Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Central Texas Horse lovers are volunteer for search and rescue - Full Article

June 28 2011

A true love of the outdoors has tempted many horsemen and women to go beyond recreational trail riding to participate in endurance riding, horse packing, or rounding up cattle. Combined with an interest in people and saving lives, a number of riders belong to our very special group of volunteers: the East Texas Mounted Search and Rescue.

Mounted search and rescue teams are active throughout the United States and Canada. They provide a tremendous resource and service in their local communities and often beyond.

We work together forming specialty units for mounted rescues. As with all volunteer, non-profit groups, we depend upon the community to support us with funds through donations and fundraisers.

All members of our Search and Rescue Team work together, as needed, meaning mounted members may also be asked to work on foot. Members also may be called upon to go outside the county to help if that area has exhausted its manpower resources. In times of need, The Office of Emergency Services may call upon us.

Specifically, for horse people, it's important to develop needed skills to be an effective Search and Rescue volunteer. Riders need good basic experience in horsemanship and in being able to "read" their horse. Horses are valuable as their senses of eyesight, scent detection and hearing are highly developed. They are far-sighted, and an alert rider will note when the horse suspects anything unusual by the animal's head position and ears, as well as changes from body relaxation to tension. The rider is much higher than a searcher on foot, and also can travel faster and longer on a horse. Horses can go where all-terrain vehicles cannot...

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