Mounted Search and Rescue Operations Use and Need the Skills Learned In Trail Riding

September 22, 2014

Trail Riding SkillsTrail 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!


Oologah Trail Ride Saturday

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!


We’re Inviting You To Come Ride With Us

August 27, 2014

Oklahoma Trail HorseWe are inviting anyone who wants to ride with us September 20, 2014 to go. The ride is leaving the Will Rogers Centennial Trail Head at 9:00am at Oologah Lake. There are no fees or charges. It’s not an organized trail ride, just a chance to meet some people and have a great day on the trails. Who might enjoy the ride? Anyone interested in dressage, mounted patrol, mounted search and rescue, trail riding in Oklahoma, or just wanting a fun group ride.

We see the opportunity to blend and combine several riding disciplines in one get together so everyone can learn more about horses, riding, and community involvement. For example, a dressage rider can illustrate how precise movements enable trail riders to navigate obstacles on the trail. Mounted patrol members can show dressage riders how their skills might be put to use in real life rescue operations to help save a life or rescue someone in danger. New riders would be able to observe  and talk with professional horsemen to gain new insights into all riding disciplines. There will likely be several riding instructors and trainers present. So pack a lunch and join us for a great day on the trail and meet some new friends.


Is Mounted Unit work for you?

March 14, 2014

Mounted Police Trail ObstacleBy: Joann K. Long of Gentle Dove Farms

Do you want to enjoy your equestrian passion while contributing to your community? That thought was how my husband and I became actively involved in volunteer mounted patrol work. Our local Sheriff’s department had a Mounted Unit and we could proudly serve with our own horses if we met the membership criteria.

There were several criteria to be met, including an initial interview and background check. Of course the horses had their own testing as well. Fortunately, we had quiet, well-behaved horses that would be an asset to the unit. Each unit has their own testing criteria, but most include demonstrating equitation, obstacle maneuvers, public demeanor, and horsemanship skills. If the criterion were met, then a commitment would be made to participate in regular training and support Law enforcement and Search and Rescue activities.

Training consisted of formation riding, sensory and obstacle control, basic search and rescue techniques, crowd control, police equitation, arrest techniques, situation control, vehicle extrication, and fireworks and night maneuvers. Further, scenario training included simulated real life events such as containing protesters, search and rescue situations, and VIP escorts. Each member puts in numerous hours of individual training on their horse to prepare them for patrol.

Service and duties vary from patrol to patrol, but typically the Mounted Unit devotes many hours to traffic and crowd control, patrolling parks, concerts, fairs, festivals, and other public relation events, as well as participation in parades and park & pets (where the horse needs to stand calmly as children run around and sometimes crowd the horse to get their pets in).

In addition to the regular duties and community service, some mounted unit members participate in mounted police competitions held throughout each state and internationally. Competitions act as a form of training, networking with other Mounted Police Units, and a means of sharing strategies, methods and skills in the challenges of mounted work.

The general equestrian public typically take trail rides through a park, but one of my favorite ‘trail’ rides was riding down the center of my town on my horse, looking for new experiences and stopping to let the kids pet my horse. If you have a sense of ‘oh that would be fun’ then you’d be a great candidate for your local mounted patrol!

My husband and I were proud to serve our community. Most people were excited to pet our horses and talk to the mounted police – in contrast you don’t normally see kids excited to walk up to a patrol car and try to pet it! Mounted units provide a great way to make a positive connection within the community. Personally, I’m privileged to have belonged to a Mounted Unit and enjoyed my passion for horseback riding while giving back to my community. You may still see me riding down the city streets of my town!

Joann Long Mounted Patrol Officer

Joann Long Mounted Patrol Officer

The mounted unit provides training from which every horseman could benefit. Their training was the framework towards developing our equine partnership. We had great success in police horse competitions and were frequently asked how we trained our horses. From those inquiries, Gentle Dove Farm was born – to teach the general equestrian public mounted police style training. We encourage partnership, communication, and exceptional trust mounted police style! If you’d like to know more, please visit www.GentleDoveFarm.com!

Happy and safe riding!

Joann K. Long

©Gentle Dove Farm


Rogers Co. Mounted Patrol Unit; Big Plans For 2014

February 22, 2014

The Rogers Co. Mounted Patrol, whose focus is primarily search and rescue operations, has big plans for 2014. Rogers Co. Sheriff, Scott Walton and Deputy, Coy Jennings, are about to announce the plans for 2014 for the mounted patrol. One objective that can be disclosed is the goal to increase the number of volunteers qualified to participate. Both Walton and Jennings feel strongly that active community participation with the Sheriff’s department brings all types of benefits to the community, helping make Rogers County a better place to live.

Wisely, Sheriff Walton and Deputy Jennings recognize mounted search and rescue (“MSAR”) is an efficient way to find lost and missing people. By using community volunteers, the Sheriff’s department can leverage its resources in emergency situations by involving the local citizens. After all, more ground can be quickly covered by horseback than any other means, especially when you consider both horse and rider have the ability to hear and smell. Unlike searches by plane, patrol units can listen for cries for help and offer assistance. Mounted patrol can also investigate brushy and areas hard to see from the air.

The plans are underway and just as soon as we are authorized, the events will be posted. If you would like to assist in the mounted patrol, you can contact Coy Jennings at the Rogers County Sheriff’s Department 918-923-4477.

 


Rogers Co. Sheriff’s Mounted Patrol Spreads The Christmas Spirit

December 26, 2013

News on 6 reports on the Rogers Co. Sheriff’s Mounted Patrol  (Mounted Search and Rescue Unit “MSAR”) watching over the Christmas shoppers at the local Wal-mart in Claremore, Oklahoma. As a courtesy to the citizens, the mounted patrol members escorted shoppers to their cars and kept an eye on their vehicles so folks could come and go worry-free. Service with a smile to brighten up the holiday season! Pete had a great time and enjoyed all the kids petting his nose!