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Summit County Sheriff's posse trains to keep the public safe

Posted at 5:32 PM, Apr 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-21 19:32:45-04

KAMAS, Utah — At Red Arrow Ranch in Kamas, the Summit County Sheriff's posse has stayed busy this week.

Since Monday, eight sworn law enforcement officers, a handful of civilians and their trusty steeds have been going through training, all aimed at keeping the public safe.

Sgt. Jeremie Forman and his horse, Sky, have been attached at the hip for six years.

"For me, the best part about this horse is how far she has come," said Sgt. Forman.

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Sgt. Forman says the posse was implemented by Summit County Sheriff Justin Martinez back in 2018.

"We deal with a lot of search and rescue issues here, a lot of backcountry rescue type things," said Sgt. Forman. "We do parades, you know, events, community events, we work at the rodeos, the county fair, places like that where we're able to just be out and about."

To be prepared for any situation, the sheriff's posse has spent the past four days training, just like they do every year.

The riders and their horses have been put through several obstacles and some of the most stressful situations.

"Gunfire, smoke, all those types of things in order to really inoculate them so that they can learn to be responsive in those high stress situations," said Sgt. Forman.

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Ron Ostrom of Fly'N O Horsemanship came in from Cody, Wyoming to help put the posse and their horses through, what he says, is some pretty rigorous training.

"We're building that mental relationship between a rider and the horse so that when we ask these very difficult things, the horse says, I'm right here, I'm here to help you," said Ostrom.

Whether it's heading through the backcountry for a search and rescue or even just engaging with the public, it's that close partnership between the posse and their horses that they hope will help achieve their goal.

"We're exposing them to a lot of pressure and horses are a fight or flight animal and we changed their mind about those things in order to keep the public safe," said Sgt. Forman.

Sgt. Forman says the training here wraps up today. He says they will test and evaluate each rider and horse tomorrow to track their improvement and where they might need some more training.