Emergency Personnel Ride into South Bay

By May 25, 2011

Cowboy Boot Camp's Jim Moore wants to improve emergency response measures for horses. (Photo by Stephan Cooper)

Cowboy Boot Camp has been tapped by the City of Rolling Hills Estates to assist in the development of a “Loose Horse Preparedness” program for emergency first-responders in the Palos Verdes Peninsula area.

The program was prompted over concerns that many law enforcement officials in the equestrian community are typically not familiar with the proper procedures for catching a loose or injured horse. While the officer’s first concern was, of course, public safety, the idea is to deal with the situation in a way that does not put the safety goal at odds with the well-being of the horse.

Cowboy Boot Camp’s Jim Moore, along with other equestrians and city officials, assisted in the design of a curriculum designed to educate officers, fire department personnel, city staff and other concerned parties on “How to Safely Catch a Loose Horse.”  The plan will be workshopped quarterly at the City of Rolling Hills Estates equestrian facility in Ernie Howlett Park and will include instruction on catching, haltering, leading and understanding the mind-set of a panicked horse.

The classes will cover topics ranging from basic (how to use a lead rope and halter)  to psychological (how to approach a horse with the calm but confident attitude that tells it you’re the “herd leader”).

With approximately 3,000 horses and over 100 miles of equestrian trails in the Los Angeles South Bay peninsula area, it is inevitable that first responders will have to handle loose horse situations in the event of a disaster, or in the event of something as simple as a horse breaking free, or throwing its rider.

The City of Rolling Hills is going to make the instruction available to other cities on the peninsula, and Moore said he hopes to be able to offer the program to other Southern California equestrian communities too. “Horses get loose. If you live in an equestrian area, that’s just what happens. I wonder how many members of the Burbank Police Dept. know how to capture a loose horse,” Moore said.

Based in Rolling Hills Estates, Cowboy Boot Camp offers riding instruction as well as classes in horsekeeping basics.

For more information visit: www.CowboyBootCamp.net .

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