What an interesting day! Started off with Kevin from the Education Business Partnership form filling for the work experience placement I have coming in March. This must be the fourth or fifth name the organisation has had since I started taking work experience students eight years ago. I'll never forget the first co-ordinator turning up at the field in a clean frock and high heels!
Then a text from Jim Green at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Animal Rescue Team - would I be able to go and take pictures of them feeding some stranded cows down at Breamore Mill? Grabbing my own camera and friend and professional photographer Russell Sach en route I was down there like a shot. Fascinating to watch the control and co-ordination between the Team and the RSPCA. The cows were on a island of grass at the far end of the meadows having walked across the bridge from the reed beds at dawn. These cows although much loved are pretty feral and inclined to go straight through fences if they are spooked. The plan is to entice them nearer and nearer the corral over the next few days so that they can be moved out if the water gets any higher. With deep ditches around the field, the firemen had to tread carefully and do a full recce before they set off with the boat full of hay. The cattle themselves seemed much more confident of the contours of the field.
After taking Theoden and Petra out riding with Jim's brother Charly (it's a small world) it was off to see a new client at Bartley. Ollie, a Welsh Cob cross New Forest pony is really good about everything, including the hugest lorries going by, but not so keen on being ridden out on her own. We started off with some straightforward groundwork before going out onto the lane to work on the problem itself. The main thing is not to engage with her 'no' and to finish the session on the very best note - which we didn't and did, in that order!