You already know I had the opportunity to document a few days of mounted training at the Pennsylvania State Police facility. And you might know that I've promised to share my impressions and some photos. Since the demands of returning to studio life are pretty high, I thought I would at least share a few moments here.
One of the things I want to talk about is the fact that the "good guys" do exist. I love people who are passionate about their work. I have the good fortune to know some extraordinary musicians and writers and designers... but it's profoundly fascinating when I can discover this first-hand with people in professions that are fairly new to me.
Standing at the intersection of the horse-training community and the law-enforcement culture—camera in hand—is a pretty interesting place to be. And there are some pretty superlative individuals. The evidence can be subtle when the people are so unpretentious... but you can tell, you know? I was around people who worked for hours in the corral [while I, on the other hand, had the chance to run into the barn every once in a while and douse myself with water.] They were focused and serious about what they were doing and that was inspiring, but the best part was that they never took themselves too seriously. Oh, and they not only love their work, they truly love and respect their horses. That was key for me. Kids, these are some of the people in law enforcement and they are indeed the good guys.
I want to share a lot more with you, but for now, here are a few moments from an evening's demonstration on ground manners with the amazing Trooper Colleen Young Shelly and her beloved Kevin.
Kevin with Trooper Colleen Young Shelly as she talks about ground manners and a new way to approach training.
Colleen explaining to Kevin what they were going to do next. No, really. She telegraphed his mission by word and gesture and he took off around the corral on cue.
Officers Leaser, Buskirk and Brooks look on as Kevin canters the small corral, jumping the obstacle every time.
Kevin had a blast at this cantering/jumping game.
Note: if you click on each picture, you'll be able to see a larger version.