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News: Boots and hooves: Army Reserves, Redwing Horse Sanctuary partner up

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Sgt. Michael Thurman, a Lake Butler, Fla., native, 149th Medical Detachment Veterinary Services, Fort Lewis, Wash., finishes bridling and begins to walk a horse on Redwings Horse Sanctuary, Lockwood, Calif., during Warrior Exercise 91 13-01, at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., March 23, 2013. Reservists from the 149th MDVS had the opportunity to train around horses during the visit to Redwings. Planned and coordinated by the 91st Training Division (Operations) the training is designed to prepare soldiers for the rigors of deployment associated with ongoing overseas contingency operations. (Photo by Army Sgt. Joshua Polaschek, 203rd PAD)

Story by Sgt. Joshua Polaschek 203d Public Affairs Detachment

FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. - Soldiers from 149th Veterinary Services Medical Detachment, Fort Lewis, Wash., and other medical units experienced unique hooves-on training March 24, 2013, at Redwings Horse Sanctuary, Lockwood, Calif., during Warrior Exercise 91 01-13 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif.

Redwings, a sanctuary for horses or equine that have been abandoned, abused or neglected, is located just 11 miles from Fort Hunter Liggett.

The Army Reserves and Redwings look forward to fostering a positive working relationship, said Brig. Gen. Jon D. Lee, commander, 91st Training Division, Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif.

“Veterinary units receive realistic training working with the animals,” said Lee. “Redwing Horse Sanctuary has been an important partner in building bonds between Fort Hunter Liggett and the sanctuary.”

Soldiers started the two-day training visit with an instructional video on basic horsemanship. They learned basic horse handling, safety, and haltering. They also learned to check and clean horse hooves, basic vital signs, and general first aid. Soldiers were then able to go boots-to-hooves with the animals to apply the training.

“It is excellent real-world training that will help for overseas missions. It’s what we’ll be doing,” said Maj. Lisa Ellsberry, field veterinarian, from Seattle, Wash., 149th Veterinary Services Medical Detachment, Fort Lewis, Wash. “The troops loved it.”

This type of hands-on training was the first for some soldiers.

”First time I’ve done training like this,” said Spc. Stephen Terry, medical lab specialist, 801st Combat Support Hospital, and Sheridan, Ind., native. “It’s been phenomenal.”

These are the first soldiers offered this real-world training and hope to build a lasting rapport with the sanctuary.

A preventative medicine unit also assisted Redwings by testing the equines' drinking water.

Having safe water for horses is an important safety measure and good hands-on training for soldiers, said Pfc. Felisha Placencio, native of Ogden, Utah, preventative medicine specialist, 200th Medical Detachment, Fort Douglas, Utah.

The staff at Redwings is very pleased to have soldiers on the ground training and assisting with testing and training.

“This is wonderful that you guys are out here,” said Linda Plum, executive director, Redwings Horse Sanctuary.

Continued training and working with Army is a win-win situation, said Paula Germain, healthcare specialist, Redwings Horse Sanctuary.

“Endless possibilities, we have a lot to offer each other (Army and Redwings), especially being in close proximity,” said Germain.

With halters on a positive relationship and boots laced up to help, the Army Reserves and Redwings Horse Sanctuary plan to blaze a trail.


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This work, Boots and hooves: Army Reserves, Redwing Horse Sanctuary partner up, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:03.29.2013

Date Posted:03.29.2013 23:35





Hometown:OGDEN, UT, US

Hometown:SEATTLE, WA, US


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