Mondays are energetic for Joshua as he has swimming at school and then he has to get out again after tea for Riding for the Disabled at from 6pm until 6.30. It is a 20 minute drive away and he dozed off in the car so was pretty drowsy when he arrived at the stables. Three of them ride at the same time , each with three assistants , one either side of the horse and one leading. Given Joshua’s long legs, he rides the tallest horse, Digby. He gets on using a ramp and has to be encouraged to lift his hemi-leg over the saddle, but once seated in the saddle, he sits beautifully straight. He shows no fear for horse riding, despite the height of his horse.
He sat patiently waiting for the other two riders to mount their ponies and then off they went around the arena, following the leader’s instructions. I stood waving at the gate everytime that he passed by but he gave me the aloof look of a teenager who is embarrassed by his mother! So eventually I stopped waving and got chatting with another Mum about her son’s first overnight respite experience, this time round, Joshua gave me a look of disappointment as if to say ‘why arent you waving anymore mum?’ so I really could not win.
It does not look to be a very energetic activity, after all he appears to be sitting on the horse and Digby seemed to be doing all of the work, but it must take supreme effort to stay upright and to cling on as he is always shattered afterwards. Joshua fell asleep in his armchair when we got home at 7pm and I later transferred him into his bed.
I asked at his Annual Review that he is more physically active as being less mobile than he once was, he is restricted in the activities that he can do now. He is very good at throwing and catching and he enjoys swimming, but beyond that he does not take part in much else. Prior to his surgery, he used to bounce on his trampoline everyday and when he was smaller, we would take him out cycling on a tricycle which we all enjoyed. Now that it is summer, I am looking for other activities that he could take part in and enjoy but horse riding seems a good place to start. I appreciate that he is never going to go on a ski trip, play rugby or learn ballroom dancing, but I am sure that there are some activities out there that Joshua could enjoy.