CAS Blog

Training an Ex-racehorse

Thursday, May 30, 2019

I love horse riding and I wanted to include this in my CAS. I decided that I would continue my lessons (every Monday afternoon) while focusing on an area of horsemanship called légèreté (an alternative style of riding which is translated to ‘the school of lightness’).

An opportunity had also arrived that I could not refuse. A friend of mine was leaving to go to Germany for three months and asked me to look after her horse.

Her horse is an ex-racehorse called Widdle. Over the course of the three weeks I wanted to improve his training. He was a very jittery horse and jumped at almost anything that moved in the wind. He was so used to racing that he found going slow a challenge. During the three months I would also form a bond with him and improve my horsemanship skills. I would be carrying out all the tasks needed to look after a horse.

The first week was a challenge, it was constantly raining and his yard was full of mud. Cleaning out his yard in the mud was hard work as the wheelbarrow would constantly get stuck. Training him in this weather was hard work, he found it hard to focus.

The next few weeks I worked on establishing a bond with Widdle, we got used to each other and I was able to train him more effectively.

The next month I worked on his stride, I would try and get him to open his stride while not letting him hold his neck up “like a giraffe” he slowly became more relaxed. Most of our training was done off the horse as he was very tall and often reared and bucked.

By the end of the third month I was able to ride him freely without him running off like a wild horse. He could walk and trot at a regular pace. I ran out of time to work on his canter but I will work on this with his owner.

Widdle and I became very good friends. During the three months I cut my hair. When he saw me he came up and smelled around my head and face to make sure it was still me. After that there was no problem.

During the course of this I found there was a shortage of hay. This was due to the sudden wet weather, and having the wrong type of hay delivered. We were able to find some hay not long after.

I enjoyed my time with Widdle very much and learned a lot of new skills for training horses.

Alice Bekkers
Year 12 IB Student

Miah's Korean Cultural Experience

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Excerpts from my diary about my Korean Cultural Experience

2 December 2018

Today was my first day at Seoul Sahmyook Middle School. We watched movies in most of the lessons because the students had already finished all the work that they needed to do. Everyone sleeps in class and they bring in pillows and blankets and talk a lot during lessons. Everyone is very friendly and absolutely hilarious. I feel really bad because I can’t remember everyone’s names. The school is so different from Australia. You have to take tissues from the class room to use as toilet paper because there isn’t any in the bathroom and the class rooms are very small and the library is tiny.

The girls' skirts are so short, I don’t know how they keep warm in -2 degrees. The school lunch is very different too. Everyone who spoke to me told me that the food was famous for tasting terrible but it was okay...sort of. In between every single class there is a 10 minute break and lots of the kids go to the snack bar because they don’t have an allocated time for recess. Their school bell is also really nice because it’s a sweet song instead of an alarm.

22 December 2018

Last night we went to a Korean BBQ and it was really good. Except that they were eating 100% raw cow liver and this grey bumpy stuff, which I think was intestines. Completely raw! They just opened the packet and dug in. I didn’t try any.

23 December 2018

Last night we went to a Korean spa, which was a very interesting experience. All the boys had to wear blue play suits and all the girls had to wear pink ones. Above the baths and changing areas was a huge room which had two rows of massage chairs and the floor was full of heated mats with people sleeping, watching tv, eating ramen and playing on their phones.

There were lots of kids running around and there were video games that they could play. It was kind of fabulous. At the back of the room there were three saunas. One was 45 degrees one was 59 degrees and one was 89 degrees. There was also an ice room... my favourite room. The saunas were too hot. The 45 one was nice and I had a bit of a sleep. The 59 was full of salt rocks all over the floor which were so hot that the we had to wrap our little towels around our feet. The 89 one looked like an actual human oven. It was this huge dome that looked like a giant pizza oven/igloo and the wooden door to enter was tiny and very burnt.

My host mum made me go in with her twice. I felt like I was going to die. It was so hot!!! I was in there for about 2 minutes panting like a dog before I absolutely couldn’t take it anymore and I had to leave and sprint to the ice room. It was 6 degrees but it felt amazing compared to 89. My host sister told me that when she was younger she licked the wall of the ice room and got stuck to wall. We got home at about 2:30am and we all slept in until lunch time on Sunday.

Miah McCarthy
Year 12 IB Student


Formal Centrepieces

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Every year our school organises a night called a Formal, for all students in Year 11 and 12. Students dress up and gather for an evening of eating, dancing and having fun.

This year the Formal Committee decided to make the Formal theme ‘Enchanted Garden’. Since the start of Term 4 last year, our Formal Committee has been preparing for the event and each person or group of people in the Committee has a job to take care of, such as designing the tickets, buying the sashes or decorating the venue. Amy, Jeremy, Aurora and I were in charge of the table centrepieces.

Following the theme ‘Enchanted Garden’we looked at mason jars with flowers and fairy lights wrapped around it. We knew that Kmart at Marion has some mason jars available that come together with the flowers so we went there to check how many of them they had in stock. We needed 30 jars and 30 set of fairy lights for 30 tables, but they only had 15 in stock at Marion, fortunately, they had more jars available at Kmart Noarlunga. We were able to get all the jars and fairy lights that we needed.

We all met up one week before the actual event to put the fairy lights inside the jars and to make sure everything was ready for the night. On the night, each jar was put in the middle of the table with vines around it.

It was a great experience for me because I have never had the chance to decorate or to plan for an event like this before. I found it very enjoyable and fun to do. I got to work with other people in the Committee and put in my effort for an important event of the school. I think that we were successful. Everyone at the Formal said the centrepieces were very beautiful and they liked it a lot. It made me feel very happy when people liked and appreciated our efforts. This activity was an overall success for me because we had a lot fun doing it and the outcome turned out very well. I would love to do something like this again if I have the chance in the future.

Katarina Nguyen
Year 12 IB Student