Spent a lot of time with Tina today. It was her 3rd session of 7 where I decided to commit to only getting her groundwork better and building more of her confidence. Today, I chose the big ball for our session. I wanted her to be able to push the ball around confidently and to carry the ball on her back. The ball is huge - it reaches my thigh so guessing it's about 2.5 ft in diameter.
I started by just asking her to put her nose on it. We played other games (circle game, sideways, squeeze) and then would go back to the ball. Each time we broke from the ball to do something else, she had more confidence when we went back to it. By the end of our session she could move the ball with her legs for a step or two.
I bounced it next to her which suprisingly didn't bother her at all. What really bothered her was when I picked up the ball and began to get her used to it touching her shoulder, neck and eventually ribs. We played with approach and retreat - I would put the ball in a more threatening place (to her) and when she seemed to be coping better, I would pull it away. Over the course of the session, she was able to let the ball rest on her back! This was a huge step for her! I focused on approach and retreat where I never pushed her hard enough to cause her to want to move her feet. She did a lot of blowing, a lot of licking and chewing and she was just overall relaxed. I really felt like we made a lot of progress in her self-confidence and trust in me in this session.
We also practiced the teeter-totter, standing on the tractor tires, falling leaf and change of direction. Her change of direction is beautiful and she floats through it.
A wonderful session!