Equine Air Scent Training
SAR K-9s find people who are lost by using their noses. Horses can do this too. Trail riders know their horse always knows what's in the woods around them! It's the rider's responsibility to learn how to interpret what their horse is already communicating, and to teach the horse in what scenarios it's expected that the horse take over navigation and go find the scent source.
In 2016 and 2018, MMSAR members participated in two multi-day clinics with Terry Nowacki, nationally experienced clinician and author of "The Air Scenting Horse" (the first equine scent detection training manual). Terry has years of experience in SAR, training K9s for scent detection and obedience, and training horses in scent detection of live humans as well as cadaver and narcotics. In fact, Terry trained the first certified air scent detection horse as well as the first publicly known and proven cadaver and narcotics scent detection horses. His website is https://www.airscentinghorse.com/home.htm
Our members have continued to practice the techniques and methods that Terry taught us, and we look forward to someday certifying many of our mounted teams in Equine Air Scent SAR. Please check out our air scent training videos below, and check Facebook for our more recent videos!
2018 - Sugar searched the 5.5 acre field next. You can see her get a little distracted at 1:03 or so, but when Tammy turns her back into the scent drift she picks it up and follows it in. Uncomplicated and successful!
2018 - Monica and Ember had an interesting run. You can see Ember lose the scent at 1:15, so she goes back to a grid search and then turns him around, back into the area where she knew from his body language that he had been inside the scent drift. Ember picks it back up at 1:48 or so and turns back upwind toward the hiders. Then as he approached closer, the wind coming over the tree line came down and swirled the scent around so that he lost it a bit. It took him a few seconds to get back onto it and find the hiders.