We have had stupidly hot weather over the last few days. It was 44 degrees on Saturday (111.2 for those using Fahrenheit) and Saturday night/Sunday morning was also the hottest Perth night on record, hitting a low of 29.7 degrees (or 85.46 in Fahrenheit) after 3am on Sunday morning.
Needless to say we had a total fire ban over the weekend. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough to save 44 homes and the life of a man who collapsed on his roof after trying to defend his house from the flames in Stoneville and Parkerville. Over night the fire has been contained but it is still not under control. 100’s of people were evacuated and sought refuge at the Gidgegannup Showgrounds, the State Equestrian Centre opened it’s stables to take people and horses and numerous other private properties opened their gates and took in as many people, horses and other pets as possible. The WA horse community really banded together and helped out especially as there were other smaller fires popping up all over the place. Gosnells, John Forrest, Jollimont and Baldivis all were affected but to a much lesser extent as Parkerville and Stoneville.
Photos taken by DFES.
Thankfully the Gosnells fire was contained pretty quickly as it was a bit close for comfort to Bo and GK for my liking. It just hammers home the need for sound planning just in case in the event of a fire or any type of natural disaster. Links to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services bushfire survival kits can be found here; http://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/safetyinformation/fire/bushfire/Pages/bushfiresurvivalplan.aspx
It is really informative and contains property preparation tips depending on if you want to stay and defend your property or evacuate. There are check lists, survival plans and guides. Please have a read as a good plan could mean the difference between life and death.
Bo and I had a lesson with D on Friday. Bo was pretty well behaved, most of the time. Towards the end of the lesson, he decided he didn’t want to put his head down and flex anymore and started to rear. He got kicked forward and pushed into canter which stopped the little temper tantrums and he behaved for me after that. I couldn’t get Bo to stay on the bit and push off with his hind legs in his walk to trot transitions, so D hopped on. He was on Bo for all of 30 seconds when Bo went up (D was sitting there without stirrups as he couldn’t be bothered changing them, laughing at Bo), Bo reared a few more times and tried to run out of the arena… Naughty boy. D got him back into the arena and proceeded to tap Bo on his poll with his hand every time Bo’s front legs left the ground. I have never, ever seen that facial expression on a horse before. It was pretty funny, his eyes rolled as he tried to see what hit him on the head, he shook his head and just generally looked confused. For a minute or so Bo was asked to canter and every time he sucked back and bought his head up to rear he got a tap on the poll. E and I were in fits of laughter, as you could see the wheels in Bo’s head turning as he tried to figure out what on earth was happening. (Note *I don’t think rearing is funny, it is dangerous and I don’t like riding rearers. Unfortunately Bo is one and I am working with D and C to improve it. Neither Bo or D were in danger. Bo was in no way hurt when D was riding otherwise I would have put a stop to what was happening. I do not advise D’s method of stopping Bo’s rearing unless you are a really, really good rider with a fantastic sense of timing and a completely independent seat.*) After about 2 minutes Bo kept all 4 feet on the ground and decided to work properly. He looked pretty amazing too. After a few Walk-Trot, Trot-Walk transitions D hopped off Bo and gave him a pat and a scratch behind the ears and on his poll. Bo just stood there eye-balling D trying to figure out what just happened. I wish I had gotten a picture of Bo’s face after the lesson. He was trying really hard to process all that had just happened.
Due to the weather over the weekend Bo and GK have had 2 days off… which should allow Bo plenty of time to process all that happened on Friday. We have a dressage training day on Sunday 19/1 at the State Equestrian Center. We are only doing a Prep and a Prelim but as all the tests have changed, I should probably get a wriggle on and learn them. Nothing is up on Nominate but I hope I get an early draw especially as it is supposed to be 38 degrees although in that weather, I think the organizers are hoping to start at about 7am (at least that’s what they said on Facebook), so the heat shouldn’t be too bad. Joe and M will be joining Bo and I up there.
On another note…. Dazza and Red have yet again managed to out to themselves and put together another outstanding video of Eventing in the Park. I think they did a great job at capturing all the thrills and spills of the event. I don’t know how the two of them manage to find the time. For anyone interested, here is the link; http://www.redfoto.com.au/2013-Photos/2013Eventing/Eventing-in-the-Park/Sponsors-2013-12-15-Eventing-i/i-Fhc4RNP (it’s the video on the top left hand side with the redfoto TV logo)
That’s about it for today. The rest of this week will be spent prepping horses, cleaning gear, cleaning horses and not much else. 🙂
Hope you are all well.