First Responders Horse Handling & Safety Clinic a Success
Goodtoknow Horses and Maplewood Stables, of Reno, Nevada, hosted the fifth First Responders Horse Handling and Safety Clinic on November 25 and educated another group of First Responders and Good Samaritans who sought to improve their horse handling skills.
Maplewood’s CEO and owner Julie Winkel hosts the clinic biannually, with assistance from her resident horse trainers and staff, to help people learn more about horses and how to handle them in emergency situations. Each event offers a slightly different curriculum to encourage people to return to refresh their skills and learn new ones.
“For each clinic, we enrich the program so that those who join us regularly can expand upon their skills with handling the horses," said Winkel. "With the Washoe Valley and Pleasant Valley areas home to so many stables, barns and horses, we want to help educate those who might help us in the future and create an opportunity for First Responders to gain relevant first-hand experience. Our doors are open to those who would like to visit and practice on their own, and we’ve had several First Responders come out to learn more about horses."
In addition to a presentation from Winkel, above, about the nature of horses, attendees learned how to halter, lead and load horses into a trailer and then enjoyed a “friendly” team competition where they were timed on their skills in haltering, leading and loading horses into a trailer during a mock evacuation.
This year, KOLO News Channel 8 covered the event for the local media market on the heels of the devastating Camp Fire in California finally being fully contained.
“We live in a fire prone area, and it’s going to happen again,” said Winkel. “Horse owners need to be responsible and prepared, and it’s gratifying to help these First Responders learn horse handling skills and help them safely practice before an emergency arises.”
Goodtoknow Horses and Maplewood Stables offers the training free of charge to all who are interested, and the next First Responders Horse Handling and Safety Clinic takes place on May 21, 2019, from 2-5 p.m.
Special thanks to Maplewood Horse Industry Training Program student Sadie Baeumler for the photographs of the clinic.