Well, we had 2 very crazy and hectic days, but we're in good shape now. We filled out our visa application forms and overnighted them with our passports and bought our plane tickets on Thursday. Then on Friday, we booked our apartment in Moscow so we can kind of relax a little bit now. That being said, Derek was in a horse show yesterday. Derek takes therapeutic horseback riding every week to improve core strength (trunk, torso, etc.), coordination, speech, sensory input, and other areas as well. He started in hippotherapy, but now that he is older, he has moved to therapeutic riding. The difference is that in hippotherapy, he is one-on-one with a therapist (OT, PT, or SLP) and they place him in different positions on the horse (forwards, backwards, side ways, draped over, etc.) to work different muscle groups. In therapeutic riding, he is one of 4-5 kids in a class and they learn about how to ride, groom, and care for a horse in addition to the different parts of the equipment that is used in riding, and he is always facing forward. He still gets the benefit of the movement of the horse, but he is also learning about it as well. His usual horse that he rides is Snuggles, pictured here.
In the horse show, he rode Snuggles, Boo, and Penny. He had never ridden Boo before, and apparantly Boo is a pretty bouncy horse. Well he rode Boo when he did the barrels, and as you can see in this picture, Derek is not quite vertical as they are trotting to the finish. Derek looked a little like one of those bobble heads, but he was loving every minute of it. Trotting is his favorite part. I think the sidewalkers and the leader get more of a workout than anyone else as they run alongside the horse!
They had closing ceremonies at the end, and here is Derek with his trophy. All in all, he had a great day!