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Hippotherapy is the use of horseback riding as a therapeutic or rehabilitative treatment. The movement of the horse affects a rider’s posture, balance, coordination, strength and sensorimotor systems.

It is believed that the warmth and shape of the horse as well as its rhythmic, three-dimensional movement along with the rider’s responses to the movement of the horse can improve the flexibility, posture, balance and mobility of the rider.

This program differs from therapeutic horseback riding, because the work is one-on one, and the rider does not direct the horse. Licensed health professionals including physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists guide the rider’s posture and actions while the horse is controlled by assistants at the direction of the therapist.

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The horse’s unique walk transfers variable, repetitive and rhythmic movement to the client, which provides sensory input to the brain and nervous system. The resultant responses in the client are similar to human movement patterns of the pelvis while walking. An average horse takes 120 walking steps per minute, allowing 120 chances each minute for a client to experience this unique movement that cannot be replicated by another apparatus or equipment. During a session the therapist, working in conjunction with a specially trained horse handler, can grade or adapt this movement to provide a “just right challenge” for each client. Most clients respond very enthusiastically to hippotherapy treatment and thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to engage with the horse in an environment that is much different than a typical therapy clinic.

Who benefits from hippotherapy?

A wide variety of individulas can experience benefits from hippotherapy. Some diagnoses commonly treated by this therapy include:

  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Autism
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Closed Head Injury
  • Developmental Delay
  • Down Syndrome
  • Emotional Disorders
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Paralysis
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal Bifida
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

Preparing your Home & Family for a Hurricane

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Thunder & lightening & wind, oh my! The current forecast of a hurricane means your home and other personal property could be at risk for damage from extreme winds, rain, hail and lightning. Tropical storms, including hurricanes at any level, can cause significant damage to your home and property, from missing shingles and fence posts to collapsed roofs and walls. Knowing what to expect and being prepared for the storm can make all the difference for you and your homes safety. The tips below can help you plan ahead for the upcoming storm, as well as for the future.

  • Check your insurance coverage! Many people overlook this important step until after the fact. Assure that it reflects the current state of your home & consider adding flood insurance and coverage for additional living expenses in case your home is uninhabitable after a storm. Bonus Tip: Take photos or videos of the contents of each room. This will save you a major headache in case of a disaster.
  • Secure windows and sliding glass doors. Although not the best option, one solution is to tape your windows.. The tape isn’t going to keep an object from breaking your window if wind flings it at your house, but it should keep the glass from flying around the room if an object does hit. It’s ideal to have heavy plywood to fit your windows on hand or metal shutters installed, but these would all need to be done in advance. We recommend using 3/4 inch plywood and drilling screw holes 18 inches apart. Once a window is broken, the wind blows inside to not only wreck the interior, but also to apply upward pressure on the roof. This is why this step is so important!
  • Prepare and stow a hurricane emergency kit! Your kit should include bottled water (a gallon of water per person for at least 3 days is recommended), non-perishable food, a first aid kit and any medications. Don’t forget extra clothes, flashlights, a radio, extra batteries and disposable dishes. Keep these supplies in a specific spot in your home that everyone can get to quickly and easily.
  • Store important documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, insurance policies and passports in a watertight containeFemar.
  • Have an established evacuation plan & family emergency plan in place. If you don’t have transportation of your own, make arrangements with friends or family members. Here is an awesome printable from FEMA to help you put together a Family Emergency Plan. Click the image to the right for the full printable.
  • Maintain your outdoor area. Cut tree branches to no more than four to five feet long, so they do not fall and damage power lines or your property. Empty your gutters so water can properly drain
  • Fill up your car’s gas tank before the storm
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings to help keep food cold in case of a power outage.
  • It’s also highly recommended that you unplug all non-essential appliances and electronics
  • If you’re in an area that is prone to flooding buy sandbags. These can be used to line your house to protect against minor flooding.
  • If your home has a pool, you’ll need some additional preparation. Items around the pool, like furniture, toys, and skimmer lids should be brought inside to avoid becoming projectiles. (Some opt to throw their furniture into the pool, but doing this can actually cause damage to the pool’s finish). Turn off the gas supply at the meter and the filter pump at the breaker and store the filter indoors during the storm.
  • Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage can and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Familiarize yourself with hurricane evacuation routes in your area and where to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate. It’s always better to be prepared.
  • Do not use a gas oven or range to heat your house and never run a generator inside where exhaust fumes can accumulate!
  • If you have kids and you’ve dealt with a power outage before…you probably know the struggle. We don’t realize how much we rely on all things electric up_101765307ntil it’s not available. Prepare a fun emergency kit now for the kiddies so you don’t drive yourself crazy being stuck in the house. Include Play-Doh, coloring books, Lego’s, puzzles, balloons and fun surprises. Here are a few more ideas for staving off cabin fever: Flashlight tag, board games, crafts (pasta necklace anyone?) freeze dance and hide and seek.

 

Although they are predicting that Hurricane Joaquin will stay out to sea, the forecast track is still very uncertain. Have an emergency plan in place! Taking steps now can also help preparing for a future hurricane or major storm a little less of a headache.Remember to stay tuned to your local forecast for updates and possible warnings.

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Your Home’s Fall Checklist

 

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Fall means vibrant red, orange, and yellow foliage, lots of pumpkins, and refreshingly cool temperatures. But, it also means winter isn’t far away. Here are a few projects—from looking after the exterior of your home to maintaining your heating system—that can help your home gear up for the cold and save you some cash.

  • Path-lights-by-Outdoor-Lighting-Perspectives-of-MemphisLight the Way With Outdoor Lanterns. Colder days, means less daylight. Add outdoor lanterns or lights to your pathway to have some light when you arrive home. This will also help to enhance the curb appeal of your home, while adding a measure of safety and  security.

 

 

 

  • Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets and store them in a shed or garage. Leaving hoses attached can cause water to back up in the faucets and in the plumbing pipes just inside your exterior walls. If freezing temps hit, that water could freeze, expand, and crack the faucet or pipes. Make this an early fall priority so a sudden cold snap doesn’t sneak up and cause damage.
  • 10_Fall_Home_Maintenance_MustsHere’s the chore on everyone’s “least favorite” list: clean your gutters. Clogged rain gutters can cause ice dams, which can lead to expensive repairs in winter. After the leaves have fallen, clean your gutters to remove leaves, twigs, and gunk. Make sure gutters aren’t sagging and trapping water; tighten gutter hangers and downspout brackets if necessary. Annually your roof’s drainage system diverts thousands of gallons of water from your house’s exterior and foundation walls. That’s why it is so important to keep this system flowing smoothly.Your downspouts should extend at least 5 feet away from your house to prevent foundation problems. If they don’t, add downspout extensions (typically about $10 to $20 each).
    *Pro Tip: After cleaning your gutters, cover them with mesh guards to keep debris from collecting again
  • Grab a couple of tubes of color-matched exterior caulk and make a journey around  your home’s exterior, sealing up cracks between trim and siding, around window and door frames, and where pipes and wires enter your house. Preventing moisture from getting inside your walls is one of the least expensive — and most important — of your fall maintenance jobs. Gaps in caulk and weather-stripping can account for 10% of your heating bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Because weather stripping can deteriorate over time, it is important to inspect it periodically. To check the efficiency of your weather stripping try this: close a door or window on a strip of paper; if the paper slides easily, it’s not doing its job.

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  •  Prune plants: Late fall is the best time to prune plants and trees because the summer growth cycle is over. Your goal is to keep limbs and branches at least 3 feet from your house so moisture won’t drip onto roofing and siding, and to prevent damage to your house exterior during high winds.
  • Before the chill sets in, make an appointment for your furnace’s annual checkup. To avoid the last-minute rush, consider scheduling this task in early fall, before the heating season begins. Without this yearly cleaning and inspection, a system can wear itself out quickly, pump deadly carbon monoxide into your home, or simply stop working. Remember to change your furnace filters, too. This is a job you should do every two months anyway, but if you haven’t, now’s the time! You’ll notice a difference in the air quality, and your furnace will run more efficiently. Disposable filters can be vacuumed once before replacement. Foam filters can also be vacuumed, but don’t need to be replaced unless they are damaged (use a soft brush on a vacuum cleaner). If the filter is metal or electrostatic, remove and wash it with a firm water spray.
  • Take steps to repair damaged sidewalks, driveways, and steps before things get icy.  Damaged walkways, drives, and steps are a hazard year round, but the dangers are increased when the weather turns icy. Look for cracks more than 1/8-inch wide, uneven sections, and loose railings on steps. Check for disintegration of asphalt, or washed-out materials on loose-fill paths. Fixing these smaller problems in the fall is also critical to preventing little problems from becoming major future expenses.
  • It’s smart to do a safety check of your home at minimum once per year. Here are some pointers on how to do this. Fires 1.1.11.0 Accordion 2 of 8 
    1. Test smoke and CO monitors. Test the detectors by pressing the test button or holding a smoke source (like a blown-out candle) near the unit. Replace the batteries in each smoke and carbon monoxide detectors if necessary. If you haven’t already, install a smoke detector on every floor of your home, including the basement.
    2. This is also a good time to get the family together for a review of your fire evacuation plan.
    3. Check fire extinguishers. Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher. Annually, check the indicator on the pressure gauge to make sure the extinguisher is charged. Make certain that the lock pin is intact and firmly in place, and check that the discharge nozzle is not clogged. Clean the extinguisher and check it for dents, scratches, and corrosion. Replace if the damage seems severe. Note: Fire extinguishers that are more than six years old should be replaced!
    4. Fire escape plans. Every bedroom, including basement bedrooms, should have two exit paths. Make sure windows aren’t blocked by furniture or other items. Ideally, each upper-floor bedroom should have a rope ladder near the window for emergency exits.

As you’re enjoying the last few weeks of warm weather, make sure that your home is prepared for the coming colder days. Preventative maintenance now will save money on expensive emergency repairs and wasted energy costs. Properly maintaining your home also enhances its value and appeal and is less effort than managing a crisis later.    Taking the steps above will have you & your home ready for the chilly days ahead!

“Recipe” for a Great Custom Builder

Making the decision to build your dream home is not one made lightly. Typically, this is a process that homeowners think about over a long period of time, sometimes over the course of one’s life and their experience living in a less than ideal home. It is also a profoundly personal experience. Unlike other professional relationships, this one hits not just close to home, but in your home! So when the time finally arrives to be able to build the home you want, choosing the right company to build it is of paramount importance. Below is a “recipe” for success in evaluating and selecting whether a custom home builder has what it takes to build the home of your dreams.

Reputation – As the adage goes, “reputation is everything.” No promotional or marketing efforts can replace good, old-fashioned word-of-mouth referrals. We come by the majority of our work from past customers, and many of our projects are in serving happy repeat clients. Our Capital Readers Choice 2014 “Best Local Builder” and Best of What’s Up? Eastern Shore Reader Poll for “Home Design/Builder & Remodeling Custom Services” awards mean a lot to us because they are awarded by the voting public.

Experience – Choose a company that is established and experienced. You want to know the company you hire has been around the block and is financially stable. Longevity is proof a company knows how to run a successful business and that they can be accountable to you for work warranties. You also want a custom builder that can show a portfolio of work that demonstrates their skill across a full scope of building techniques and architectural styles. This means you can be confident in their ability to meet your expectations and achieve your unique vision.

Credentials -Whether you want to build a custom home with the latest in green building technologies, or to build a home that considers your needs as you grow older, look for a builder who has the industry “gold star” certifications that qualify them as an expert in building the home you want to build. Another relevant “c” word is “custom”. If you want a truly custom home, you want a builder that specializes in creating unique, one-of-a-kind, “heirloom” homes, not a production home builder that builds assembly-line style homes. Our certifications include: Graduate Master Builder, Certified Graduate Remodeler, Certified Residential Construction Supervisor x 2, Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler, Certified Aging in Place Specialists. We are also EPA-Lead-Safe Certified Firm.

Integrity – We are passionate about a job done right. Part of integrity includes professional values and reliable project and time management. We strive to help our customers make smart and educated decisions they will be happy with for years to come, and we complete our work within a reasonable project time table. We take great pride in doing what we say we will do. See what our customers have to say about our work ethic.

Personable – As the building of a home does not happen overnight, our relationships with our customers are important. The building of a dream home is at heart a deeply collaborative effort between the homeowner and our entire team, from our architects to our laborers. We like to think of ourselves as personable people, and we know that is the foundation for good communication. We are genuinely interested in each of our customer’s lives. Not just hearing, but really listening to our customers is a critical component to making their dream home vision a reality. That’s why the beginning of the Lundberg building process involves a one-on-one consultation with our team to identify what’s important to you– your lifestyle, aesthetic preferences, wish list– so that we can give you professional guidance in making the best decisions to honor your goals.

Economical – The clients that choose Lundberg Builders do so because we deliver the best value for their investment. We are neither the cheapest nor the most expensive custom builder in the area, but we are the best at delivering exceptional quality and craftsmanship for a reasonable price. We are careful not to waste money or resources, and we do not cut corners.

Explore our portfolio of custom homes on Houzz or contact us to schedule a free consultation.