Dealing with — and catching — loose horses

Not everyone on patrol will encounter a loose horse, but for those of you for whom this is a real possibility, here are five reminders.

1.) If you chase them they will run. Lights and siren off or you’re off to the races.

2.) If possible let the animal calm and slowly approach, better yet let it come to you if the situation allows it.

3.) If you are going to try and rope it-keep the rope hidden. Let the horse come to you. Start to pet it and then place the rope over the neck. If you are lucky the animal will have had a rope on before. If not if the horse fights-LET GO OF THE ROPE- or you will be dragged or get serious rope burns-don’t ask me how I know. If it is wearing a bridle grab hold and the horse will usually follow without too much fuss.

4.) One trick that has worked for me on a number of occasions is to get out of the car and ignore the horse. Walk over and start pulling up grass and then pretend to eat it. I know it sounds stupid, and it can take a while, but the horse (if it is calm enough) will eventually come over to see how good the grass is. I’ve used this one a number of times provided traffic is low.

5.) Horses are large unpredictable animals. Be careful because getting kicked, stepped on, or run over is no fun. However, buffalo are a whole lot more dangerous...don’t ask me how I know.

About the author

In February 2014, Duane Wolfe retired from his career as a Minnesota Peace Officer after more than 25 years of service (beginning in 1988). During his career he served as patrolman, sergeant, S.R.T., Use of Force and Firearms Instructor, and is currently employed by the Parkers Prairie Police Department. He is also a full-time instructor in the Law Enforcement Program at Alexandria Technical College, Alexandria, Minnesota. Duane has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Bemidji State University, and a Masters Degree in Education from Southwest State University.

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