Monday, June 3, 2013

Intense Training Weekend

Weather here in Minnesota has been so hit and miss.  It is finally June and I still haven't packed my sweaters and winter gear away yet!  Marley and I have been doing some fine tuning on our riding at home if the weather permits. Working on transitions and trying to keep things slow and collected.  This weekend we packed up and headed 3 hours into the North Country (Harold if you are reading this up by you!)  The Boy Scouts opened up their 600+ acre camp to search and rescue teams for a 3 day training.  There was trees, ponds, bogs, lakes, you name it they had it.  The mounted units where not the only ones participating in this type of training. We worked right along side the K-nine units as well as foot patrol, EMT's, and other units.  The training was very intense, graphic, long, and tiring (both physically and mentally).  We had the opportunity to work with many very skilled professionals from across the country.  One of our instructors even came from California and use to be on the Yosemite mounted search and recovery team!  The first 2 days up north it was cold, damp and drizzled on and off so needed my winter jacket.  Poor Marley would shiver, who would have thought this in June that I would have needed a light blanket for him?  Finally we had a break for nice weather on Sunday.  Sun was out, view from the camp over looking the lake was beautiful, to bad it was the day we had to leave :)  Working with these groups you (most just volunteers that want to give) you learn so much, and keep learning.  I have learned to read GPS coordinates, that if riding at night and you need a flash light make sure it is either red or green and not white/yellow (your horses have great night vision and once you use that white light you really mess with it), and so much other information I could share but that would take a whole nother page!  Your horse is truly your partner out there and you really need one you can rely on.  The last 2 years when we have done these trainings, it is amazing how each horse reacts to cadaver smell.  Some freak out, others will lead you right to even a small klenex thrown in a bush.  We have been fortunate that we have not yet been called out on a live search like this yet, but knowing we have had the training (at least some clue on what we are doing!) we can be prepared.  Hoping soon the weather will give in and give us some warm dry weather so we can get out and do some camping and hitting the trails!
We are being good students and listening to our instructors.

View of the lake at camp early Sunday am. No time to fish. Class started at 7:30 am!

Every picture I tried to get he was always hiding behind one rail of fence :)

While waiting for the K-nine unit to arrive at one of our points of evidence I got bored, laid back on Marley and snapped this cool picture, had to share it!

Headed to "headquarters" for our assignment, in perfect uniform fashion, Marley and I pulled up the rear

Camp, there was over 70+ horses had to take a quick one before everyone packed up

Evidence area secured, and we wait for further instructions. (see we taped it off?)

Most of the gang that was up there (Marley and I are way to the left and to the right of the white horse)


  1. This looks awesome .... great event!

  2. You do the coolest things with Marley! I love your tree picture.

  3. As neat as these pictures were you must have almost been in my neck of the woods Dana,,,,,,, I also like your tree top picture, looks as though you two done another great job, congtats to you both

  4. Way cool Dana!!! I just love what you do with Marley! What a trooper - both of you. Great pictures!


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