This is my final term for RDA, and so I have decided to make a final reflection about my one-year commitment to the service. This will be surrounding LO3: Initiative

  • What activities did I plan?
    • In RDA, it was my duty to plan out all activities for each session based on my riders’ personal needs, previous performances and goals for the day, all of which I was responsible for deciding. For my first rider, I mostly planned activities focusing on directions, because that was the main goal for that rider, as he often had troubles with lefts and rights, as well as managing multiple instructions at once (eg. put one¬†hand on your head and the other on your nose, and then swap hands). For my second rider, his needs demanded simply time on the horse, making sure he was stable and sitting in the centre with satisfactory balance and posture. For my most recent rider, in my last term, I planned activities that stretch the left side of her body, predominantly including her arm and back.
  • What was the outcome of my planning? How do I know?
    • Generally speaking, most of my planning sessions were well done, as, during our debriefing session, the person in charge of RDA would let me know what I did well in the session and we would have a small discussion on what we thought the rider needed to focus on for the next session. This would help me better plan my activities make sure it was as effective as I could make it for my rider.
  • How did my plans change as the activity progressed? What difficulties did I face in executing my plan?
    • Often times, when it was raining or perhaps the riding session wasn’t going well for the rider (eg. they weren’t listening, they showed signs of irritability and just wanted to get down, etc) or if it wasn’t going well for the sidewalkers (they were constantly having to hold the rider up and their arms were overworked/tired), the session would be cut short. During these times, we either did on-ground activities without any horses involved, or showed them a few books about horses and taught them more about the ones in the centre.
  • How did I overcome these challenges? How did I respond to changes in plans?
    • There were other times when a session was going either significantly better or significantly worse than prepared for. In cases like this, with a double check from the person in charge, we had to think on our feet and decide on new activities to try out; often required to create one with the given equipment. Other days, when the session was going significantly worse, we would have to tell the person in charge and ask the rider to leave the session. Their parents would pick them up, for whatever the reason (eg. the rider wanted to go home/wasn’t feeling well/wasn’t treating the sidewalkers¬†very well) and for the rest of the time, we would clean the arena and write the evaluation for that day’s session.
My sidewalker partner, Ami, and I are working on the rider evaluation during a debrief
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RDA CAS Final Reflection (Service)
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