Maplewood Stables to Host First Responders Horse Handling Clinic

Reno – Goodtoknow Horses is pleased to announce the spring First Responders Horse Handling & Safety Clinic will be held Tuesday, May 28 at Maplewood Stables in Reno, Nevada. The clinic will be led by Maplewood’s resident horse trainers and focuses on educating first responders and other good samaritans who would like to learn how to safely handle horses in emergency situations. The event, from 2 to 5 p.m., will be free and open to the public. Pre-registration is not required.

The non-profit Goodtoknow Horses was launched in 2018 to help provide the equestrian community with educational opportunities to advance horsemanship and horse care in all disciplines, with the mission of “educating people for the good of the horse.” Under the umbrella of Goodtoknow Horses, is the First Responders Horse Handling & Safety Clinics.

In addition to learning how to properly catch, halter and lead a horse, attendees will also experience loading a horse into a trailer, receive hands-on training in corralling and penning horses and learn how horses typically react to fires. This year’s spring clinic will also focus on handling and loading mares and foals, with an emphasis on the nature of horses and their maternal and herd instincts.

“For each clinic we enrich the curriculum so that those who join us regularly for the clinics can expand upon their skills with handling the horses,” said Julie Winkel, founder and president of the 501(c)3 Goodtoknow Horses and Maplewood owner and operator. 

Winkel originally established the First Responders Horse Handling & Safety Clinics after fires and floods destroyed many homes and horse properties in the area. The biannual clinic, now in its third year, helps firefighters, search and rescue, sheriff’s department and local volunteers learn how to properly halter, lead and load horses into a trailer.”

Winkel herself experienced the devastation fires and floods can bring when in 2012 she lost her home and in 2017 flooding damaged her property and barns. Maplewood’s horses were safely evacuated during those emergencies, and the barn was spared during the fire, but Winkel is acutely aware of how close she came to losing her horses. Since then, she’s educated her staff on fire safety protocols, holds fire drills, and ensures that her horses are trained at an early age to easily and quickly load into horse trailers.

“As a victim of a wildfire, I’m aware of the dangers these events have on the property owners and first responders,” she said. “Knowing how to safely approach and handle a horse can go along way toward keeping everyone safer in an emergency situation, including the people trying to evacuate the animals and the horses themselves.” 

“With the Washoe Valley and Pleasant Valley areas home to so many stables, barns and horses, including horses used in breeding programs, we want to help educate those who might help us in the future and create an opportunity for first responders to gain relevant first-hand experience,” said Winkel.  

For more information about Maplewood Stables and the First Responders Clinic, to be held Tuesday May 28, from 2 to 5 p.m., please contact or (775) 849-1849 or visit: