September 22, 2014
Trail riding develops the skills used in mounted search and rescue missions (MSAR). We aren’t the only ones who have noticed that active and regular trail riders have many of the necessary tools for searching for lost children and missing people. According to Irvin Lichtenstein, Chief of Operations for the Southeast Pennsylvania Search and Rescue unit, trail riders can put their knowledge and riding experience to work helping others.
In terms of search and rescue, he points out that horses have excellent smell, hearing and see things humans often overlook. As a prey animal, people don’t typically develop the senses a flight animal uses. As such, a horse will notice smells and pay attention to sounds a person will miss. Horses are wonderful observers.
Mr. Lichtenstein gives a number of ways that you can make you and your horse ready to help a search and rescue effort. You start by riding the trails a lot, camping, trailering, and spending sufficient time on the back of your horse to get to know his reactions. He correctly brings up the need to trust your horse and for the horse to trust you. This relationship only develops with time together and experiences that create the bonds and mutual understanding needed for the work.
We also appreciated his advice in taking trail rides fully packed for a search and rescue. It teaches your horse to be prepared and ready. The last thing you need when out to rescue someone is your own injury from an overly excited horse surprised by some new piece of equipment or the excitement he senses from you. The suggestion to practice riding the trail just like you were searching for a lost person makes sense.
Trail riders be ready! You and your horse may be needed at any time and we know you will be able and ready to lend a hand!
September 19, 2014
A Miami mounted patrol officer was forced to defend his mounted patrol horse when attacked by a stray dog. For reasons not known, the dog charged the horse and began biting the horse’s legs. The officer tried to move his horse, Sara, out of the way, but the dog continued the provocation. The mounted officer shot and killed the dog to prevent further injury to his horse. A mounted patrol horse is part of a team and an attack on the horse is like attacking a police officer. It appears the officer did what he could to remove his mounted patrol horse from harm, but eventually was required to use his weapon to stop the attack.
September 18, 2014
Trail ride is still set September 20, 2014 at Oologah Lake with everyone meeting at the trail head. We will be mounted and headed down the trail at 9:00am. This trail ride is just a bunch of people getting together who want to ride and exchange horsemanship skills and enjoy a great day on the back of a horse. We plan to break about 11:30 or 12:00 noon for lunch. Be sure to pack yourself a lunch and take with you on the horse. We will plan to eat on the trail.
It should be a relaxing day with several opportunities to watch how dressage fits into the usefulness of a trail horse. Trail riding is filled with all kinds of obstacles that make use of dressage techniques. It is also an opportunity for anyone interested in mounted search and rescue operations on horseback to talk with mounted patrol members about the skills needed to qualify both horse and rider.
There has been a lot of interest expressed in the ride and we look forward to seeing everyone!
September 16, 2014
How do I graze my horse on the trail if I don’t have a halter? It’s a good question. Sooner or later, we all ride off leaving our halter still tied to the trailer. Sometimes we leave it deliberately, but others times on accident. Lunch time rolls around and you want to let your horse graze without having to chew with the bits in his mouth, so here you go. These are photos of Speck on a recent trail ride. The halter was tied to the trailer and Speck was hungary. It was nearly 6:30pm and he had been ridden most of the day. We stopped for a break and let him have a snack at the same time. We simply slipped the bits out of his mouth and then replaced the headstall back over his ears. The reins were loosely wrapped around the saddle horn and so he could move about without breaking them.
Growing up riding, we rarely took a halter with us. Instead, we just slipped the headstall like shown in the photos. Keep in mind, you need to know your horse before you do this. With the wrong horse, you can find yourself hiking in boots and spurs!!!
September 13, 2014
Hats off to the Livingston Co. Sheriff’s Department for their field training operations. Last month, the mounted patrol conducted a practice search and rescue operation for its mounted posse. The advantages to actual in the field training exercises for officers and their horses are significant:
- become familiar with an area likely to require a MSAR unit
- expose their horses to the commotion and stress of a search
- give less experienced members and horses training
- allow the public to know the unit can be mobilized when needed
- builds confidence levels for both horses and riders
- enables leadership to know areas for training reinforcement.
This training session allowed the mounted patrol to practice two drills. One searching for a special needs child and the second looking for discarded evidence from a fleeing criminal. Both scenarios are tasks well suited to these volunteer officers making their community a better, safer, and more secure place to live.
September 10, 2014
The “Slick Trail Ride” , as many refer to the event, has been scheduled for October 11, 2014. The ride departs from. . . . yes that’s correct, Slick, Oklahoma promptly at 10:00am. The trail ride starts at the Slick Faith Baptist Church Arena and takes you through a beautiful private ranch. Registration starts at 8am Saturday morning, but the trail boss leads out at 10:00am sharp.
If you have never been on an organized trail ride, this would be a good one to learn. These guys are old-time cowboys who are good with horses and with people. The ride is attended by a lot of experienced riders on quiet horses. It’s only a day ride with lunch served at noon which is really nice for the first time out.
For those without a horse, there is a wagon you can enjoy, but it has limited seating. The $20 price is dirt cheap when you figure a really good lunch comes with the deal. Children under 8 attending with a paid rider can come without charge. It is a family style event with no alcohol allowed. Don’t forget your Coggins and look forward to seeing you there!!
If you have any questions, you can call Mike 918-706-4230 or Dwight 918-724-2025, They will make you feel right at home and most welcome!
September 6, 2014
Trail riding at Oklahoma’s Robbers Cave State Park is a gorgeous place to trail ride. The photo is a view taken from a bluff on horseback looking down over the water. The park is clean and friendly. It’s a fun place to take your horse and enjoy yourself.
We suggest having a good map of the trails before you get there or plenty of time. Not having a map this past weekend, we enjoyed seeing quite a bit of territory inside and even a few miles outside the park.
Trail riding is the greatest way to get away from the hustle and bustle of things and really enjoy the world God created. The views, trees, wildlife and nature from the back of a horse gives you a new perspective and recharges your batteries.
September 3, 2014
The Bad Girls have announced their Just For Fun trail ride September 20, 2014. We were sorry to hear it was scheduled this date as we like to ride with them. But, we already committed to be at Oologah Lake the same day and don’t want to disappoint anyone. Even so, if you are looking for an organized trail ride on September 20th, you might give it a try. Our day ride is not organized and just for whoever decides to be there.
The Bad Girls are always well-organized and usually put on a potluck lunch or dinner. The Just For Fun ride will be at Bell Cow Lake just outside of Chandler, Oklahoma. There is a modest charge for the event. For more details, you can call Susie at 918-430-6441 or go to the Bad Girls website, newly designed and looks great ladies.
Just for the record, the next time you are going to set up a trail ride, do it on a date we don’t already have plans. Hope you have a great time!!!!