For the first time ever, a fully trained equestrian and ground search and rescue team will be available to assist in finding lost people statewide. The guards will be evaluated, most likely by the end of December, on how well they handle horses before they receive certification. The horses will be tested on walking through water, over logs and downed trees, across tarps, over railroad tracks and up inclines. The adjutant general of the National Guard is required to review the evaluation before the Horse Guards are deployable.
Horse-mounted search and rescue is popular nationally and is used in Maine, New Hampshire, Texas, Florida and other states.