[MSAR] Another Search

bonnie elster elster530 at yahoo.com
Sun Jul 1 11:31:48 EDT 2007


Una,
  do you know of MSAR units in northwest GA/ southeast TN?  I'd like to make contact........

una.smith at att.net wrote:
  Marie Lester (COMSU) wrote:
> turned all out together. We do not normally have these four horses
> together, but felt that their mind sets and the space provided were adequate
> for their safety. Additionally, these horses have ridden together many
> times.

And they had done a good amount of work so were perhaps more interested than
usual in grazing and sleeping.

Many times I have had good success putting horses together in a corral who
do not live together, but I would not leave them unsupervised. Overnight, I 
sleep on the ground or in the truck beside the corral.

Many horses are amazingly wide awake and active at night. Once you see what
they will get up to, there can be no doubt that horse see extremely well in
the dark and would make an excellent resource for night searches. Provided
SAR management is comfortable with supervising field teams at night. (When
most searchers are untrained, inexperienced and without radios, then it seems
wise to suspend the search overnight.)


> In other cases, we picket our horses. I have never hobbled and would need
> some coaching in that department.

Picket meaning each horse is tied separately to its own ground stake? Or
some other arrangement? What do you use for the stake? On the horse end of
the picket rope do you use a halter or a leg cuff?

Have you ever picketed overnight? Do you get up in the night to move the
picket, so the horse gets more grazing?

Hobble training is discussed in some books on backcountry riding. There is
a video about it for sale on ebay all the time, that I have not seen. Can
anyone here recommend it?


> While we were able to utilize the knowledge from our various trainings (GPS,
> tracking, search pattern techniques, radio protocol,documentation), it is
> clear that there is always more to know.

Always. :-)


> We were the only trained unit
> there, and the other local volunteers on horseback looked to us for advice
> and leadership.

Good all around. Did you get contact info? Send them an URL or even a printed
copy of the MSAR-Riders blurb (http://www.ibiblio.org/msar/msar-riders.html)
and invite them to join us.


> Sounds like Chris has had a busy year, and that may be the case for many of
> you in the west.

SAR has been slow here in New Mexico, but I did have an interesting experience
working Planning Section (SAR mission management) on a series of mock searches
in which a New Mexico technical rescue unit was evaluated for accreditation by
Mountain Rescue Association. The unit succeeded! The interesting part was 
that most of the MRA evaluators came from other states where a single SAR unit
provides both field teams *and* mission management people. In New Mexico, SAR
management is separate, so the MRA evaluators had to evaluate this unit on its
field teams and on how well they worked with the mission management. Mission
management itself was not evaluated. I heard many comments from the evaluators
about how different SAR is in New Mexico compared to their home states. Food
for thought...!

Una Smith
New Mexico
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