Saturday, May 25, 2013

McKee Ranch - A Visit with the Horses and a Surprise for Hailey!

I read about a little ranch on the other side of town, called McKee Ranch, where you can see horses and feed them carrots and they also have chickens you can feed crackers to. It's free of charge so I thought it would be a fun family thing to do. I tried calling this place and leaving messages on the phone, and facebook and I never heard back. I didn't know if Hailey's wheelchair would be easy to manuver around there and I could never get an answer to it. 

Once we got there I had wondered it the place was open. There was no one there but the gate was unlocked and it said OPEN. I could not find anyone there to ask any questions to. I read you feed the horses carrots, but I didn't know if there were specific ones or if there was a max quanity of who can eat what. 

I finally found someone and tried to ask, but before I could finish my sentence she cut me off and told me to read the signs on the stables. Then she disappeared. We were the ONLY ones there. Feeling quite unwelcome we made the best of it an ventured in to see the horses...

Here's one: 
 Oh wait...that's a donkey! I love how donkeys Hee Haw when they want your attention. This guy was vocal and he is a kicker!
 Hailey didn't mind these gentle giants and loved feeding them her carrots she brought. We brought 2 big bags of carrots and they went QUICK!
 The horse above is Prego. She's gonna have a baby come December so we gave her extra carrots. She deserves them!
 The horses come right out to see what you have. Once our carrots were gone they went back in their stables because we were unimportant without carrots.
 Hailey really got the hang of feeding the horses. I'm glad she liked it. It was a good activity for her and she used her arms to feed them so she got some OT in!

 Then the donkey wanted more! 
 Hailey is a horse feeding pro! 

 It was a little warm that day so we didn't stay long, which was fine because there was not much to see. 
 Cock- a- doodle- doo!!! 
 Then we saw this furry horse and Josh informed me it was a Clydesdale. 

 Gave him some carrots too! 

All out of carrots! One reason I thought this would be a fun thing for Hailey to do is because we have something pretty exciting in store for her. Thanks to a donation made by Cooper Wine Company , Our Friends at Google (Vicki, Renee, Melissa, Paula, Judy, and Julie) and awesome fundraising efforts by Josh's Cousin's daughter Libby and her friends, we are able to sign Hailey up for Therapeutic Horseback Riding. Hippotherapy.

Hailey's Cousin Libby and her friends working hard to help Hailey!!


Our first lesson will be in June and I have been reading about it online.
Here is some of the things I found out:

Horses have been utilized as a therapeutic aid since the ancient Greeks used them for those people who had incurable illnesses.[2] The benefits of therapeutic riding have been dated back to 17th century literature where it is documented that it was prescribed for goutneurological disorder and low morale.[3]

Horses provide a unique neuromuscular stimulation when being ridden through their one of a kind movement. Horses move in a three-beat rhythmic motion that mimics the human movement of walking. While riding, the horses stride acts to move the rider's pelvis in the same rotation and side-to-side movement that occurs when walking. The horses adjustable gait promotes riders to constantly adjust the speed to achieve the desired pelvic motion while promoting strength, balance, coordination, flexibility and confidence.[5] One does not have to ride to achieve the desired effects of therapy. Horses can act as an aid by giving those with disabilities a companion to care for. Grooming such as brushing, bathing, and currying aid in joint range of motion and have a relaxing and calming effect.


Physical [edit]

  • Improved balance and muscle strength
  • Improved coordination and faster reflexes
  • Increased muscular control
  • Improved postural control
  • Decreased spasticity
  • Increased range of motion of joints
  • Stretching of tight or spastic muscles
  • Increased endurance and low-level cardiovascular conditioning
  • Stimulates Sensory integration
  • Improved visual-spatial perception
  • Improved gross and fine motor skills

Psychological [edit]

  • Improved self-confidence
  • Increased self-esteem and self image
  • Development of patience
  • Emotional control and self-discipline
  • Expansion of locus of control
  • Improved risk-taking abilities
  • Sense of normality
  • Socialization and improved interpersonal skills
  • Increased perception of quality of life and life satisfaction
  • Stress reduction

**Taken from Wikipedia.


Isn't that kind of amazing?! I am very excited for this and I HOPE Hailey enjoys it. It's something I have been thinking about doing for a long time and moneywise it has never panned out. We are so grateful for Friends, Family, and Strangers who help pull together when we are in need. You guys are the best!