Our Horse School at Richmond Vale Academy is located at the foot of a 4000 ft Volcano named La Soufriere. The volcano became active after more than 40 years of sleeping and is right now having an effusive eruption.
Effusive is not explosive, but effusive can become explosive.
Saturday 9th of January
The horses are calm, which I take as a good sign for now. We have 5 horses at the school right now.
We will evacuate Jack and Spirit tomorrow morning 05.30 by walking them 1-2 hours to Cumberland bay. There they will stay at John’s resturant and farm. Kadoo, Elena and Shoni will evacuate later, still looking for location.
Sunday 10th of January.
At 05.30 this morning we started walking two horses to the Cumberland area. It was a three hour walk with challenges as Jack and Spirit are not used to village life, so there was alot for them to take in of new impressions. Walking on the paved hard road was also new so they were pretty tired when we arrived. Upon arrival they meet the two mares Moonlight and Ayiti who they will make new family with. Location for Kadoo, Elena and Shoni found in Buccament Area.
Monday – 11th of January
Short video from the walk with Jack and Spirit
Meeting Ayiti and Moonlight who has been there since October 2020
Wednesday – 13th of January
We have found a place in Buccament for Elena, Shoni and Kadoo and we will probably take the six hour long walk this weekend.
Jack and Spirit have settled well with the two other horses in Cumberland. We are so happy for this solution.
We decided to wait to move the last horses as the scientists measuring changes on the Erupting La Soufriere Volcano, say it is likely that a 24 to 48 hour warning is possible. This means that we keep the horses here until an evacuation order is given. The volcano continues her effusive eruption. We are preparing the place in Buccament where the horses will go to incase of evacuation.
Horses can also be a good “alarm” so as when the horses are calm, there is a good chance there is no volcanic changes. In 2010, when we were struck by hurricane Thomas, it was the horses that warned us. One day before the hurricane the horses were totally out of control and impossible to “talk” with, we never saw them like that before and started to research and were alerted on a possible hurricane arrival.
We moved the horses that time to the football field so they would have big space to escape flying objects. All the horses made it through the hurricane, only one had a bit of a bad foot for some days, but recovered fine.
March 26th, 2021
The volcano continues to erupt effusively. Kadoo, Shoni and Elena are still at RVA, but we have secured an evacuation field for them in Buccament – one hour drive / 8 hour walk from the school.
The scientists who measure all volcanic activities estimate (but here are no guarantees ofcourse) a 24 to 48 hour warning in case of eruption. This means we will have time to evacuate the horses.
Having horses and animals can be a good warning in itself as they are able to pick up some signals that we humans cannot pick up.
April 7th – Our volcano is smoking more and more here are photos from the day before the evacuation call. The black parrot – Groove Billed Ani – was sitting an unusually long time with her wings out.
Thursday 8th of April – we evacuate with Shoni, Elena and Kadoo.
I ask one of the farmers to help move the horses and at five in the afternoon we start to train the horses to walk together in the football field. Two hours later we have settled the pecking order and relationship and start walking through villages of chaos and evacuating people. A bit over midnight we arrive to Cumberland.
I tie Shoni and Elena on one side of the EcoTourism facility fence and stay with Kadoo on the other. Kadoo does not know how to tie, so I am awake with him the whole night. Also the other 4 horses in Cumberland – got out of their area and walked over to us, so I had to find a way to stay with Kadoo and found this big fence to be behind.
On the 9th in the morning we continue walking unknowing of the explosion that is about to happen.
The volcano erupts!
The road and traffic and people go “crazy” there was no way we could continue walking and have to find a solution to where the horses can stay until it is possible to continue. The Cumberland Power plant agree to let us tie two horses in the park and leave Kadoo inside the basketball court (good fences…)
We continue to our evacuation house – try to understand the situation and deal with the shock.
The day after we return to look after the horses – full full of ash everywhere, we feed and water them and decide to walk them the last six hours the following day.
Monday 12th – 3 days after
We are trying to settle in building fences, washing ash off the grass to feed the horses and getting around everything