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A New Riders Experience

While I sit at home on a rainy afternoon, I find myself reflecting on exactly what it is we do at RDA and why we do it and I thought I would share a wee ”screenshot” that happened yesterday.  

At the start of a new year, we have a number of new riders join us. Some take to the riding quickly, others are overwhelmed and frankly terrified.

One lad came to his first session, and even the process of putting on a helmet was too much, he wasn’t at all happy about putting on the hairnet, let alone the helmet, and his RDA experience was limited to a quick Lenny pat over the rail. The second week , the carers had sorted the helmet issue, it was the net that was the issue, without it, he was ok, (I wouldn’t say happy) with the helmet, but no way was he getting on that pony!

We took our time, we were patient, we modelled the actions required, let him watch others but still he was VERY reluctant. The session was drawing to an end, so one more try. And YES we managed to get him on!

He was gripping SOOO tight to his helpers, making quite a lot of noise, absolutely not wanting to be on that pony, so I made the call to get that pony moving.

And then it happened!! The crying and yelling immediately turned to a slow grin, that quickly became a big smile, followed by a giggle. That giggle turned to a chuckle and soon everyone involved was joining in. The ride was short, but he loved every minute, I am really looking forward to seeing how next weeks session goes and how he progresses.

There is absolutely no doubt that these wonderful horses are capable of magic. And that magic and joy extends well beyond the rider.

Ngā mihi maioha,

Judith Finch, Coach

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