than try to eat their after-ride snacks). She never ran off in the arena. And though she sometimes leans to one side while on the horse, she never jumped off or threw herself off the horse. And how the heck are we supposed to “demonstrate safety necessary” if she has no horse to practice with?
Yes I am going to try to change their minds. Yes I am going to try to find another program. But damn, I am tired of fighting the “normal” system and now I have to fight for her in the “special needs” system too? And the reality is that she probably will not be able to get back into this program or any other hippotherapy program any time soon.