Horses have unique qualities which enable them to detect scents, which anyone can try at home to give your horse a chance to problem-solve.
By: Kim Izzo | July 28, 2021
Search and rescue teams, the military and police, border patrol officers, all employ the unique talents of “sniffer dogs.” We’ve seen footage of these dogs in the news, searching for survivors at catastrophic events like the recent condo collapse in Surfside, Florida, or we’ve witnessed them firsthand being walked through baggage claim at airports. The dogs are highly-trained professionals. And now, they have competition: sniffer horses (and ponies).
The practice of “equine air scenting” is used by various organizations in Western Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, where some horses are also trained in drug detection. Currently there are no ‘professional’ equine sniffers in Ontario, but that might soon change.
The Ontario Mounted Special Service Unit (OMSSU), a non-profit organization made up of volunteers, is currently training horses in the air scent division with the hopes of being given work in the fields that require such a service. Cindy Fuerth, director of OMSSU, told Global News that the group is planning to expand and hire in the coming year by recruiting around 20 riders to the program. The program will involve the owners/riders and their horses to complete intensive training. Riders will also take online and in-person classes...