Bates County Deputies and Horses received training certifications from the National Mounted Police Services. The two Deputies and the Sheriff attended a two day training event held in Lone Jack Missouri hosted by Sitter Downs Arena on March 4th and 5th. The training was designed to De-spook and build confidence with the horse and its rider in a multitude of real world environments that a rider and horse may experience while performing mounted police duties.
The two day event included distraction training like aggressive dogs, loud noises including sirens, an obstacle course that challenged the horse with things that touched, brushed and obstructed the horse. The horses and riders had to build confidence and trust with each other to walk through fire, cross bridges that had smoke coming up through the boards, walk through horizontal/vertical rings of fire and through plastic curtains all the while hearing loud pops and sirens.
Along with de-spooking and confidence training the teams were trained in tactical horse formations and how to safely use horses for crowd control along with tactical extraction of emergency vehicles or high value assets from large crowds. The training received by the Deputies and Sheriff does not stop at the end of the clinic. The education and techniques learned through this clinic will be brought back to Bates County to be taught to the all volunteer Sheriff’s Posse. Plans are already in place for the Deputies to team up with one of our local horse training experts Tom Williams to use his experience, expertise and facility outside of Adrian to facilitate this same training to our Sheriff’s Posse.
This training compliments the experience these horses have with search and rescue. Two of these horses were activated and put to test when a local 80 year old was injured in the woods and first responders could not find the gentleman. A large-scale search began with multiple agencies in an attempt to locate the injured man. The horses, who have better hearing than humans, were able to hear the man yell from the woods. The riders who were trained to observe the horses behavior observed the horses ears point in the direction of the injured man. Having confidence in the horses they were able to walk through the woods and locate the man then relay their location to other first responders for assistance.
As you can see from some of the videos the scenarios were a little on the extreme side (we hope they don’t have to experience all that at one time in the real world) but the idea was to throw everything and the kitchen sink at them to show them they can do it and not die. Members of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse attended the clinic with future plans to work with the Bates County Mounted Posse in the future to help both organizations build on their programs to better serve the citizens of each of our respective communities.
“This training program was top notch and we all agreed that we have learned so much this weekend. We learned multiple things about the anatomy and psychological aspects of our horses that we didn’t know. We exposed them to many “scary” things to put them to the test and to make sure they are the right horse for the job”. Says Sheriff Anderson. “But another aspect of this training is that we are building relationships with other entities who share the same vision that we do, to serve our communities better and more efficiently. Our program has already saved one life and we want to be trained and ready for when the call goes out again.”