Mounted police instructor hosting clinic at Orleans County Fairgrounds

On August 5th Vermont will welcome the nationally renowned mounted police instructor Bill Richey to the Orleans County Fairgrounds for a weekend of horse training. Bill Richey, the founder and CEO of National Mounted Police Services, Inc. is a POST certified mounted police instructor. He worked with Atlanta Police Mounted Unit in preparation for the 1996 Olympics. He was the chief instructor for Mobile Mounted Police Mardi Gras School. He has over 30 years’ experience as a mounted police officer or mounted police trainer. He has spent countless hours training officers and civilians from all over North America, the Middle East and South America, as well as their mounts.

Mr. Richey is being hosted by local equestrian Wisteria Franklin and her family. Franklin is a senior at St. Johnsbury Academy and has participated in the Extreme Mustang Makeover for the last three years. She invited Mr. Richey to Vermont to prepare for her final performance in the mustang competitions as well as to share Mr. Richey’s expertise with other horse back riders in Vermont. The clinic is open to all levels of riders and horse abilities.

Over the course of three days participants will be trained using the same methods employed by successful mounted police officers throughout the world. This style of riding is called the “Military Seat”. Riders and mounts will learn to negotiate obstacles such as barricades, vehicles, bridges, teeter-totters and hanging tarps. As in the training of a police mount, these obstacles are not only used, they are combined as the course progresses. This means, for instance, walking over a wooden bridge while walking under a hanging tarp.

Horse and rider will also learn sensory obstacle training. The use of tactile obstacles, different noises, smoke, flares that produce smoke and fumes are used to present new visual, auditory, and smell challenges for the horse to overcome. Like all obstacles, they are introduced slowly. Finally, as all the above tasks are completed, they are combined. Before the course is finished, horses and riders will ride over teeter-totter bridges, walk through smoke and toward police lights and sirens while maintaining their place in the drill. All of this will happen simultaneously by the end of the weekend.

The clinic will be on August 5-7th at the Orleans County Fairgrounds in Barton, Vermont. The clinic still has spots available for any interested in attending. For more event information and cost call 802-745-7988.

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