When search and rescue efforts are needed, many different resources can be relied on. One resource is the use of animals, and one which performs well in these types of circumstances is the horse.
Horses are agile and are often able to cover terrain, which is difficult by foot. Many times when search and rescue teams head out, they need to be able to cover a lot of territory in as short a time as possible. The horse can allow for this.
Another benefit is that search and rescue efforts can be long and arduous, and the rescuers tend to tire. When they can do their travelling on horseback, it helps to preserve their energy.
While being used as a mode of transportation is the primary purpose of the horses being used for Search and rescues, some are specifically trained to help with the efforts themselves, relying on their sense of smell as well as hearing and their sight.
Search and rescue responders receive a great deal of training. Those who are going to be mounted rescuers are trained to look in the same direction as the horse, as their senses may be a guide to the responder.