Thu, 14 September 2017
Mike Jackson is a retired electric lineman and supervisor from Battle Ground, Indiana, who has trained English Pointer dogs for horseback field trials for many years. For this episode of Heartsong Fit, I interview Mike, one of our farm neighbors, in his barn as he is preparing for a trip from Indiana to North Dakota and Montana for training his dogs and younger horses.
He rides and trains Tennessee Walkers, a gaited horse breed, and he raises and trains gorgeous English Pointers. This breed of dog is popular for bird hunting.
Whether you are a dog lover, horse lover, or you are specifically, an enthusiast of English Pointers, Red Setters or other "big running dogs," I'm sure you'll enjoy hearing Mike talk about his adventures.
In this sport, the animal handlers and trainers, work from horseback as they communicate with their highly trained hunting dogs who are broke to wing and shot. The horses, who are also broke to a variety of distraction from gun shot to dogs biting at their tails and winding around their legs, to the flush of birds from the terrain, are very key partners within the team required in this sport of field trials.
Both the American Field and the American Kennel Club (AKC) have divisions for hunting dogs in this sport. You will find categories of Shooting Dogs, Gun Dogs, All Age Dogs, Puppy, Derby, Amateur and Open.
I continued my interview with Mike in a discussion about teamwork. To hear our conversation on teamwork that he and his fellow competitors have with their horses and dogs, check out the episode in my other podcast, Online Course Connections.