Least Resistance Training Concepts

Volunteers Training for Emergencies

An explanation as to the context of this document appears in Part One.

  4. Using Construction Netting
for Emergency Containment

Our team responds on average to around 150 large animal incidents per year (with a peak of 207 incidents in 2017.) Most of those calls involve the containment, movement and/or relocation of livestock, primarily horses, from dangerous situations. Therefore our most frequently used asset is plastic construction netting (also known as "snow fencing.") When properly used this netting can dramatically reduce the time required to contain and move these animals.

Some instructors teach using the netting with poles for stiffening. We don't use stiffeners primarily due to our environmental conditions. The point here is that your local conditions should be evaluated to determine whether stiffening poles would more likely be of benefit or a hazard in your specific environment.

We shop for netting that has the thickest lattice material that in turn would provide the greatest perception of obscurity as viewed by the animals being contained.

We store our netting rolled up from both ends like a scroll as we have found it easier and less agitating to the animals to deploy it from both ends, to the extent needed.

Extending the netting.

The principles involved in deploying this corral include quietly extending the netting, coordinating with whomever can help haze the horses to get them within the confines of the netting, then calmly surrounding the horses with the netting while keeping the material taut.

Extending the netting.
Surrounding the loose horses and letting them calm down.
Moving the animals through a gate into a secure area.

The shape of the netting corral will help naturally direct the animal being moved.

The video below shows the application of construction netting for containing and securing loose horses. (One sequence shows what can happen if the horse is allowed to look over the netting.)

Loose Horse Containment Exercises.

There is some skill and timing involved with using this netting. The net should be kept reasonably taut so the horses don't see low spots and try to break through them. If they can look over the netting some will try to push through. Responders need to observe the horses as well as the others controlling the netting so that it stays high enough to block the horses' view, yet can be lowered if a particularly troublesome horse thinks about ducking under it.

If a horse does push through the netting, stay calm and simply restart the operation, being more careful in maintaining a proper shape and height during the next attempt.

Actual deployment in the field in conjunction with a funnel chute.

Continue to Wildfire Evacuation Responses

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The training information presented in these information sheets and guides is offered for illustrative and volunteer refresher purposes only. It is not a substitute for actual hands-on training.

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