Firefighter clinic: Horses and heroes join together at Midnight’s Promise

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 8, 2018

Rescue horses and firefighters joined forces at Midnight’s Promise Equine Rescue on June 2 to help emergency responders improve their skills in the event of an emergency involving horses.

Emergencies could include barn fires, overturned horse trailers, horses trapped in ravines or wells, flooding, evacuation or hoarding situations requiring hazardous materials cleanup.

The Horse Handling for Firemen and Emergency Responders clinic was offered free by Midnight’s Promise. Firefighters from China Grove, Bostian Heights, Atwell and Franklin Township attended, along with Deborah Horne, Rowan County fire marshal.

Deborah Baker of Midnight’s Promise was the clinic instructor.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work hands-on with these horses,” Horne said.

The clinic provided fundamentals to safely handling horses by teaching basic equine anatomy and behavior in conjunction with practice working with the horses. Baker explained about blind spots and kick zones when approaching horses.

Participants learned how to approach horses safely, how to put on different types of halters, how to quickly make a halter from a belt or rope, and how to lead horses to safety.

The clinic participants also learned techniques for getting a stubborn or reluctant horse to move. One of these involved the use of towels or shirts to blindfold a horse, and the participants practiced leading blindfolded horses to safety.

“Midnight’s Promise is proud to be able to give back to the community that has supported us and hope that our partnership with Rowan County Emergency Services will benefit horse owners in the future when needed,” Baker said.

Midnight’s Promise Inc. is a nonprofit organization that relies on donations and fundraising for support. Its website is