I remember seeing policemen on black horses in the Boston Commons. I remember being in a single-digit age, having glasses, and noticed that these gigantic and majestic creatures were overly muscular and in need of some good hair conditioner, as well as some toilet paper. (They seemed to have no problem pooping everywhere.)
Bill Richey has dedicated his entire life to the education and training of officers, riders and their horses. His brag sheet includes being CEO of National Mounted Police Services, chief instructor for the Mobile Mounted Police Mardi Gras School, and a trainer with the Atlanta Police Mounted Unit in preparation for the Olympics in ’96. Today, I saw him completely transform eleven skiddish horses and riders. The day kicked off with horse psychology and physiology – equine vision – and led into equitation techniques – a combination of balance, hands and body position. The bulk of the weekend was spent on the course, drilling through a series of obstacles that would make anyone cringe – sirens from a police car, a German Shepard named “PD” that barked and bared his teeth on command, orange smoke bombs, barricades and bridges, lines of gasoline fires, and a series of other obstacles. Bill’s patience and persistence is impressive. His character is positive, alpha, and confident. Though I don’t ride regularly, I learned much from him based on how he carries himself and teaches. Kudos, Bill. Thank you for letting me spend the day with you.