By Cierra Putman
MIDLAND - Heroes on horseback trotted into Midland County for beginner training and this week's time in the saddle is preparing them to serve.
Their four legged partners are not what most people usually associate with law enforcement.
But yes, it's horses, not dogs, that offer mounted patrolmen a leg up in the field of duty.
"You know a horse can travel through just about any kind of terrain you can imagine," Commander Alan Thompson with the Midland County Sheriff's Office Mounted Patrol, said. "A horse is a lot like a canine if you're in open pasture a horse will see and smell things humans can't. They'll alert you if danger's ahead."
This week, members of the Midland County Sheriff's Office Mounted Patrol and others came for beginner training. Two year veteran Joe Martinez knows how important this week is.
"We go through obstacle courses and we go through training and you learn to trust your horse and she trusts you," Martinez said.
The Midland County patrol is made of West Texas volunteers from local agencies as well as some civilians.
The group assists local law enforcement with everything from manhunts to protecting dignitaries.
"It's a great feeling," Martinez said. "You feel like you've accomplished something and you've helped someone who was in a bad situation."
At this training, day one is the easiest, but things will pick up.
On Monday, the trainees got to know each other and learn formations but later in the week they'll be on open land where they'll work with canines and convicts so they can hone their tracking skills.