Helpful Horses

The Bishkek CDI office is pleased to announce that the therapeutic riding program is up and running, with 3 horses ready for gentle, nurturing action. Kids who have been touched by the Children at Risk project staff in the homes for disabled children are candidates for riding therapy.

Bakit didn’t seem at first like a good candidate, though. At 8 years old, he was terrified of the horses when he first got near them. In addition, both arms and legs are affected by cerebral palsy, and Bakit had very little trunk control, which is necessary to sit on a horse at all. Bakit’s first session of therapeutic riding had much more crying and flopping around than horse riding—he was barely on the horse for 5 minutes. But the team decided to keep at for 2 weeks before re-evaluation as to whether or not this was the ightherapy for Bakit. We’re happy to report that after the 2 weeks—4 sessions—Bakit was glad to see the horses when he arrived at the stable, and he was able to ride for a good 10 minutes. After 2 months, he’s riding for 20-25 minutes with very good head and trunk control. He sits up straight with head held high and a big smile on his beautiful face. And there’s a bonus. The cerebral palsy had affected Bakit’s ability to speak, but since he’s been riding, he’s starting to talk a little too.