Thursday, May 22, 2008

"Work Out" features therapeutic horseback riding for disabled children

"Workout" client, Shannon, takes trainer JD to
her daughter's horseback riding therapy session.

The Bravo reality show "Work Out," about the drama at a gym in LA run by Jackie Warner, got serious in its May 20 episode by showing the home life of one of the trainer's clients, who has a daughter with cerebral palsy.

Shannon, who is part of the program's Skylab, an intensive fitness and weight loss program, mentioned in a previous episode that she has a "caretaker" personality and one of the people she has to focus on other than herself is daughter, Kendall, who is disabled.

As she bonded with her new trainer, JD, she invited him to her daughter's therapeutic horseback riding session. JD revealed that he also has someone with a disability in his family, as his sister has schizophrenia.

According to Shannon and an article about therapeutic horseback riding, "the horse’s movements are smooth, and for those who are not able to walk on their own, the riding experience can help to exercise muscles that are used in walking and for balance. For individuals with cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis, the smooth motion of the horse can help to improve balance, overall gross motor function, as well as trunk, pelvic and hip motion."

Kendall is able to walk with a walker because of the muscle improvement she has gained through horseback riding, her mother says. She demonstrated some of her walking skills for JD.

It was a sweet moment and a nice diversion from the usual conflicts in the gym that are the staple of the reality show.

Thanks to, which recaps "Work Out," for the above photo from the show.