Muskegon County Mounted Unit prepares for July 4th

Posted at 10:32 PM, Jul 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-03 22:32:47-04

MUSKEGON COUNTY, MICH.--There's a lot more to the Muskegon County Mounted Unit than meets the eye. The department is comprised entirely of volunteers, who supply their own horses.

The unit is "on call" via the sheriff's department. They're expecting more calls this week, for people with loose livestock.

“If horses are loose, or livestock gets loose because of fireworks, they need to contact central dispatch, and call 9-1-1, especially if the animals are on the road,” director Nancy Smith said.

It happens quite frequently, because horses get spooked easily.

“If horses are of a nervous type….if one of them gets spooked. If it happens to be a horse higher in the pecking order that runs through the fence, the rest of your horses are probably going to follow,” Smith said.

The horses with the mounted unit undergo a lot of training to get them ready for walking in parades. That includes exposure testing, like lighting off fireworks and other distractions to make sure the horses stay on track for when they are in crowds of people.

The mounted unit with Muskegon will be in the parade in Whitehall on Thursday.

If you need help rounding up your live stock, make sure to contact the sheriff's department, especially if they are in the roadway.