Our county recently started a mounted patrol unit, and are now holding a volunteer mounted patrol school. The volunteers have no arrest or law enforcement powers, but are used for search and rescue, and crowd control at events.
Of course I signed up for this! I took off work all week, and the school started yesterday. I board my gelding at the instructors house, so she is hauling him with hers every morning. I really just wanted the cool uniforms and saddle blanket. (jk)
It has been going pretty well. There has been a few hiccups, but nothing too awful bad....
Tuesday Day 1:
We mostly did obstacle course stuff. They had a teetering bridge that I thought would freak my gelding out, but he went over it like a champ. He covered all of the obstacle course extremely well except the swinging noodle gate. I think he doest realize the noodles are going to move when he walks through them. At first he tried to jump over them, then he figured he would just shove them open with his head, and he wouldnt have to touch them on the way through. What a turd.
There is one guy who is way overhorsed. His horse rears when he doesnt get his way, and the man has an excuse for every bad thing the horse does.
Wednesday Day 2:
Today we did formation drills. It was a mess at first trying to get the horses to walk with each other without fighting. We had to walk with our legs rubbing, and there was a bit of testing going on between the horses. After about 45 minutes, we had found where each horse needs to be, and who they need to be with, then it was nice. All the horses were getitng along, and we could do the drills without them wanting to bite and squeel at each other. My gelding eventually got kicked by the above mentioned horse, and I told one of the instructors that I was not putitng myself in a dangerous situation, and that if this horse could not behave itself, it should be taken out of the formation. I got moved to the front and that horse got moved to the back. After lunch, we were doing more drills, and one of the horses started to colic. The guy who owned him didnt know what to do, so another guy lead him around, while I pulled all his tack off. We took him and loaded him in the trailer a few times to see if we could get him to poop. Continued to walk him around and finally a few of us got in the trailer with him and drove him down the road. Poor thing still wouldnt poop. Called a guy that some of us knew that lived down the road to bring some banamine. Took him out in the arena and he finally pooped. Gave him the banamine and walked him around a little bit more till he finally pooped again and had good gut sounds. He stayed tied in the arena with us the rest of the time, while his owner rode another horse. It was pretty scary.
We did some crown control drills which was pretty neat. We had groups of two stay on the horses while the rest of us walked/ran/acted like kids up to the horses and messed with them and stuff. The "crowd" would try to undo the horses tack and such, and whoever was on the horses had to prevent that form happening. The horses also had to stand quitly while they got thier hair pulled on, legs pulled on, and so on.
Apparently there are people who think its funny to put thier lit ciggeretes in the horses tack and watch them buck. So we had to constantly be checking to see if the *ciggerette* had been snuck in our tack. It was all kinds of stuff like that.
We still have two more days before our certification test, and I hope me and my boy pass. It is nervracking to say the least.