At some point you have probably seen on the television or on the streets the very noble horses with police officers riding them, these are members of the Mounted Police Unit.
The Mounted Police Units around Australia make up a very important part of the Police Force. Being able to serve and protect the public in a different manner to police officers that are on foot or in vehicles. The Mounted Police are highly effective in a number of situations such as crowd control, searches and patrols.
The horses of the Mounted Police Units are very special and highly trained horses with important jobs. Generally the horses themselves need to be over 16 hands high (163cm tall at the wither). They are usually brown, bay or black in colour. Typically geldings are used because they are generally easily to handle and work better with other horses. The horses need to have a calm but confident temperament. They shouldn’t be spooked by loud noises, being touched, crowds or ever changing new circumstances. The horse can be any breed, including ex-racehorses that have retired from the track.
A horse is usually assigned to one police officer who cares from them, trains them and works with them. Throughout the year the horses will take a break from work and be sent out to a paddock for a well deserved spell (holiday).
Originally published in My Pet Magazine Autumn 2014.
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