Horses provide new ‘turning point’ for Maine Mounted Search and Rescue

Posted Oct. 11, 2013, at 5:32 a.m.
Sharon Kenney Pomeroy, left, looks out into the woods while doing a mock search in LaGrange. Maine Mounted Search and Rescue helps to locate lost, abducted, or missing persons in the state of Maine while utilizing the many benefits that riding horseback can bring to searches.
Sharon Kenney Pomeroy, left, looks out into the woods while doing a mock search in LaGrange. Maine Mounted Search and Rescue helps to locate lost, abducted, or missing persons in the state of Maine while utilizing the many benefits that riding horseback can bring to searches. Buy Photo
Sharon Kenney Pomeroy leads two other certified search and rescue horses into the woods to show some of the training and techniques that MMSAR uses to help locate lost, abducted, or missing persons in the state of Maine during a MMSAR benefit ride Sept. 28.
Sharon Kenney Pomeroy leads two other certified search and rescue horses into the woods to show some of the training and techniques that MMSAR uses to help locate lost, abducted, or missing persons in the state of Maine during a MMSAR benefit ride Sept. 28. Buy Photo
Tammy Elsenheimer walks down a trail at her farm in Maine while showing some of the techniques Maine Mounted Search and Rescue uses to help locate lost, abducted, or missing persons in the state of Maine.
Tammy Elsenheimer walks down a trail at her farm in Maine while showing some of the techniques Maine Mounted Search and Rescue uses to help locate lost, abducted, or missing persons in the state of Maine. Buy Photo
Maine Mounted Search and Rescue helps to locate lost, abducted, or missing persons in the state of Maine while utilizing the many benefits that riding horseback can bring to searches.
Maine Mounted Search and Rescue helps to locate lost, abducted, or missing persons in the state of Maine while utilizing the many benefits that riding horseback can bring to searches. Buy Photo
Sharon Kenney Pomeroy looks for an area in the woods to demonstrate some of the Maine Mounted Search and Rescue techniques used to help locate lost, abducted, or missing persons in the state of Maine.
Sharon Kenney Pomeroy looks for an area in the woods to demonstrate some of the Maine Mounted Search and Rescue techniques used to help locate lost, abducted, or missing persons in the state of Maine. Buy Photo
Sharon Kenney Pomeroy gets ready to show some of the techniques and training that  Maine Mounted Search and Rescue uses in the field.
Sharon Kenney Pomeroy gets ready to show some of the techniques and training that Maine Mounted Search and Rescue uses in the field. Buy Photo
Zephyr stands next to a trailer while Sharon Kenney Pomeroy attaches Search and Rescue packs to show some of the Maine Mounted Search and Rescue techniques used in the field.
Zephyr stands next to a trailer while Sharon Kenney Pomeroy attaches Search and Rescue packs to show some of the Maine Mounted Search and Rescue techniques used in the field. Buy Photo
Maine Mounted Search and Rescue helps to locate lost, abducted, or missing persons in the state of Maine while utilizing the many benefits that riding horseback can bring to searches.
Maine Mounted Search and Rescue helps to locate lost, abducted, or missing persons in the state of Maine while utilizing the many benefits that riding horseback can bring to searches. Buy Photo
Maine Mounted Search and Rescue helps to locate lost, abducted, or missing persons in the state of Maine while utilizing the many benefits that riding horseback can bring to searches.
Maine Mounted Search and Rescue helps to locate lost, abducted, or missing persons in the state of Maine while utilizing the many benefits that riding horseback can bring to searches. Buy Photo
Maine Mounted Search and Rescue certified horses and riders walk out of the woods after demonstrating how they use horses to help locate lost, abducted, or missing persons in the state of Maine while utilizing the many benefits that riding horseback can bring to searches.
Maine Mounted Search and Rescue certified horses and riders walk out of the woods after demonstrating how they use horses to help locate lost, abducted, or missing persons in the state of Maine while utilizing the many benefits that riding horseback can bring to searches. Buy Photo

 

Sharon Kenney Pomeroy knew that when her unit’s Maine Mounted Search and Rescue horses found a cadaver-scented dummy after search dogs passed it by, the unit’s horses would come into the spotlight.

“That was the turning point for our unit, it gives me chills to think about it.” Pomeroy said.

On call for the Maine Warden Service, the team of about 14 members stretches across the state from southern Maine to as far north as LaGrange. They provide a mounted search and rescue unit capable of assisting in the location of lost, abducted or missing persons throughout Maine.

While the team does receive some donations, it doesn’t come without a cost to the volunteer team. Expenses can become hefty because of the long distances traveled to search areas with heavy trailers, horses and gear in tow.

“We can easily, each of us, spend over $200 to get to a search,” said Pomeroy.

Despite operating cost and time, Pomeroy says the horses are well-suited for the job.

According to Pomeroy, since horses are prey animals, their senses are heightened and will notice other things in the woods a rider might overlook. They allow riders to sit higher and gain a more effective sweep width. Riders can see 40 to 50 feet into the woods on both sides, which is much higher than on foot.

They also free up the searchers to pay more attention to what’s in the woods, rather that where they’ll make their next step.

“The horse is our partner, not just our ride.” said Pomeroy.

 

More slideshows

ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business
ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business