Whether it’s a biker lost on a trail or an event with a huge crowd, you will see volunteers on horseback, either leading the search or controlling the crowd. Who are these individuals? In Sumner County, it’s the Tennessee County Mounties, a group of local horse enthusiasts who have taken special training for them and their horses to serve in our community. This group not only gives a purpose for the horse, it also is available when called on as a helping agency to assist if needed.
We like to think of our horses as ambassadors to the community. We ride, we train, we serve is our mission. The County Mounties are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with units in several states in the eastern US and Canada.
R&M Stables is the training headquarters for the Sumner County unit.
- We Ride: While each rider maintains the fitness level of their own horse, the unit meets on a monthly basis for the purpose of riding and conditioning their horses as a group. Formation riding is a key component of this training, and the unit spends countless hours of drill riding together, demonstrating control of their horses and how to ride together in unison.
- We Train: Another aspect of preparing the horse to serve in public is to do obstacle training. Our horses are regularly put through challenging courses designed to put pressure on the horse and rider. Often, these courses are timed for speed and accuracy of how the horse and rider navigate through the obstacles put before them. In addition, the unit attends continuing education throughout the mid-state offered by some of Nashville’s finest mounted police instructors. The curriculum at these events includes obstacle riding, de-spooking, and current trends in working at public events, dignitary protection, vehicle escort, crowd management and self-defense from horseback. All members of the Sumner County unit have received certificates of completion from WHOA (Walking Horse Owners Association) Service Horse Program and by the National Mounted Police Services, Inc.
- We Serve: Units are formed in individual counties, and ride as auxiliary units for the purpose of assisting local law enforcement agencies in search and rescue efforts, public events where crowd control and public relations are necessary, and large public gatherings, where individuals who may need help can see the rider above the crowd and ask for assistance.