Monday, December 9, 2013

9th December, 2013 Red Watch!

Rhapsody approached the hoop. Going underneath something at the same time as stepping over something can be a troublesome concept!

Last Friday a whole team of us worked with Fire Officers from Overton and Basingstoke practising horsemanship skills. Just at the beginning of their Animal Rescue Team training, this work is invaluable for building the practical and emotional skills that they need to rescue horses that are trapped in fires, horse boxes or ditches for example. The course requires them to catch a horse from amongst a number of others, isolate it in a barn and then catch it again. Lead it through a series of gates, pick up the feet, remove the rug, ask him to stand still, and then negotiate a series of novel obstacles. Once again we saw the camaraderie, bravado, and general team banter turn into some of the most moving, trusting one to one relationships and we never fail to be impressed by their skills and instinctive co-operation - from the horses and the officers. 

Justin leads Tetua over the bridge so that his team mate can show Rhapsody what she needs to do.
Twigs negotiates the fly screen
As well as our own horses we were lucky to have visiting horses Tetua (yes, THE Tetua), Rhapsody and Twigs to work with. Their owners were delighted with the experience that it gave their horses and were only too keen to help with the training. Patrick and Suzanne, who own Tetua and Rhapsody, have been raising funds for the HFRS Animal Rescue Team with their Santa's Sleigh.

Huge thanks are due to all of the volunteers on the course - I simply couldn't do it without them. I have to say that when I ask for volunteers I normally get ten within ten minutes! I don't know what it is about firemen and uniforms!!