by Victor Lopez
ODESSA - Some officers call them the best tool they can have out in the field.
All this week, officers and horses are going through intensive training to become members of the mounted patrol.
Agencies from Ector County, Fort Worth, and Santa Fe, New Mexico are going through a very intense hands-on course.
While it is a week long, forty hour course, those taking part say it's worth it.
Officers and horses are being put through their paces in order to get certified as members of the Mounted Patrol. The course is set up to simulate things these officers and horses could encounter in real life patrol situations. They are learning defensive tactics, arrest techniques, even crowd control.
The horses are also getting certified on tracking, and search and rescue, so this training is especially important for them.
"If somebody gets lost in one of our vast areas in West Odessa or Ector County, we can use these horses to track that person, find them, cadaver searches, we can go out and search for bodies," Ector County Sheriff's Office Investigator, David Trujillo, said.
"It desensitizes the horses by the training they're getting here this week, where they encounter these obstacles on the street, they don't have the fear they normally would," Bill White, Director of the Bexar County Mounted Patrol, said.
Once certified, these officers can go back to their home towns and patrol the streets on horseback and be able to go anywhere a patrol car can't, and still do their job.
The ultimate goal of the course is to develop a sense of trust and confidence between the horse and its rider, so that it will go wherever it's led.
One officer NewsWest 9 spoke to said, at the end of the day, he's the only one his horse can trust and he's not about to put her in any kind of danger