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Rancho Santa Fe Patrol officers learn the art of ‘horse safety’

Members of the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol learned the art of safely dealing with horse incidents in Rancho Santa Fe on Nov. 17. Trainer Debbie Rocha taught the officers at the Rancho Riding Club. “Walk up to them like you’re their best friend,” Rocha said, showing the officers how to wait until the horse looked at them, walk up slowly, slip on their halter and offer a pat and words of encouragement.

RSF Patrol Chief Matt Wellhouser said the patrol deals with loose horses about a couple times a month—horses who have thrown their riders, jumped fences or even picked locks, which Wellhouser said has happened. Eight officers are taking the training to know how to best handle those situations, keeping the animals and patrol members safe. — Karen Billing


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